Darya Khan Group, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh (MP)
Darya Khan Group, Mandu, MP
Darya Khan’s Tomb Complex, Hati Mahal and Roja Ki Makbar
Head north wards from the Malwa Resort and about a 100 meters away you will come across a signage of Roja ki Makbar. Leave the main road and take a left turn, follow the dirt road meandering past the giant baobab trees (also read: Baobab Juice in Mandu) towards the Makbar.
The tomb belongs to Khadija Bibi, the only lady sufi saint of Mandu. Although there are a few reference of Khadija Bibi, but nothing much is known about her.
Historians are also not sure about the time period of her preaching. After her death she was cremated inside the tomb.
Roja ki Makbar is a huge square tomb is topped with a proportioned dome. The black stone structure is covered with lime plaster.
The entrance is through a small doorway on the western side. The remaining sides have small windows with red sand stone screens (jali) . The screens provide the only source of illumination inside the tomb, thus it is pitch dark.
There are several graves on the ground, the central one is slightly bigger than the other and probably belongs to the lady sufi saint. It seems an active site with fresh decorated sheets (chadaras) on the grave.
Head back to the many road and continue north wards, a couple of yards is the signage of Hati Mahal or Hati Paga Mahal. Leave the main rood and follow the dirt road on the right, The road meanders past village huts leading to the Hati Mahal.
Hati Mahal, the name apparently may mean an elephant stable, but in reality it was a pleasure palace converted into a mausoleum. The name originates from the massive pillars of the structure, which resembles elephant’s leg.
There are four such pillars in each corner of the rectangular structure. Each of the four sides have two similar pillars in the middle, thus making it a total of 12 elephant leg pillars.
Each of the four sides have triple arched entrances leading to the interiors of tomb and it is crowned with a massive dome.
Unlike the other monuments of Mandu, which are constructed on a high plinth the Hati Mahal is constructed on the ground level.
At the centre of the open courtyard of Hati Mahal stands a lone memorial the actual grave lies in the crypt below. The sealed entrance to the crypt can still be seen to this day. Incidentally Hati Mahal is the only mausoleum in Mandu where the trap door to the crypt is still visible.
A few feet west of the Hati Mahal is a small mosque, crowned with three equal domes. A steep stair case on the southern end leads to the terrace offering grand views of the Darya Khan’s Tomb.
It is again time to retrace your steps back to the main road and just a couple of yards northwards and to the right is the Darya Khan Tomb Complex. It is a walled complex housing the tomb of Darya Khan along with another tomb, a mosque, a sarai (inn) and a small pond.
The Tomb of Darya Khan, an high official in the courts of Mahmud Khalji II, was built in early 16th century. It is further enclosed by a wall, which probably date backs to the time of the tomb.
Although built of red sandstone Darya Khan’s Tomb has remarkable resemblance with the marble mausoleum of Hoshang Shah’s Tomb in the nearby Central Group of Mandu.
The four sides contain relief arches with the doorways on the eastern and southern side. The other two sides contain sandstone screen (jali) but the lack the intricacy of those of the Hoshang Shah’s Tomb. (see: screen of Hoshang Shah’s Tomb).
The interior contains three graves, the large central one belongs to Datya Khan the occupants of the other graves are not known. In fact these are false graves, the original ones lies in the crypt, embedded in the platform. Unlike the Hati Mahal the entrance to the crypt can no longer be traced.
To the north west of the Darya Khan Tomb lies a unknown tomb and the Darya Khan’s Mosque.
The unknown tomb consists on a rectangular structure with a triple arched entrance and topped with a large central dome. On the four corners are domes which are slightly smaller in size. The central dome is plane, while those on the corner have vertical ridges.
Darya Khan’s Mosque is located a couple of feet south west of the unknown tomb. As usual the mosque faces east and is approached by a series of arched gateways. The flat roof is topped with a huge dome in the centre and the northern and southern ends of the terrace are each flanked with three smaller domes.
Adjoining to the southern wall of Darya Khan’s Tomb is a small brick lined pond called Somvati Kund. A few steps to the south west is the Lal Sarai (Sarai means inn). For centuries Mandu has been an important trading centre welcoming traders from all over the world. Thus the inns have been an integral part of Mandu.
Lal Sari is one of the prominent inns of Mandu, although much smaller than the famed Caravan Sarai in Sagar Talao Group. Large portions of Lal Sarai have crumbled to dust and its roof has long collapsed. But the ruins of the rooms. with arched gateways, surrounding a open courtyard, reminds one of the golden days of the Citadel of Mandu.
Best Time to visit: Apart from the scorching summer Mandu can be visited throughout the year but monsoon is the bet time to explore the enchanting ruins and natural landscapes of Mandu
- Mandu (Bengali) by Prasenjit Dasgupta (a special thanks to Prasenjit da for his help and cooperation)
- Mandu, Archeological Survey of India (ASI)
- Mnadu Travel Guide, Good Earth
Note: This trip was part of a FAM (Familiarization) trip of Hanuwantiya (Jal Mahotsav), Omkareshwar, Maheshwar and Mandu. Special Thanks to:
- Abhijit Dhar, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC), Kolkata
- My fellow FAM participants Uttara Gangopadhyay, Soumya Mukherjee amd Ishandev Chatterjee