Ruins in the Jahaj Mahal Tank, [sic. Jahaz Mahal Tank, Mandu]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of overgrown ruins in a tank (an artificial lake or reservoir) at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1902. This view was taken in the environs of the Jahaz Mahal or Ship Palace (late 15th century), part of the Royal Enclave near the main entrance to Mandu. The Jahaz Mahal was conceived as an elegant two-storey pleasure pavilion in a romantic setting between two artificial lakes, the Munj Talao and Kapur Sagar. It is one of several palaces at Mandu, a historic ruined hillfort. The ancient stronghold of Mandu first came to prominence under the Paramara dynasty, powerful rulers of the region of Malwa in central India with their headquarters in Dhar, at the end of the 10th century. Malwa passed to Muslim rule first under the Delhi Sultans in 1305 and later as the Sultanate of Malwa independent of Delhi from 1401. Mandu was made the capital of the Sultans of Malwa between 1405 and 1531. They renamed the city ‘Shadiabad’
(City of Joy) and built palaces, mosques and tombs amid the gardens, lakes and woodland within its walls. Mandu entered a golden age of art, architecture and knowledge. Most of the remaining buildings date from this period and were originally decorated with glazed tiles and inlaid coloured stone. They constitute an important provincial style of Islamic architecture characterised by an elegant and powerful simplicity which is believed to have influenced later Mughal architecture at Agra and Delhi.