I’m still hungover from the travel to Mandu – it shall continue to haunt me until I blog about it!
I knew nothing about Mandu, except a half-story of Baz Bahadur who fell in love with Roopmati, a shepherdess with a lovely singing voice. She agreed to go with him on condition that she would always have a view of the sacred Narmada river, Legend has it that she got her wish at the structure now known as Roopmati Pavilion on top of the hill from where you can sight the river on a clear day. Lower down the slope was the palace of Baz Bahadur – he had a clear view of the pavilion and probably of Roopmati when she visited.
We were meant to wait for our Tempo Traveller transport for a sunrise visit, but when the vehicles were delayed, we set out walking impatiently, and were treated to some lovely village sights of people getting ready for a new day:
Our vehicles arrived just as we made it to the gate of the Pavilion. While they parked, a random car backed into one of the vans, dented the car and injured the driver. They then spent the next 2 hours arguing. We had no choice but to walk down to see the palace. Thankfully, they settled the matter in time to drive us back to the hotel. So much for the love in the air.
The landscape more than made up for these glitches – lush greenery mingling with solid stonework, elegant architecture and a hint of mystery.
There’s romance, but there’s also the practical ‘water’ consideration satisfied by Rewa Kund, a reservoir that supplied water to the buildings here.
Baz Bahadur was devoted to the arts, and probably spent hours gazing at his lady love, but his kingdom suffered attacks from the mighty Mughals. Sadly, when the going got tough, he fled alone, leaving his Rani behind. Bahadur (brave) he was not, and met with an ignominious end, after spending some years as a fugitive.
Roopmati proved to be far more loyal, and killed herself rather than be captured by the enemy.
The guide book from the Archaeological Society of India suggests that, to experience the magical beauty of the place, you should visit on a clear moonlit night. If only they stayed open after sunset… and it wasn’t the middle of the rainy season… and the crowds would magically disappear……….