Songarh Gate, [Mandu]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Sonegarh Gate at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1902. The Sonegarh Fort was once an impregnable citadel and part of the historic hillfort of Mandu, now in ruins, which stands in a spectacular, naturally-defended position on a plateau of the Vindhya hills surrounded by a ravine. The citadel is separated from the main hill by a narrow neck of land. This is a view of the entrance to the citadel, an arched Islamic-style gateway with battlements and two observation posts, approached by steep, winding steps. The gateway dates from Mandu's period as the capital of the Sultans of Malwa between 1405 and 1531. They renamed the fort ‘Shadiabad’ (City of Joy) and built palaces, mosques and tombs amid the gardens, lakes and woodland within its walls. Most of the remaining buildings date from this period. 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.