A short trip to Mandu – II

The next day when I opened my eyes, I noticed that Papa and Mummy were not there and Chhoti Nani was with us. Nani told me that Papa, Mummy and Nikki Mama have gone for cycling. Tanmay and Nani were sleeping but I was not feeling sleepy anymore. I tried to sleep but it was better when Tanmay and Nani also woke up.

Soon Papa, Mummy and Nikki Mama also returned.

My impression of Mandu in water colors

Malwa resort was very beautiful. After getting ready I climbed on a tree in front of our room. Tanmay, Mummy and Nikki Mama also joined me there. It was a bit scary climbing on the tree but after climbing to the top I did not fear at all. It was fun sitting there, looking at the nearby lake.

Sitting on the tree

After that we walked to the reception cum restaurant to eat our breakfast. In front of the reception there was a park, a lake and a walking trek over it. Lake was not full. Till the breakfast came, Tanmay and I went to the park. We enjoyed playing there and throwing stones in the lake.

Walking trek on the lake

Walking and sitting on the trek on the lake was so pleasing that after breakfast all of us spent good amount of time on that trek. Tanmay and I took Papa along with us to the far end of the trek and threw stones from there.

It felt nice to sit in a shed on the trek and watching the lake from there.

By that time, the taxi came and we left for Malwa Retreat. Tanmay, Nani and I sat in the car. Papa, Mummy and Nikki Mama decided to come by cycling. Malwa Retreat was not far from Malwa Resort and within ten minutes we were there. I did not find Malwa Retreat as good as the Malwa Resort.

Tanmay, I and Nani waited at the reception of Malwa Retreat. When the driver also came in, Nani said to me, “Go outside and look after the luggage.” When I went outside, driver also came out. Then I came inside and he also came in after me. After that I did not go outside anymore. When Papa-Mummy arrived, they found that the luggage was left unattended on the road.

The rooms were then allotted to us. One room was on the first floor and the other was on the ground floor. I was the first one to explore both the rooms. After looking at the rooms, I looked at its back portion. Alas! From there I could not see a river or a lake; only a small water fall was visible. I was disappointed. I wished we could have stayed longer in the Malwa Resort. It was a better place and I enjoyed living in its cottages. The views from the rooms in Malwa Resort were amazing. The Malwa Retreat was only a concrete building. Its views were not good as well. Among the two rooms I chose the first floor room.

A small waterfall behind our room

We had decided to go to Maheshwar in the afternoon. The first driver who came to take us was having an eye-flu. So we sent him back. Then another driver came and we went with him to see the vast expanse of the Narmada River at Maheshwar. After driving for a while we came to the Sonagarh Fort. From there we could see two big water bodies and it was green all over. We were getting late so we spend very less time there and drove ahead.

The entrance of the Songarh Fort
Two big water bodies visible from the Songarh Fort

After driving for about an hour we were on a road which had lots of stone. It was possible for any vehicle to easily get punctured. We drove slowly on it and luckily our vehicle did not get puncture. Soon the road was good again. After a while, I saw biggest puddle that I had ever seen. There were farms all along the road. In between the farms, I saw a river type thing, in which water was fiercely flowing. It cannot be a river as it was very narrow. It was a canal.

We reached Maheshwar in around an hour and a half. The driver told us the way where we could go for boating. We walked that way and reached Ghats of the Narmada river. Ghat means the stairs leading to the river. I think Narmada is the longest river I ever saw. At that time I also thought that it would have been very nice if my hotel would be on the Ghat or in the water. It was pleasant looking at the water.

The Ghats of Maheshwar

I said, “We will sit in a motor boat.” But against my wishes we sat on a rowing boat because the motor boat was very polluting and very noisy. I spotted a temple in the middle of the river. I wanted to go there. Motor boats were going there. For a rowing boat it was far.

Motor boat – I wish I could take a ride in it

The river was very deep in the middle. The boatman told us that just after the banks river becomes very deep. In the middle, he showed us that how his long row stick had gone inside the river without even touching the bottom.

The rowing boat

It was getting late, so after boating we returned fast to our car and drove back. Soon it was dark and we were driving in the dark. While coming back to Mandu we had to climb the mountain. It was very foggy there. Soon we were in the midst of clouds. Somehow we made safely through that misty-foggy dark way and reached our accommodation, the Malwa Retreat.

