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Mandu Tourism and Travel Guide


Mandu, known as the "city of joy" has been witness to a long and checkered history peppered with ups and downs.

Reference to Mandu has been made in a Sanskrit inscription ofmandu 555A.D. The inscription suggests that Mandu was a fortified city even in the 6th century. In the 10th and 11th century, it gained prominence under the Parmara rulers who named it MANDAVGARH. In the 13th century the Parmara capital was transferred from Dhar to Mandu. In 1305 however, the Parmara dominance over Mandu ended when the Khiljis conquered it. After the eclipse of the Muslim dominance at the hands of the Mughals, the Afghan governor of Malwa, Dilawar Khan Ghauri, set up Mandu as an independent kingdom. He renamed Mandu, SHADIABAD (City of Joy).

His son Hashang Shah raised Mandu to its greatest splendor. However Hashang Shah’s son who ascended the throne after him was able to rule for only one year before being poisoned by Mohammed Shah who however enjoyed a long reign of 33 years. The reign was long but not peaceful as Malwa was constantly involved in strife with its neighbors. In 1469, Mohammed Shah's son, Ghiyas-ud-din ascended the throne and ruled for 31 years, spending most of his time on women. His son ascended the throne after poisoning his father but he died after ruling Mandu for only 10 years. Therefore Mohammed Shah’s grandson had a brief and unhappy reign and finally in 1526, Bahadur Shah of Gujrat conquered Mandu.

In 1534, Humayun defeated Bahadur Shah but as soon as Humayun left Mandu, it was taken over by an officer of the former dynasty. The fortunes of the rulers of Mandu fluctuated for some time before Baz Bahadur seized power in 1554. But in 1561 he too fled Mandu before Akbar’s troops reached the kingdom and captured it. Finally Mandu passed into the hands of the Marathas in 1732 after the Mughal hold weakened. The capital of Malwa was shifted back to Dhar and Mandu became a ghost town.

Architecturally, Mandu’s buildings are built in the Islamic style. Ornamentation is to the bare minimum. Stones salvaged from desecrated Hindu temples have been used for these buildings.

Menument of Mandu

Attractions in Jabalpur literally cover everything from natural splendors to imposing monuments, from museums to manduhistorically important places. Marble Rocks in the Bhedaghat village turn out to be the biggest tourist puller along with Madan Mahal Fort. Jabalpur is a complete tourist package that mesmerizes one and all who come to this unique city.

Marble Rocks

Just 21 km west of Jabalpur, is a small village called Bhedaghat. The village is world famous for splendid Marble Rocks on the banks of Narmada River. Covered with dark volcanic seams of green and black, they tower to almost 100 ft above the soft flowing Narmada on either side. They are fabulous to look at during the daytime when sun sparkles on the pure white surfaces of these rocks. During the night as well, they give you a mesmerizing view under the moonlit skies. The Marble Rocks have been considered as one of the thousand places that you should see before you die. The best way to enjoy the sheer charm of these rocks is by taking a boat ride in Narmada.

Madan Mahal Fort

Sitting pretty on top of a rocky hill, this 900 year old fort dominates the landscape. A view of the low-lying areas from the fort is scintillating and makes it worth your visit. Madan Mahal fort does not have any fancy artwork or ornamented sculptures, but the location and the simplicity of the fort is spellbinding. The fort was built by Gond king Madan Shah in the year 1116 and since then has become a landmark for Jabalpur City.
Rani Durgavati Memorial and Museum

Rani Durgavati Memorial and Museum was built as a tribute to the legendary Queen Durgavati in the year 1964. The museum houses impressive collection of ancient sculptures, rare manuscripts. There are 10th century statues of Gods and Goddesses in the museum. There is a separate section in the museum that is completely dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. You can see many photos and portraits related to Mahatma Gandhi.

Tilwara Ghat

The Tilwara Ghat holds a special position in Indian History and in the hearts of followers of Mahatma Gandhi. This is the place from where Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were immersed in Narmada River. This is also the venue of the openmandu session of the Tripuri Congress in 1939.


Mandu by Air: Nearest airport is at Indore with Indian Airlines operating flights to Bhopal, Gwalior, Jaipur, Bombay and Delhi.

Mandu by Train: nearest railhead is Indore (99km) which is on a branch rout, while Ratlam which is 124km away is more convenient for outside visitors as it is on the Bombay-Delhi line.

Mandu by Road: Six daily buses from Mandu to Indore (via Dhar) from Indore you have to change at Dhar for Mandu.

Tours MP tourism organizes tours to Mandu from Indore and Ujjain.

Hotels in Mandu

Jhira Bagh Palace