Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati: A tragic love story of Mandu

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Baaz Bahudar &  Roopmati is a far-famed epic love story that is felt- every time you walk around Mandu. A little magic in this love story falls out from the ruins. And I wished to unfold this eternal love story by visiting the Fort-city. The following morning, we started late, as the only final category was left to be explored- The Rewa group of monuments.

Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati: A tragic love story of Mandu
Reeva Monuments

Baz Bahadur, son of Shujaat Khan, won the throne after his death. But Baz Bahadur stayed away from military conflicts after his shameful defeat at the hands of Rani Durgavati of Gondwana. He dedicated himself to music & dance, from where the fabled love story of  Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati, his favourite consort – a beautiful Hindu poet & singer evolves. The tragic love story is the theme of Malwa Folk songs & lingers over the beautiful architecture in Mandu.

Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati: A tragic love story of Mandu

The following morning, we started late, as the only final category was left to be explored- The Rewa group of monuments. After breakfast, we set forth toward our destination. While walking past the village monument group, I could only see a stretch of green farmland. My guide pointed out among those farms stand-alone a round domed palace called Hathi Mahal, the tomb of Darya Khan. It is a Sarai and a mausoleum, initially constructed as a pleasure resort. I was amused by the name- Hathi Mahal, I asked my guide what the reason behind the word was, and then he pointed at its disproportionately large pillars.

Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati: A tragic love story of Mandu
Echo Point

Interesting! There is an Echo Point little ahead of the tomb; probably, the army used to convey information. Just scream out your lungs, standing here; the valley will echo back to you. Further down near the Sagar Talao are a few ruins structures. The Malik Mughith Mosque, built-in 1432, stands at the entryway of the Talao; opposite it is the Caravan Sarai. Eventually, we reached the Rewa Kund. The place has an earthy rustic fragrance, and the cool breeze from the Kund & the floating clouds above; made it mystical and romantic. You can hear the ballad of the everlasting love story in the air, & their musical soirees linger over the monuments.

Malik  Mughith Mosque

Baz Bahadur Palace: 

It is situated near the Rewa Kund, and while you enter the palace, there is an inscription at the entrance, which states the castle was built in 1508 AD by Naseeruddin. The architecture has a blend of Hindu-Islamic style and is a well-designed structure. I caught a few steps while entering the palace and saw huge halls, humongous rooms, and a large open court. It is spectacular architecture with a spacious courtyard encircled by galleries and a water tank in the middle. Still, the significant part is it’s built so that the acoustics reverberate around the place.

Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati: A tragic love story of Mandu
Baz Bahadur Palace

Our guide sang a song to explain that a sound recording studio is not required. The palace has all the capabilities of a studio, including noise cancellation. This palace has hosted performances by dancers, noble courtesans, and other artists. I was astounded. A narrow stairway leads to the terrace. While walking around the yard, I was amazed to see water channels connected to collect rainwater and the lovely overlooking view of the surroundings and the palace lawns.

Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati: A tragic love story of Mandu
ASI History

Reva Kund:

The Kund has a history of its own. A flok story recites once thick monsoon clouds hovered over mandu, depriving Rani Roopmati of the glimpse of the Narmada from her Pavilion. But one beautiful night, she gets a divine dream the waters of Narmada were also present in a nearby pond, thus naming it Rewa Kund. Baz Bahadur’s Palace gets water supplied through an aqueduct from this Kund. People regard it as a pilgrimage site; I saw them taking baths and sitting in the halls with arched openings still facing the palace. Another new version of Rewa Kund was that; it was constructed to store Narmada water at the request of Roopmati by Baz Bahadur.

Reva Kund

Since Baz Bahadur was smitten by the rare charm and beauty of his Lady, he persuaded her to come with him to Mandu with the assurance that the sight of the Narmada River every day would be fulfilled. We took a break for lunch, & decided to meet around 4 pm at the Roopmati Pavillion to enjoy the beautiful sunset.

Roopmati Pavillion:

 A large sandstone structure perched on the peak of a hillock.was initially built as an army observation post. Subsequently known as Roopmati Pavilion overlooking the Nimar valley, Rani Roopmati would gaze at the distant glint of the Narmada from this Pavilion. She began her day after a Darshan of the sacred river as an ardent worshipper of the Narmada river. Though I could not view the holy Narmada, which is 26 KM away, unlike Rani Roopmati, the view was fascinating hills, valleys, plateaus, and forests.

Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati: A tragic love story of Mandu
Roopmati Pavillon

The architecture is a Baradari structure with twelve doors designed to allow the free flow of air. A Baradari structure generally has three doors on every side of the square-shaped form, known for its outstanding acoustic features. Various skilful techniques were employed in the palace, like using charcoal through different channels for rainwater harvesting and purification systems.

Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati: A tragic love story of Mandu

Rani Roopmati was a great poetess, composer, reciter, singer, and skilful rider. And the holy Narmada inspired her. Baaz Bahudar &  Roopmati is an epic love story that revolves around her beauty and enchanting voice. But the love story ended badly when Adham Khan attacked Mandu. It is believed Roopmati was captured. And she poisoned herself to avoid any lusty advances from Adham Khan. At the same time, Baz Bahadur submitted himself to Akbar in 1571 AD. And was graciously received and brought up to the rank and honour.

Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati: A tragic love story of Mandu
Rear View of Roopmati Pavillon

While sitting on the patio of the palace, looking at the setting sun, colour-changing sky, and cool flowing breeze. I felt to stop & bask in the beauty of the place. I do not recollect how long I sat there in silence. But by the time we returned to our hotel, it was late evening. After a quick dinner drifted off to sleep thinking of Baaz Bahudar &  Roopmati.

Baaz Bahudar & Roopmati: A tragic love story of Mandu

We can come to the end of our trip; I had a late flight back home. We were advised to visit the Bagh caves- famous for wall painting & Maheshwar- the historic town of Rajmata Ahilya Devi Holkar. But also asked to visit Neelkanth temple, which offers picturesque views of the western side. So we started early morning; upon reaching Neelkanth Temple, the steep stairs caught my attention, but as I climbed down the fabulous mountain location, overlooking steep valleys could be seen.

NeelKanth Temple

It’s an old shrine, destroyed to make way for a pleasure house by a governor of the Mughal emperor in 1574 AD. What now stands is an Islamic structure of the 16th century in red sandstone. There is a pond in front to store water, & temple is functional. I offered my prayers & drove off towards Dhar. Mandu is a magical place, and it reminded me of the lines said by Aristotle -“Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.”

How to reach:

 By Air:

The nearest airport, Indore, is from Mandu, 94 km away. This airport is connected to many cities in India.

 By Rail:

The Patal Pani is the nearest Railway Station at a distance of 43 kilometres from Indore, which is well connected with other major cities.

 By Road:

 Several cab services that connect Mandu plies on frequent, 94 km from Indore. You can drive too, and the distance is 858.5km from Gurgaon.



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