Directorate of Archaeology, Archives and Museums

Government of Madhya Pradesh


(316) Baijnath Mahadev Temple, Badnawar

The Baijnath temple is raised on a high place. It belongs to the Paramara period. On the basis of architecture it may be attributed to the second half of the 12th century or the first of the 13th century A.D.

dharThe ground plan of the west-facing temple consists of garbha-griha and antaral. The mandapa is, probably, gone. The elevation plan consists of vedibandha, jangha and shikhar. At the time pf its construction Malwa was in turmoil. The Chalukyas of Gujrat ruled for about 40 years over this territory, which influenced the architecture also. A result of this the temples built in the third phase of construction of Bhumij style temples in Malwa had Anga Shringa of Nagar style instead of Anekandak shikhars. The formation of the shikhar clearly reflects the Maru Gurjar style of Gujrat.

The vedibandh, jangha etc of this temple are built as per injunctions of the shilpa shashtra, but the construction of Anga Shringa suggests that it was constructed later. The original ground plan is not known, a sit is not clear due to filling around it. The exterior layout of saptarathi plan had beautiful formation of laghu shikhar manjaris, but the top portions now gone. The vedibandh has beautiful carvings of khur, kumbha, kanika and kapotis. The bandh malika and parikarama are carved with figures of divinities. The structure of the shikhar seems to be two-tired. The huge shape suggests that it might have been a soaring shikhar. The temple is a fine example of the Bhumij style temple architecture of Paramara period.


(318) Chhappan Mahal

The Chhappan mahal is an important monument of the last phase i.e. 16th century A.D.

dher2By its architectural features the Chhappan Mahal appears to be a tomb, but it has no remains of a tomb. A number of monuments built in 16th century A.D. are called Mahal. The special features include a huge dome. It is said that the palace is called Chhappan Mahal as it was repaired in 1956 V.S. However, on the basis of style it seems that a rest house was built to the right of the palace by Dhar’s rulers almost at the same time. According to another story it was the post office of Dhar State from where posts of 56 villages were distributed

The monument stands on a 3.9-meter high massive platform. To its south are built rooms with long courtyards. These rooms might have been built for the servants. A massive square monument is built above the platform. The exterior is devoid of any decoration. On the square top portion of the walls are built chhajjas supported by brackets. The base of dome is square and the upper portion is octagonal. On the top is a huge dome.

The interior portion is square with one entrance gate. On the three arched gates there is a vatayan with lattice decoration. On the top of each corner of the square portion there is the formation of an arch, which forms an octagonal structure. This portion has decorated blue tiles. There is interior portion of the massive dome in the octagonal portion.

A rest house of British style is located near Chhappan Mahal. The building is called Warn’s Lokthi behind which there is a step-well of 16th century A.D.

The Chhappan Mahal has been converted into a cultural complex and the District Archaeological Union has housed its museum in it. Purvika, mandapika, aranyika and chitrika galleries have been built in it. Purvica showcases stone images in open air; mandapica displays stone images and relics of the Stone Age to Historic Age. Aranyika exhibits tribal arts while chitrika shows photographs of the monuments.

(319) Fort, Dhar

The historic city of Dhar is famous for its rich archaeological heritage. It enjoys the distinction to have been the capital city of Paramara rulers.

dher3Dhar was made the capital city of the Paramaras at the time of Paramara ruler Wavpati Munj. The massive and solid fort was built by them in view of their requirements. The original fort was built during Paramara period, but its gates were built later. Its solid rampart is made of chiseled sandstone pierced by bastions. Although, the fort was built as per injections of Samargarh Sutradhar, but the battlements, cells of sentinels, outer walls, gate etc bear a stamp of Muslim architecture.

The construction of the fort was begun at the time of Parmars, but due to invasions, they had to shift their capital to Mandu and Dhar was converted to a military center. The fort might have remained a military station for a long time. Delhi’s Sultan Mohammad Bin Tughlaq rested at this fort on his way from Daulatabad to Delhi in 1344 A.D. The Shishmahal is one of the attractive buildings inside the fort. It suggests that earlier there was only the rampart in the fort. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb built the gates, got the fort repaired and the battlements on the top were built. At the time of Mandu’s Sultan the fort remained neglected, but during Mughal period it was a military centre. Its importance increased following arrival of the Marathas and the Pawars made it their capital and it became their administrative center and residence. The Kharbuja Mahal premises were also built at the same time. The other buildings and barracks in the fort seem to have been built in the 19-20th century A.D.

