Charming Chanderi – of Baiju Bawra, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and 1200 Baoli

All you knew about Chanderi was that it is famous for its namesake sarees and possibly the presence of a fort in the town. You always had a feeling that there was something more to the place. The past year has been lucky as you have been getting chances to visit places that you had always dreamed about – Hampi, Mandu, beaches on East Coast, temples of Northern Karnataka. And pretty soon enough another dream of Chanderi visit started crystallising – though it would need some planning and some luck. Getting to Chanderi could get tricky as the launching pad will have to be Lalitpur in the badlands of UP’s Bundelkhand. The nearest railhead Lalitpur falls on the Delhi-Bhopal rail section and quite a few superfast trains stop here. A few calls to old friends and there was a car waiting at the station. In the meantime some research had started revealing that Chanderi was another jewel box among many in MP just waiting to bedazzle you.

The road stretch from Lalitpur to MP border will unhinge your joints. You cross into Ashoknagar district of MP over the downstream water channel of the Rajghat Dam. In rains water flows over the causeway. The landscape turns pretty with Vindhyachal hills and intermittent lakes making their entry. The early rains have made the hills lush with greenery. The beauty was enough for Babur to go ga-ga in his memoirs Babur Nama. The road after crossing into MP is a breeze and soon you see signs of the local Municipal Corporation welcoming you to the historic city of Chanderi. You are surprised to find the town clean with good roads and amazing signs for the tourists. Just looking at the densely packed attractions on the map confirms that Chanderi indeed is brimming with all kinds of monuments – tombs, mosques, gateways, palaces, temples and innumerable baolis.

Chanderi lies at the edge of Malwa Plateau and Bundelkhand and was strategically located on major trade routes of Central India and also on the routes to Malwa, Mewar and Deccan. Chanderi provided a launchpad as a military outpost from where campaigns in Deccan could be launched. And so Chanderi attracted all major powers from Pratihars in 11th century to Delhi Sultanate, Mughals, Bundels, Scindias and British fascinated with the city with abundance of water, forests and fertile land.

Chanderi finds mention in Mahabharat when Shishupal ruled Chaidnagar or Chanderi. Chanderi’s documented history goes back to the 11th century when it was ruled by Pratihars. Later it changed hands from Delhi Sultanate’s Balban to Alauddin Khilji. Ibn-Battutah with his shoe tucked under his arm came visiting the town on his way to Malabar where he had to take the ship to China under Mohd-bin-Tughlaq’s order in 1342. He was suitably impressed with the economic prosperity and cultural splendour of the city.

As Delhi Sultanate’s power waned in the aftermath of Timur’s invasion, Malwa Sultanate rose ruling initially from Mandu and then later from Chanderi. Most of the construction in Chanderi happened during this era. Chanderi as a trophy kept changing hands from Rana Sanga of Chittor to Babur and then to Sher Shah Suri. In 16th century Chanderi passed into hands of Akbar. According to Abul Fazal, the author of Akbarnama, it is said that at this time the city’s population was 50000, with 14000 stone houses, 61 palaces, 380 markets, 360 caravan sarais, 1200 mosques and 1200 baolis. Later Bundelas held Chanderi after which Scindias took over. Chanderi played an important role during the 1857 uprising. During the war its population was reduced to about 2000 people and later Chanderi passed into British hands.

Chanderi Fort - Battlements & Navkhand Palace

Chanderi Fort – Battlements & Navkhand Palace



Chanderi Fort - Way to Khooni Darwaza

Chanderi Fort – Way to Khooni Darwaza

The first stop is the Chanderi Fort or the Kirti Durg built on the Chandergiri hill. The fort was built by the Pratihar King Kirti Pal in the 11th century after moving from the earlier capital of Budhi Chanderi or Old Chanderi 18 kms away. Later Khilji, Babur and Bundels added their own contributions to the fort. On the west is the Khooni Darwaja. It is said Malwa Sultans would throw prisoners down the gate and hang their bodies here and later during Babur’s invasion blood practically flowed through the gate.

Chanderi Fort - Navkhand Palace Courtyard with Fountain & Tank

Chanderi Fort – Navkhand Palace Courtyard with Fountain & Tank

Naukhand Palace - Before and After Restoration

Naukhand Palace – Before and After Restoration

The most prominent structure in the fort is the Navkhand Mahal built by the later Bundel king Durjan Singh in probably 16th or 17th century. The three storey palace is guarded by high walls and bastions with watch towers. The central courtyard has a tank and fountain. Photos exhibited inside the palace show the great work undertaken by ASI in restoring the ruined palace to its original splendour. An appreciation mail has been duly sent to the Bhopal ASI circle.