We were so tired that Tanmay, Nani and me ate our dinner in the room. While taking our dinner we watched BBC’s Planet Earth on Nikki Mama’s Laptop. I enjoyed it a lot.

And then when papa, Mummy also returned after taking their dinner we went to our room and I slept.

Next morning, I woke up early because I had to go cycling with Papa, Mummy and Nikki Mama. Everyone was ready by 6’o clock. We took our cycles and started cycling. I was sitting behind Nikki Mama. After a while, we crossed Ujali Baodi and in no time we were at Delhi Gate.

We stopped, parked our cycles and went down to see the way to the fort walls. There was none. We thought that climbing the walls was the only way. We all started climbing the wall. First Nikki Mama climbed the wall, then I, then Mummy and then Papa. Mummy had some difficulty to climb up but finally she could come up.

Climbing up the walls of Mandu

The view from there was wonderful. Papa told me that most of the attacks on Mandu were from Delhi Gate. From there the surrounding area was looking very green and at the bottom of the mountains there was a huge water body. Then someone came and told us the stairs to go to the fort walls.

On the ruins of wall near Delhi Gate
Mandu looked as beautiful as Switzerland from there

The real way was hidden but was much easy. There were stairs to go up. There were some side stairs that led to somewhere inside the monument. I don’t know where they were going. Nikki Mama went inside and there he saw many bats. He came out very quickly.

Then we went up and it was … well! Green, green and green.

After spending some time there we cycled to Ujali Baodi. There was a big tank filled with water. From there we walked to “GadaShah’s Dukaan”. It was huge. I had never seen such a tall building before. It was made up with huge arches. Those arches impressed me. Then I noticed Nikki Mama sitting somewhere on a top. I also went up and there I saw stairs to go further up. From there I had lovely views of Jahaz Mahal.

Roaming around Ujali baoli
Climbing atop Gada Shah’s shop

After spending a good amount of time at Gada Shah’s Dukaan we came back and cycled back to the hotel. Mummy wanted Nani to see Delhi Gate and Gada Shah’s Dukaan. When Vishwanath Uncle arrived Nani and Nikki Mama went with him. I also joined them because I wanted to see Gada Shah’s Dukaan again. I liked its arches.

This time at Delhi Gate we did not climbed the wall. We went straight to the top through the right way. We went up, saw it once and came down again. We again went to Ujali Baodi and then to Gada Shah’s Dukaan. It was a lovely time.

We returned and directly went to the Jami Masjid. It had dome shaped roofs. There I saw a place where King used to sit. Our guide told that Jami Masjid was the third largest mosque in India. From Jami Masjid we went to Hoshang Shah’s tomb. It was white in color. On the side of the tomb there were many pillars and in the last line we could see pillars with elephant carved on them. Inside the tomb we noticed that our voice was echoing.

Jami masjid
Inside the Jami Masjid
Hoshang Shaha’s tomb

From there we went to Ashrafi Mahal. Guide Uncle told us that a King hated fat women. If any one of her queen was fat she had to climb the stairs. They could not jump, miss any stair, or take two steps on any one stair. I tried to do it. I started running with my full speed. But in the end I could not climb the last or the second last stair. I wondered how any fat woman could climb up and down in that manner!

The Asharfi Mahal

On one side of the Ashrafi Mahal there was a victory tower built by Mahmud Khilji. It was a seven storey tower but now not even a full one-storey tower has remained. Mahmud Khilji had built this tower for the victory on Rana Kumbha and Rana Kumbha had built Vijaystambh for the victory on Mahmud Khilji. What a confusion between these two kings!

I am standing on the 1 – storey victory tower

After the visit to Ashrafi Mahal we started our return journey to Indore. I had visited too many monuments in these two days – Jahaz Mahal, Jahangir’s Palace, Jal-Mahal, Baaz Bahadur’s Palace, Rani Roopmati’s Palace, Delhi Gate, Ujali Baodi, Gada Shah’s Dukaan, Jami Masjid, Ashrafi Mahal and victory tower. I also enjoyed the drive to Maheshwar, boating in the Narmada River and of course cycling in Mandu.


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