The fort of Dhar is classified in the category of ground forts. It is perched on a high hill in square shape and modifications and additions were carried out from time to time in it for security purpose. The outer wall was also built later. The gates, Pratoli and battlements were built during Muslim period. At present, the outer wall is all but ruined.

There is a step-well in the flank to the east of the buildings existing in the courtyard of the fort, from which water supply was made to the residents. The Sheeshmahal and the second structure above it are of Indo-Islamic style. Other important buildings are Kharbuja Mahal and Vishram Bhawan.

(320) Kharbuja Mahal, Dhar

dhar4The palace is situated in northwestern corner of Dhar fort. It is called Kharbuja Mahal due to its dome that resembles a muskmelon. On the basis of style it appears to have been built after 16th century A.D. The domes of this shape were made on other monuments also at Mandu. The domes of this style were prevalent with some variations in the 17-18th century A.D. as well. The rooms and roofs of the palace are made of stone, lime, bricks and wood. From the dome, outer wall and interior it appears that it was built in the 17th century A.D. It is quite possible that it might have been built at the time of construction of gates and repair during the reign of Aurangzeb. The Pawars started living in it. After revolting against the Peshwa Raghova Sardar (Raaghunathrao) and his wife Anandibai took shelter in Dhar fort. She gave birth to a son in 1778 A.D. who was to be famous as Peshwa Bajirao II.

The palace was an important center of revolutionary activities at the time of the mutiny of 1857. Later, it remained the residence of Pawar rulers.

(321) Koteshwar Mahadev Temple, Nagjhiri

dhar5The temple is located one km east of Nagjhiri.The location of the temple is very picturesque. It is surrounded by dense forests. Originally the temple was built in 14th century A.D. The ground plan of the temple consists of garbha-griha, antaral and mandapa. The elevation plan consists of adhishthan, jangha and shikhar. The jangha has no decoration and the shikhar is quadrilateral hill-shaped, which has seven coils. There is a decorated chaitya gawaksha on every coil. The amalak is ruined. The garbha-griha is square. There is a chaityakar gawaksha in the front wall where images of sthanak Gauri and lialitasan Shiva are installed. A Shivlinga is enshrined in the center. The vitan has five geometric coils. The entrance gate is plain and the lintel-piece is occupied by three-armed Lakuleesh. The antaral is based on two pillars. The vitan is flat. The temple is important from architectural point of view.


(322) Malcolm Kothi, Nalchha

Nalchha village is 28 km from Dhar district headquarters on Mandu road. Regular bus service is available for this ancient village.

dhar6 It is mentioned as Nalkachhhapur in the records of Paramara period and ancient literature. It was an important crntre of Jainism. Vestiges of temples and idols of Paramara period are lying scattered around here. The Btema copper plate of Raja Bhoj refers to it as Nalatadag.

The historical village had been the scene of many an important battle. The battle between Raja Bhoj and Kalchuri Gangeya Dev was fought near Nalchha. Bhoj defeated and captured Gangey Dev. The importance of Nalchha increased with construction of Mandu fort and solid security posts were built here. The palace built at the time of Mandu’s Sultans is particularly noteworthy, which is called Malcolm Kothi.

The Kothi was built from 1505 to 1510 A.D. by Mandu’s Sultan Nadirshah Khilji. He developed a beautiful garden at Nalchha and a rampart around the palace. It is also called Nadirshah Mahal. In August 1565 Emperor Akbar mad it his rest house. Emperor Jehangir made a mention of it in Tuk-e-Jehangiri. In 1820 A.D. Malwa’s Political Agent Sir John Malcolm got attracted to the beauty of this place and started living in this Kothi. Hence it is known as Malcolm Kothi.