Chanderi Fort - Mosque Mihrab

Chanderi Fort – Mosque Mihrab

Next to the palace is the mosque built by Khilji. The mihrab has amazing stone carvings. There is a balcony beyond possibly called Hawa Paur that gives a breezy look of the city below.

Chanderi Fort - Baiju Bawra Memorial

Chanderi Fort – Baiju Bawra Memorial

The first of the many surprises is the memorial to Baiju Bawra built in the fort premises. You remember Bharat Bhushan playing the titular role in the movie Baiju Bawra during the early days of Doordarshan. It then seemed that the movie crawled from one song to another but it was Baiju Bawra who was lighting oil lamps, making rain fall and bloom flowers by singing different Raags. Baiju Bawra or Baijnath Prasad (1542 – 1613) was a musician in the court of Raja of Chanderi and later in the court of Raja Man Singh of Gwalior. He was a contemporary of Tansen and was crazily in love with a local dancer earning the epithet of Bawra. Later he defeated Tansen in a competition in the Mughal Court. Baiju was born here and died here in Chanderi.

Next to the memorial is the Johar Smarak dedicated to the women who immolated themselves as men left to fight the last battle with Babur in 1528. To the North of the fort is the most revered Shri Jageshwari Temple built by King Kirtipal to thank Goddess Jageshwari for curing him of his disease.

Chanderi - View of City from Chanderi Fort

Chanderi – View of City from Chanderi Fort

From the ramparts you can see the town rolling out to the east. Everywhere you see is baolis, havelis and chattris. It seems like a miniature Mandu is unfolding before your eyes. Hypothalamus is pumping endorphins into your blood stream. You have felt that before – it is time to hit the town.

Chanderi - Badal Mahal with the Fort as Backdrop

Chanderi – Badal Mahal with the Fort as Backdrop

Badal Mahal - Lotus Medallions, Ogee Arches and Jaalis

Badal Mahal – Lotus Medallions, Ogee Arches and Jaalis

You drive down the fort and see a complex guarded by outer fort bastioned walls. Inside surrounded by immaculate lawns rises Chanderi’s most defining Badal Mahal against the backdrop of the fort. The two ogee arched gate with tapering turrets on each side glints like gold in the afternoon sun. The gate is crowned with finely carved stone lattices. The 15 m high gate was built in 1450 by Malwa Sultan Mahmud Shah Khilji probably to commemorate some special occasion as there is no palace around. Ogee arches and carved lattices are a common theme in Chanderi’s monuments.

Jama Masjid - Extravagant Carving on the entrance to Chanderi Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid – Extravagant Carving on the entrance to Chanderi Jama Masjid

Chanderi - Jama Masjid's Prayer Hall with Mihrabs and Minbar

Chanderi – Jama Masjid’s Prayer Hall with Mihrabs and Minbar

Chanderi - Jama Masjid Courtyard with Serpentine Struts

Chanderi – Jama Masjid Courtyard with Serpentine Struts

Just opposite the Badal Mahal is the Jama Masjid. The mosque was built by Delhi Sultanate’s Naib Balban to celebrate taking over of Chanderi in 1251. In proportions the mosque matches the smaller little known mosques in Delhi like Qudsia Mosque, Mohammadwali Mosque and Masjid Moth. The entrance of the mosque built later in the 15th century is lavishly carved. Three domes rise on the top. The Qibla wall has twelve mihrabs and minbar (pulpit) from where khutbah (sermon) was read on Fridays and special occasions. The Jama Masjid boasts of the unique Chanderi architectural element – the serpentine brackets or corbels supporting the chajja or eaves above. Just below the chajja are ogee arches curving like the letter S.

