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Indian Monuments

Bijai Mandal  

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FACTS & FIGURES

Built in : 14th century AD
Built by : Muhammad Bin Tughlaq
Location : Delhi

AN INTRIGUING TOWER

One can only speculate about the utility or the purpose for which Bijai Mandal was built. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, the second ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty that ruled the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century, built this intriguing structure. The building reflects the simplicity of style, which was the hallmark of the Tughlaqs.

INDO-ISLAMIC STYLE OF ARCHITECTURE

The Bijai Mandal is an intriguing structure. It is neither a palace nor a tower in the true sense of the word. It is an oblong building with a number of rooms within it; at the rear end of the building, one can find an octagonal structure atop these rooms. The utility of this strange structure is unknown, but it is widely believed that it served as a watchtower or a mere pavilion for the people of the royal family to relax. It is also possible that Bijai Mandal was the base of a tower that was never built.

The Bijai Mandal belongs to the Indo-Islamic style of architecture, which developed in different parts of India subsequent to the advent of various Muslim rulers in the medieval period. The Indo-Islamic style is neither a local variant of Islamic art, nor a modification of Hindu art, but it is an assimilation of both the styles, though not always in an equal degree. It is so because each region in India has its own form of Indo-Islamic architecture, which varies from place to place and there is no standardization. On the other hand, Islamic art itself was a composite style, which had various Muslims influences—Turkish, Persian, and Arabic.

The Bijai Mandal is a good example of Indo-Islamic style. The use of the octagonal shape conforms to Islamic style, while the use of false arches is a local influence.

BIJAI MANDAL

The Bijai Mandal is the architectural reflection of the Tughlaq dynasty, which ruled the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century. The Tughlaq dynasty is known for their architectural prowess and they are credited with constructing a number of monuments in and around Delhi. The Bijai Mandal forms a part of the medieval city of Jahanpanah, which was built by Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. He had the city of Jahapanah enclosed within high walls to provide protection to the people. The citadel palace within the precincts of this city was extremely impressive and commanded a great view of the city. Ibn Batuta, the 14th-century Moorish traveler and chronicler of Mohammed Tughlaq, recorded the splendor of the Hazar Sutun Palace (thousand-pillared hall). Here Muhammad Tughlaq sat under a wooden canopy for public audience.

This grand palace has since been destroyed and the whole complex reduced to mere unidentifiable ruins. Amongst these ruins is the Bijai Mandal, a small rubble-built octagonal structure atop a set of oblong rooms. The sloping path skirting the structure was possibly meant to carry the Sultan into the apartments. The rooms are now mere skeletons, but in the floor, one would not fail to notice two big holes, which were the royal vaults or the treasury. On a leveled platform in front of these rooms, one can see holes on paved stones in regular lines. These holes secured the wooden pillars in place and are now the only indications of the existence of a magnificent palace here. Ruins of some residential structures are to the east of this mound. They once formed part of the royal apartments.

The octagonal structure is now called Bijai Mandal. From its summit, Muhammad Tughlaq watched movements of his troops. It was an observation post of a considerable strategic importance. It could also have been the pavilion of winds, where the members of the royal family relaxed and enjoyed the panoramic view of the surroundings.

HOW TO REACH

This monument is situated in the southern part of the city of Delhi. Travelers can reach the Bijai Mandal in many ways. They can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this monument or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis for the purpose. One can take buses from the bus termini located at Kashmere Gate and Sarai Kale Khan to reach this monument.


Alchi Charminar Chittaurgarh Fort Jantar Mantar Adlaj Vav
Red Fort Khirki Masjid Churches of Goa Ferozshah Kotla Karla Caves
Agra-fort Bandore Fort City Palace Jaipur Begampuri Masjid Kalinjar Fort
Hawa Mahal Cellular-Jail Meenakshi Temple City Palace Udaipur Fatehpur Sikri
Bijai-Mandal Fort George The Dilwara Temples Bhojeshwar-Temple Mysore Palace
Ellora caves Flora Fountain Chennakeshava Temple Rashtrapati Bhavan Karkala Temple
Akbar-Tomb Qutab Minar Brihadeeswarar-Temple Konark Sun Temple Bada-imambada
Golconda-Fort Amber Palace Palitana Jain Temples Indian Museum Kolkata Victoria Memorial
Ajanta Caves Humayuns Tomb Monolith of Gommateshwara

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