The 'Echo' Palace, Mandu
Photographer: Deen Dayal, Lala (1844-1905)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Echo Mahal at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, taken by Lala Deen Dayal in the 1870s. This is a general view of a ruined domed Islamic-style building, probably a palace. It is one of many at Mandu, a historic hill fortress which first came to prominence under the Paramara dynasty at the end of the 10th century. Mandu remained under Hindu rule until the early 14th century when it was conquered by the Sultans of Delhi. Its golden age came as the state capital of the Sultans of Malwa between 1401 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 that is believed to have influenced later Mughal architecture at Agra and Delhi. The photograph is taken from an album containing mainly topographical and architectural views of sites in Central India. The majority of prints are signed 'Deen Dyal' and represent some of the Indian photographer’s earliest work.