Mazar Khandan-e-Nizamuddin

Mazar Khandan-e-Nizamuddin

Chanderi - Exquisite Jaali Screens at Nizamuddin Complex

Chanderi – Exquisite Jaali Screens at Nizamuddin Complex

Chanderi - Mitsubishi Screen Panel at Nizamuddin Mazar

Chanderi – Mitsubishi Screen Panel at Nizamuddin Mazar

Nizamuddin Mazar at Chanderi - A Carved Mihrab

Nizamuddin Mazar at Chanderi – A Carved Mihrab

Nizamuddin Mazar - Amazing Geometric Patterns on Jaali Screens

Nizamuddin Mazar – Amazing Geometric Patterns on Jaali Screens

A little walk away brings you to the biggest stone carved surprise called Mazar Khandan-e-Nizamuddin. The grave complex was built in 1425 during the time of Malwa Sultan Hoshang Shah. The complex has some of the most eye popping stone carvings ever seen in your visits to tombs. If the Jamali Kamali Tomb in Mehrauli Archaeological Park and Ahmad Shah Tomb in Bidar dazzled you with their colours, this complex will overpower you with the innate beauty of carvings. The complex contains graves of disciples and family members of Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya. Some graves lie in the open while some are ensconced in enclosures. The black stone graves with motifs; enclosure walls with intricate lattice work; mihrabs with signature ogee arches; all combine to exhilarate you. You wish you could just sit here all afternoon soaking in the stone lyrics and at the same time being bewildered by the surprises India’s heritage keeps springing on you. But you wrench yourself away – there is so much more to see.

Parmeshwar Tal and Laxman Temple

Parmeshwar Tal and Laxman Temple

Chanderi - Bundel Kings Chattris

Chanderi – Bundel Kings Chattris

Parmeshwar Tal is a short drive away. A friendly local is accompanying you as a guide. It is believed that Kirti Pal the founder of Chanderi was cured of a disease, possibly leprosy, when he took bath here. On the western edge is the white Laxman Temple. The eastern edge of the tal has two imposing but disintegrating chattris belonging to Bundel kings. The fields around have more chattris or open pavilions. One pavilion has a tree growing on its roof.

Shahzadi ka Rauza - Doomed Love

Shahzadi ka Rauza – Doomed Love

Shahzadi ka Rauza - Beautiful Serpentine Brackets

Shahzadi ka Rauza – Beautiful Serpentine Brackets

Shahzadi ka Rouza - Chamber with Pretty Arches and Squinch

Shahzadi ka Rouza – Chamber with Pretty Arches and Squinch

Chanderi Architectural Elements - Jaali, Ogee Arches and Serpentine Struts

Chanderi Architectural Elements – Jaali, Ogee Arches and Serpentine Struts

A paved walkway on the north through fields brings you to another Chanderi gem – the pretty and desolate Shahzadi ka Rauza or Tomb of the Princess. The rauza was probably built in the 15th century and is believed to house the graves of a grieving princess and her doomed commoner lover. The square building has two levels of chajjas supported by exquisitely carved serpentine brackets or struts. R. Nath describes the serpentine brackets as slender hands of a fair damsel supporting a purna kalasa. To him, the brackets look like hair curls falling on a fair face! Outside on the frieze you can see traces of glazed tiles. The dome has collapsed and only one chattri of the possible four survives. Inside there is single level chamber with two graves in the centre; again lavishly carved. The sombre tomb sitting alone among green fields reflects the mood of the circumstances of its construction.

Chanderi - Bada Madarsa

Chanderi – Bada Madarsa

Bada Madarsa - Exquisite Jaalis

Bada Madarsa – Exquisite Jaalis

Bada Madarsa - Black Stone Carved Gravestones

Bada Madarsa – Black Stone Carved Gravestones

Just off the new bypass road to Pichore is the Bada Madrasa or Shahi Madrasa. The so called madrasa was built in the 15th century. The monument cannot be a madrasa since there are two heavily carved cenotaphs inside. The chamber is square with the dome missing again. Remnants of four smaller surrounding domes are seen on the top. As in other monuments there is a profusion of carved lattices on all sides of the chamber. Outside a pillared colonnade runs on all four sides.

Chanderi The Overflowing Battisi Baoli - Courtesy-Vipin Gaur

Chanderi The Overflowing Battisi Baoli – Courtesy-Vipin Gaur

Chanderi is known for its baolis. It is said that once there were 1200 baolis for each of the town’s mosques. As Chanderi flourished and its population grew, there was a need for water sources and hence the proliferation of baolis across the town. Exploring the major baolis can take an entire day. The most magnificent is the Battisi Baoli few kms from the Bada Madrasa. The baoli is four storeys deep and has thirty two steps leading to the water and hence its name.

