There are a few other places one can drive down from Mandu to see which have a different beauty and charm in itself and are not located too far off from Mandu.
Maheshwar is situated on the banks of the river Narmada in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh which has been mentioned in the epics of Ramayana & Mahabharata. It is located around 40 kms from Mandu city. Maheshwar was a glorious city at the dawn of Indian civilisation which possess a treasure tove of beautiful temples that calms the soul and many man- made creations that pleases the eye. Some of the places one should visit are the Maheshwar Fort, The temples of Maheshwar like Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Ahileshwar Temple, Tilbhandeshwar temple, etc. Maheshwar is also famous for its’ Maheswari sarees, as it is a centre of handloom weaving since the 5th century. A trip to Maheshwar is sure to keep you interested to pick up one of these beautiful sarees.
Indore is the largest city in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is located 85 km from Mandu and it offers a spectacle of majestic palaces co-existing with commercial centres. Apart from being considered as the state’s commercial capital, it is also known for a mouth-watering culinary experience at Sarafa Bazaar. There are also numerous Maratha Era architectural marvels like Lalbagh Palace, Kanch Mandir (Mirror temple), etc. Indore is also the birth-land of the Indore Gharana of the Hindustani Classical music. Indore’s financial district, based in central Indore, functions as the financial capital of Madhya Pradesh and is home to the Madhya Pradesh Stock exchange. Indore was one of the first 20 cities to be developed into a smart city.
3. DHAR FORT
Dhar is a small city located approximately 36 kms away from Mandu. It was the capital of the Dhar princely state as Dharnagar from 1732 and currently the administrative headquarters of Dhar District. The Dhar Fort is a strategic military outpost that used to be a fortified stronghold of every ruling dynasty in Central India as a tribute to their loyalty. Strangely though the construction of the Fort was overseen by Mohammed Bin Tuglaq dynasty, a foreign invader from the 11th century, which was around the same time period as Raja Bhoj’s legendary kingdom flourished. The fort is situated North of Dhar and is constructed out of red sandstone. The architecture of the fort is a combination of Hindu, Mughal and Afghan style which is its’ uniqueness. During the revolt of 1857 in the Great Sepoy Mutiny, this fortress was the stronghold of Indian revolutionaries and as a display of power they had kept it in their possession for four months viz; July to October.
4. BAGH CAVES
The Bagh Caves are a group of nine rock-cut monuments, situated among the southern slopes of the Vindhya mountain range in Bagh town of Dhar District. It is located around 110 kms away from Mandu and 97 kms from Dhar. These are renowned for their mural paintings by master painters of ancient India. These are not really caves as they are not naturally formed but instead are examples of Indian rock-cut architecture. The Bagh Caves were quarried in the 5-6th century AD during the very late stages of Buddhism in India and long after many Indian Buddhist Caves had been built. There are around nine Caves which have ancient paintings that are similar to the paintings of the Ajanta caves.
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