Chanderi – Beyond Beautiful Saris – Turning the pages of History - 2

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Badal Mahal Darwaza
Badal Mahal Darwaza - Chanderi





Chanderi – Beyond Beautiful Saris – Turning the pages of History - 2


Parmeshwar Taal and Lakshman Mandir

As per the Legend, Parmeshwar taal is the pond, where the Pratihara King Kirtipal was cured of Leprosy. This Pond has now been made pucca. On the banks of this pond stands Lakshman ji ka Mandir. It is said to be the only temple, where the presiding deity is Lord Lakshman. As per the legend, some travellers were carrying the idol of Lakshman ji and stopped on the banks of Parmeswar taal to rest and placed the idol under the peepal tree. When they resumed their journey and tried to lift the idol, it did not move. They tried a lot, but the idol won't budge. So those travellers inferred that Lakshman ji wished to stay at that place only. A temple was then built at that place. The construction of this temple is attributed to seventh Bundela king Aniruddh Singh, but there is no documented proof of this.

Parmeshwar Taal and lakshman Ji ka Mandir
Parmeshwar Taal and lakshman Ji ka Mandir


Idol of Lakshman JI
Idol of Lakshman JI

Parmeswar Taal from Lakshman Temple
Another view of Parmeswar Taal from Lakshman Temple

Parmeshwar Taal and Lakshman Mandir
Parmeshwar Taal and Lakshman Mandir

Yet another view of Parmeshwar Taal and Lakshman Mandir also visible are Shahzadi ka Rauza and Sati Smarak in the back ground.



Parmeshwar Taal
People performing rituals at Parmeshwar Taal




Parmeshwar Taal and Lakshman Mandir
Parmeshwar Taal and Lakshman Mandir
                            A Shivling installed in Lakshman Mandir with Parmeswar Taal and Bharat Singh Bundela Chatri in Background.

Badal Mahal Darwaza


Badal Mahal Darwaza is the best-known monument of Chanderi, but certainly not the most interesting one. This was built in 15th century by Mahmud Shah Khilji. It is believed that it must be the welcome gate of Badal Mahal, which must have existed between this gate and the fort. This gate might have been used to receive and welcome the visiting dignitaries before ushering them to Badal Mahal. The gate stands 15meters and is 7.5meters wide. It consists of two huge arches with two tapering minarets on both sides. First Arch serves as the gateway and above it are some floral patterns carved. On the top is another arch which is filled with four Jalis of a different style. There is an empty rectangular Gap between the two arches, which is said to support a chajja or balcony at one point of time, which might have been used by flower throwers or musicians for welcoming dignitaries.

The Darwaza is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and the imposing Kirti Durg in the background completes a beautiful picture.


Badal Mahal Darwaza
Badal Mahal Darwaza

Badal Mahal Darwaza
Badal Mahal Darwaza with properly manicured gardens in fron and Chanderi Fort in Background

Badal Mahal Darwaza
Badal Mahal Darwaza



Nizammudin Aulia Family Tombs


Adjacent to Badal Mahal Darwaza and visible from the top of the wall surrounding Badal Mahal Darwaza are the tombs of Hazrat Nizamuddin Family. These tombs are actually the graves of the followers of Hazrat Nizamuddin and members of Chishtia Nizamia sect.  Most of the graves are in open and a few important ones are under the structure with a dome on it. There seemed to be four domed such structures, out of which only one dome has survived.

Nizamuddin Aulia Family tombs
Nizamuddin Aulia Family Tombs


Jama Masjid


Just opposite to the Badal Mahal stands the Jama Masjid. Foundation of this Masjid was laid by Giyassudin Balban, when he conquered Chanderi. The entrance of the mosque is ornately carved, which opens into a huge courtyard. This is said to be the only mosque in India, which does not have any Minarets. The Left and Right-hand side of the courtyard has pillared cloisters. The side facing the entrance has the pillared prayer hall with three huge domes. The wall of this prayer hall has small arches made and small hollows. This helps the Maulvi's voice to resonate and be heard farther. In the prayer hall, there is a small flight of 10 - 15 stairs and a small platform atop it. Below it is a small door. As per the guide, the door was through which the king entered for security reasons and sat atop the platform. I felt this fact hard to believe.

Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid entrance



Jama Masjid courtyard
Jama Masjid courtyard


Jama Masjid Prayer hall
Jama Masjid- Prayer hall


                  The ornate arch in Prayer hall will hollow space, which makes the Maulvi's voice to resonate and travel farther at the time of Azaan or making some announcement.


Jama Masjid pillared cloister
Jama Masjid pillared cloister



Jama Masjid pillared Prayer hall
Jama Masjid pillared Prayer hall

                     The raised platform and a private door beneath it, which is told to be the entrance reserved for King.




Koshak Mahal



This is a beautiful structure. It was originally built as a seven-story structure. Out of these only, 03 stories have withstood the test of time. An interesting fact about this palace is that it was not built as a residential palace, but built to provide employment to the people. It is a square palace with two corridors bisecting each other at right angles. Each side has a huge arch kind of gate at the end of the corridor. The monotony of plain facade is broken by beautiful protruding balconies or Jharokhas. The plaque installed outside the Palace states “ it is recorded in Twreikh a Farishta that Mehmood II Khilji, Sultan of Malwa passed through this place and ordered that a seven-story palace ( Koshak a Haft Manzil ) be built here. The present building is an outcome of these orders. The architecture resembles to that of Mandu”


Koshak Mahal
Koshak Mahal

Koshak Mahal Facade
Koshak Mahal Facade

Koshak Mahal Crossroads
Koshak Mahal Crossroads

The two corridors of Koshak Mahal bisect each other

Koshak Mahal Ruins
Koshak Mahal Ruins
 The remnants of the top floor od Koshak Mahal as they stand today

Koshak Mahal entrance
Koshak Mahal entrance

Side view of Koshak Mahal
Side view of Koshak Mahal
Side view of Koshak Mahal. There must be an arched entrance on the left-hand side as it is on the front as the palace is very symmetrical in construction.


Balconies break the monotony
Balconies in the Facade break the monotony




Kandhagiri Jain Temples


This an important Jain Pilgrimage site. The biggest attraction is 45 feet high Rishabhnath statue cut in the rock. You have to climb a no of stairs to reach the caves. These caves have beautiful statues of Jain Teerthankars installed in them.


Kandhagiri Jain Temples
Kandhagiri Jain Temples

Rishabhnath ji
Rishabhnath ji

View from Kandhagiri caves
View from Kandhagiri caves

Jain Teerthankars in Kandhagiri Caves
Jain Teerthankars in Kandhagiri Caves

Jain Teerthankars in Kandhagiri Caves
Jain Teerthankars in Kandhagiri Caves


Ramnagar Palace and Museum



This small palace is actually a hunting lodge built by Maharaja Durjan Singh Bundela on the banks of an artificially created lake. This palace has a lot of idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu in his various avatars installed. Babur also camped on the banks of this lake before mounting his attack on Chanderi.


view of lake from Ranagar Palace
View of lake from Ranagar Palace

Corridor with ancient statues
Corridor with ancient statues

One of the many ancient statues
One of the many ancient statues


Chakla Baodi

This is the largest baodis of Chanderi. It was meant to be used by the ladies of Royal family. It is supposed to have been built during Khilji rule. It also has two small tombs built on the edge of Baodi. One is that of Sheikh Raji's wife and other is of some unknown saint. However, the interesting thing about these tombs is the difference in their architecture. Though the domes on both the tombs are similar, but the arches and pillars are strikingly different. One is of Bundela architecture while the other is of Mughal Architecture.

Chakla Bawdi
Two Tombs in Chakla Bawdi with their distinct architecture 

Chakla Bawdi
Chakla Bawdi

Sunrise at Chanderi
Sunrise at Chanderi


                         There are still a lot of monuments of Chanderi to be discussed, which we will do in our next post.

contd.................


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