Koshak Mahal - Entrance Gateway

Koshak Mahal – Entrance Gateway

Chanderi - The Imposing Koshak Mahal

Chanderi – The Imposing Koshak Mahal

Kushk Mahal - Magnificient Arches

Kushk Mahal – Magnificient Arches

Koshak Mahal - One Quadrant of the Palace

Koshak Mahal – One Quadrant of the Palace

On the south-western end of the town just beyond the museum rises the imposing Koshak Mahal or the Koshak-i-Haft Manzil, the palace of seven storeys. The enormous proportions of the palace blow you over. The edifice looks truly majestic and looks fresh as if built yesterday. The huge blocks of buff sandstones remind you of similar stones used in India Gate. In fact the palace was built in 1445 by Malwa Sultan Mahmud Shah Khilji probably dedicated to his wife Koshak on the birth of their child. It is said that originally it was a seven storey building but today only three and incomplete fourth storeys survive. The palace looks splendid situated at the end of green lawns; almost as if a castle in an English countryside setting. Workers are hunched over to sweep away leaves from the stone platform. All monuments here in Chanderi are pampered by the dedicated workforce. The palace is made up of four square blocks all interconnected with towering arched passages. Each floor has series of arched doorways opening into the passage inside. You have not seen anything like this before. You just can’t help being in awe of the architect and his master. Percy Brown describes it as the most vigorous architectural treatment of Malwa style. Bold sweeping arches, niches and balconies all combine to produce a true architectural masterpiece.

Chanderi - Attractions Map

Chanderi – Attractions Map

It is dusk when you bid goodbye to Chanderi and it turns dark when you reach the Lalitpur station. There is a train pulling away – which one you don’t know – presumably to Jhansi two hours away. You are still in Chanderi reverie and do not care. You have just spent four hours in Chanderi and have barely scratched the surface. You missed seeing the Kati Ghati, the baolis, the crumbling havelis, the Bundel palaces, even older Buddhi Chanderi, Jain temples and remnants of ancient temples spread all across the hills and woods. Chanderi deserves another trip and busloads of tourists. Things are already looking up after your visit. Since Sep 21st 2013 Shatabdi Express is stopping at Lalitpur to give the town easy reach for some tourism impetus. But then you are not sure if it is the absence of tourists that lends the old world charm to Chanderi.

Come to Chanderi if you want to fall in love with India’s history and its offerings. You know you will be back for Chanderi’s charms.

Getting There – Chanderi is 36 kms west of Lalitpur, the nearest rail head. Chanderi has a MP Tourism hotel and few other budget hotels. With its dazzling monuments and culture, Chanderi deserves at least two days to explore the monuments and spend time with the weavers spinning the exquisite sarees. To see the neighbouring temple ruins and Old Chanderi, it might need a couple of days more. All monuments are unticketed and are lovingly cared for by an army of attendants, gardeners and workers. When in Chanderi, try to get hold of Muzaffar Ahmad Ansari aka Kalley Bhai (9425381065), tourist guide, who is the authority on Chanderi, its history and who continues to discover temple ruins in the vicinity.

38 Comments

  • As usual very Informative post , but not able to see the pics.

  • Nirdesh Ji..Thanks for sharing informative Post..
    Pictures are not loaded. Pls take up the issue with editors Team.
    waiting for pictures…

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Hi Naresh,

      Now another destination for your next trip to MP – apart from Maheshwar and Mandu.

      Pictures are all loaded up so do visit again!

      You can come to Chanderi to visit the neighborhood temples – both Jain and Hindu – which can be a follow up to this post. Mandu is well known but it is time for Chanderi to take some spotlight. I dont think even MP tourism in their ads mention Chanderi.

      Thanks for the appreciation!

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Folks – I am fixing the pics part. Sorry for ruining the experience. Charm of Chanderi would return shortly. Be around. (bane rahein)

  • Avtar Singh says:

    Hi Nirdesh sir

    This can not be just a Ghumakkar’s post. Undoubtedly its an account of our own history, our heritage and still we are unaware of it, thanx to our modern educational system through which we study history through the eyes of British historians.

    Sir, your posts are like an article in a history journal or a research paper and we read it in that spirit Great post with excellent narration…

    Sir pics duped us this time, the only concern….

    Thanx for sharing.eem like a histo

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Hi Avtarji,

      Please come back for the photos!

      Lately I have fallen in love wth history and all things historical and therefore the posts I really enjoy writing are soaked in history. Yes it does take a little research and maybe buying books so that the accounts are kind of authenticated and cross checked.

      And Chanderi is one big unexplored surprise which rightly deserves a visit of two days at least.

      Thanks for the continuous encouragment!

      • Avtar Singh says:

        Really great Nirdesh sir, already read and saw post atleast 3-4 times. pics are just amazing. Hats off to you for exploring such sites. Thanx for sjaring.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    What do you do when you are not reading R Nath and Percy, and not amid labyrinth of forts ? May be write these super rich, well researched log. How do you get the time (and the morphins) ? Visiting Chanderi for a less than a day and producing this kind of work is an exception.

    I am feeling ashamed to admit that I actually stayed there for the night. The group had less interest in forts so after ticking the bigger item numbers like Badal Mahal and forts, we decided to explore the alleys and the craftsman. We spent almost entire evening in the ghettos of these craftsman looking at looms, saris after saris under dim lights of fluorescent bulbs, picking many more than what we could ever consume, haggling at times but always treated like long-lost relatives. It was quite an experience. From outside, it was difficult to imagine that such large, bubbling world existed behind that outer facade of so called chanderi-market.

    And all these years, I was feeling so good of being able to do all that. You just trashed all of that, all in a matter of few thousand words. Glad that Shatabdi stops there now. Chanderi, I need more of you.

    If at all it helps to bring back some (already lost) respect, I did drive from Chanderi to Mandu in my trusted Mahindra.

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Hi Nandan,

      What can I do if Vipin brings me a book (R Nath) from his more relaxed visit to Chanderi – I have to read it. Though I want to read Cunningham and Percy in the near future. Your gifted book is still waiting to be read!

      I wish I could get more time when I am in a treasure box like Chanderi – so I have to really huff and puff and literally run. The funny thing happens when you photograph a monument and it turns out the setting was wrong and then you have to again run back – like it happened at Shahzadi ka Rouza. What really sucks is you take photos from all concievable angles and then after you are back home you see one photo on flickr and of course taken from an angle you totally missed. So the morphins keep flowing and four hours is the limit before Vit B deficiency starts hitting the muscles!

      What do you mean – exploring the alleys and spending time with the weavers is the next best thing to do here in Chanderi. Next time I plan to do that. Every experience is different and we will love to read your account with the weavers.

      Yes Chanderi is a surprise. It is almost cutoff from all sides. But inside the town there is a nice kind of vibe. People are nice. I have never seen such well maintained group of monuments anywhere. Workers hunched over picking blades of grass at Koshak Mahal. It seems the community owns the monuments. The absence of typical tourist place paraphernalia I guess gives the town that laid back charm which I would hate if that changes with perhaps better connectivity.

      Everyone needs a little of Chanderi!

      Thanks for reading and taking time out to write the wonderful comment.

  • Naturebuff says:

    Hi Nirdesh!

    Totally awesome post!! I did read it in the morning but couldn’t spare the time for a comment. I’m happy that I came back because the photos have just lifted your post to an entirely new level. I agree with the earlier comments that this post is more like a research paper or a thesis but a whole lot more enjoyable due to the human element in it!

    I have seen a bit of MP but was not aware that this place even existed (as a historical site!)! I have always loved Mandu, Khajuraho and Gwalior, and Bandavgarh and Kanha, even Bhimbetka. This place will be top of the must do list…..

    Love your style of writing and the way you take the reader along… in fact I wont be surprised if you have converted some non-historical-site-visitors into enthusiasts! A great way to learn about the rich history of our country. Kudos to this effort and hope you will take us through more such places :-)

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Hi Naturebuff,

      Thanks for all the praise – largely unwarranted.

      Chanderi does cast a spell on you and I am hoping to be back there and this time with some time on my hands. And when you see all these monuments you want to understand them which takes you to research them. And just like Gwalior, Chanderi seemed to be in the middle of action for centuries and then surprisingly went very quiet. Well except the sarees!

      Yes Gwalior is nice too and this time I discovered Bhopal city which again has mix of new and old. Now I need to do the natural trails of MP – Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panchmarhi.

      http://www.rediff.com/getahead/slide-show/slide-show-1-achievers-indian-teen-bags-photography-award-with-chambal-gharial/20131018.htm

      Since your visit to Chambal, it is suddenly fashionable!

      I read somewhere former CEC Lyngdoh saying that medicine and engg is not education. It is just for making money. Real education is History which makes a nation think!

      Thanks for visiting!

  • jaishree says:

    A great variety in perspective- both in writing and photography!

    loved reading it.

  • ashok sharma says:

    very good post with nicely researched details backed with beautiful photos.This post reminded me of our trip to Chanderi in December’2007.Its a great place where history is spread in each of the nooks and corners.Those days things were in dire need of maintenance. This beautiful picturusque place is not prominent on the tourist map,hence there were almost no tourists visible in the area.I have a photograph of my wife in front of Laxman Temple,which is one of the best photographs clicked by me. Thanks for refreshing the old memory.

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Hi Ashok,

      Yes, the photos at Navkhand Palace does reveal that ASI has done some wonderful work at almost all the monuments here. I have never seen a group of monuments maintained so beautifully.

      Maybe the ASI is working with a plan. Now they will start promoting the city and hopefully start getting tourists with Shatabdi stopping in at Lalitpur.

      Laxman Temple is indeed pretty but the sun did not oblige with better photos. It looks divine when its white image falls on the water of Parmeshwar Tal.

      Please go visit again! It has changed a lot in 6 years.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Rakesh Bawa says:

    Nirdesh Ji, Namaskar. Awesome post. Though Chanderi is a major hot spot of medieval India , it has not rose to prominence like other cities of that time, what can be the reason?

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Hi Rakeshji,

      Thanks for the appreciation!

      The biggest reason is there is no easy accessibility to Chanderi. Only diehards will dare to come to Lalitpur and then go to Chanderi.

      Another reason is the town is not promoted say as much as Orchha. And also Orchha lies on Khajuraho route. Whereas Chanderi will need a detour and a dedicated visit.

      But it is all worth it when you find yourself in Chanderi.

  • Vipin says:

    Aha, here comes the charming Chanderi! Though a single post could not have done justice to this gem kind of a place, but you not only tried, but succeeded too in bringing its charm to the fellow readers through your scholarly words and awe-inspiring captures, Nirdesh bhai! I too became bawra, when i went to this wonderful small town which is still intact from commercialization…my 2 days visit to this place seemed just too little when i started exploring it and then further meeting with Kalley Bhai got me introduced to all the wonders that Chanderi & the surrounding area is hiding inside…this is surely one of my best explorations so far in the plains…this place has everything for everybody’s taste…people are exceptionally nice, i was overwhelmed when i was welcomed by a person at his home without even knowing me to show me the making of Chanderi saaris through his loom & then some kind fellows guiding me to the places inside jungles or to some other sites…your article & the photos brought back all those memories alive…waiting to spend some leisurely time here exploring some more gems in & around. Thank you so much sharing this wonderful tale with fellow ghumakkars, Nirdesh bhai…

    @ Naturebuff – you are right Krantiji…Nirdesh bhai really has converted some of us into history enthusiasts, am surely one of them! And not only this, am super lucky to be wandering with him almost every weekend in search of some little known historical gems in & around the city…:)

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Hi Vipin,

      Instead of spending so much time writing this comment, we would have been happier if you had submitted another Chanderi post about the baolis and the neighboring sights! We would love to hear more about Kalley Bhai. So without much ado please get on it. No more joint walks unless we see this post here.

      Chanderi deserves to be written about so that more ghumakkars can explore it.

      Anyway, thanks for writing in. Chanderi was a return gift to you for all the walks in Delhi!

      • Giriraj Shekhawat says:

        yes i have even asked vipin to write on chanderi and also on the much celebrated personality kalley bhai ………let’s wait for his shubh muhurat.. vipin bhai facebook par chanderi ke pics daalo yaar ..itney ache ache pics hai yahan jo nirdesh bhai ne click kiye hain

        • Nirdesh Singh says:

          Hi Giriraj,

          Vipin is just too busy sending people all across India that he has stopped writing or posting photos on FB.

          Or maybe he plans to write a book and is saving the content from public eyes!

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Nirdesh Sir,

    One of the best posts I’ve gone through on ghumakkar. Very interesting and detailed narration and splendid pictures.

    Thanks.

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Hi Mukesh,

      Thanks for liking the post!

      Chanderi is in your backyard and if Nandan’s Mahindra can do it so can your Alto! Now I can almost hear the Alto revving up.

      On the way you can see Sanchi and Deogarh.

      Thanks again!

  • Ram Dhall says:

    The moment I saw the title of the story in the g-mail index, the first thing that came to my mind was – it must be a post written by Nirdesh. And happily it was.

    All I can say about the post is – it’s another gem from the storehouse of Nirdesh.

    I wish I had read this brilliant post 20 years back and then probably, I would have rushed to railway booking office to book a seat for Lalitpur. But as they say – it’s never too late. With Shatabadi stopping at Lalitpur, we would endeavour to plan a visit to the land of Baiju Bawra.

    Thanks for sharing this informative piece of writing through some of the most scintillating pictures.

    God bless you.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Ram Sir,

    It is always a pleasure to hear from you!

    Chanderi is a fabulous destination. And the good thing is that in 20 years is we dont have to rush to computer reservation centre. We can now book tickets in our homes! (LOL). I am sure you will rush again but only to catch the redeye 6am Shatabdi!

    You will love it there and the nice weather is just beginning. And turning into a Bawra is my guarantee!

    Thanks again!

  • Kiran says:

    Thanks for sharing with us your travel experience. Very nice and informative post with very good photos.Definitely add to my wish list of ‘places to visit’.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Kiran,

    Thanks for reading!

    Yes, Chanderi deserves to be seen by all who want something off the beaten trail. And the rewards will be amazing!

  • Giriraj Shekhawat says:

    Namaskar Ji Nirdesh Bhai
    Charming Chanderi ~~ an apt title … it is charming and mesmerizing with so many facets attached to it … The pictures are very very nice …. why is kati ghati missing here ? ?? …. i liked the mitsubhishi lancer motifs very much ..now i know from where the inspiration came ..ha ha ha … The lattice work of Nizamuddin mazar is astounding …. There are ample heritage sites spread around chanderi dating the kacchawah, parmara and pratihara era . i mean pre sultanate era ….hope u have had an opportunity to visit those sites too …

    I was in Kadwaya in Ashok nagar district last month …was digging up my usual ancient temples …. i was so thrilled to find chanderi situated just 60 km from where i was wandering …. but my unfortunate kismat had another plans for me and the tyrant time killed all my plans ..
    Where are u taking us next

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Namaskar Indian Jones,

      Thanks for writing in!

      Yes Chanderi is mesmerizing. I had just four hours so missed seeing the baolis and Kati Ghati. Never seen such lattice work anywhere. Reason is the town was wealthy and the people who commissioned this work brought in the best workers especially from Gujarat.

      Hope to see the outlying temple sites soon. The seclusion and the ensuing forest probably saved the temples. And now slowly they are being restored. ASI is doing great work in Chanderi and now I read they are beginning another campaign to restore the minor structures like chattris that are dotting the place.

      Would love to read your story about Kadwaya.

      Thanks again!

  • Pallavi says:

    Pics are really superb!! Glad to have an astounding piece of history back with us…”Restored”

    • Nirdesh Singh says:

      Hi Pallavi,

      Thanks for visiting and writing. I am pretty sure your accounts of Andamans and Sikkim will be astounding too!

      So why not start here?!

  • Absolutely stunning post and photographs. Chanderi must be visited now.
    Very informative and very crisp writing, enjoyed the entire post.
    The carvings on masjid and mazar are beautiful, never seen them in such abundance elsewhere.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Manisha,

    Thanks a lot!

    Chanderi is beautiful – I got to pass through the town again (lucky me!) last week and I got to catch up with a few more monuments I missed last time.

    MP has so much Chanderi with its lattice work and a temple 200 kms to the north with the most amazing sculpture. Details to come soon!

    Looking forward to your post on Chanderi.

  • Sahil Ahuja says:

    Beautiful post Nirdesh!! I had wanted to see latest photographs of the Nizamuddin family burial ground since I started researching the lives of Nizamuddin & Khusro. Also the interiors of Shehzadi ka Rouza are a lot like Iltutmish’s tomb maybe because of the use of arched entrances & squinches. The photos are simply fascinating, awaiting more articles!

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Sahil,

    Nice to have you back in action.

    Then Chanderi is a must visit. You wont find a more fascinating site related to Nizamuddin outside Delhi. I am sure you will spend an entire day just admiring the jaali work. But then there is so much more to see here in Chanderi.

    Yes the interiors of Shehzadi Ka Rouza do look similar to Iltutmish Tomb at Qutb Complex with the dome gone. Of course the Iltutmish tomb has a profusion of carvings and engravings inside while the walls are plain here.

    Thanks for the appreciation!

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