The monument is an important example of Muslim architecture. It is built form east to west but its main entrance is to the north. There are sub gates to the south and east. Chiseled slabs of red sandstones are attached to its foundation. In the walls chiseled Basalt stones have been laced with lime concrete paste. There is a special hall in the centre with an apsidal ceiling. The vitans of the courtyards to the north south are circular. The courtyards of some rooms are of diamond cut type. The architecture of the palace is similar to that of Mandu’s monument, but the brackets and chhajji structures are influenced by Hindu architecture.

There are two water ponds to the north of the palace, which are always filled. Water is supplied to them from a step-well. Two domes exist on both sides at a distance of about 50 feet and chambers for sentinels are attached to them.

(323) Andha Mahal (Makbara)

The Makbara is located 500 meter west of Sapta Kathari which is to be north of Mandu fort. Its interior and exterior shape of the massive Makbara resembles that a palace. The graves have been removed from it by a local farmer and there is an encroachment around it by him.

dhar7 Built on a square plan the Makbara has arches on all four sides, but its main gate is to the east. The monument is made of black stones and lime and bricks and lime were used in its dome. There was a thick lime plaster on interior and exterior walls, which has now come off. Architectural members of Paramara period were used in the foundation of the Makbara.There was a chhajja on all four sides based on inverted lotus-shaped brackets with bloomed lotus decoration in the centre. There is a huge dome based on an octagonal structure plastered with lime. The octagonal portion is decorated. The cornice and chhajji are damaged. Thre are large arched gawakshwas on both sides of the entrance gate. On the basis of style, the monument belongs to the 16th century.


(324) Andhi Mahal (Makbara)

dhar8The Makbara is located about 500 meter west of Sapta Kothari and to the north of Andha Mahal. Its shape and size is similar to that of the Andha Mahal. However, its cornice, chhajji and base of the dome are damaged. The interior walls are plastered while the plaster of exterior walls has come off. The brackets of hajji are inverted lotus-shaped and a bloomed lotus is carved between two brackets each. The monument is made of black stones, bricks and lime. There are arched gate-like gawakshas on both sides of the entrance gate. The entrance gates also have double arches. The octagonal portion below the dome is decorated. On the basis of style it belongs to the 16th century. It was built in the third phase of constructions at Mandu, in which generally palaces and Makbaras were built.



(325) Kothari (Sarai)

dhar9There exists a structure consisting of nine rooms on the right side of the road in Narsinghpura, west north of Daria Khan’s Makbara. The monument forms part of a Sarai, whose northern portion is in a state of ruins. Only lower portion of walls now survive. The rectangular building to the south consists of nine small rooms having arched gates. There is diamond cut arch design in the ceiling. On the basis of style it belongs to the 15-16th century. At present the condition of the nine rooms is god.





(326) Madankui Sarai

Situated on the right side of the road to the south of the shop of Gadashah, the Sarai is now in a state of disrepair with wild growth around it.

dhar10The Sarai is built on a rectangular plan. Its northern portion is damaged but the structures of small rooms on three sides of the premises are single. Made of black sandstone and lime the monument’s entrance gate is arched. Some rooms of the Sarai are safe, which may be clearly visible after removal of the debris. There exists a well near the Sarai, which is the main source of drinking water for the area. On the basis of style the monument may be attributed to the 15th century. It is encroached upon by a farmer named Beenu Maharaj.





*(327 Phoota Mandir

dhar11The Phoota Mandir or ruined temple is situated to the south of Madan Kui near Tourism Development Corporation’s hotel on the right side of the road in Mandu city. The temple is covered by trees and forests. Its flank wall is single and the shikhar is damaged. The available architectural members include pillars of Paramara period etc. In the front the ground plan of a small temple is clear. It has a square garbha-griha with a rectangular entrance gate. Beyond it, the stonewalls on two sides of the nataral are safe but one is covered by wild growth. Remains of a step-well lie behind the temple. The actual shape of the temple will become clear only after removal of the debris and wild growth. It would be an important monument of Mandu having evidences of Paramara period.





(328) Roza Ka Makbara

dhar12The huge Makbara is situated in an agricultural filed to the west of Daria Khan’s Makbara. A step-well exists near it. Made of black stone and lime the square-shaped Makbara has the entrance gate to the west and door-like latticed vatayans on remaining three sides. Yellow sandstone has been used in the gate and vatayans. The interior and exterior walls have thick lime plaster. The chhajja is based on inverted lotus-shaped brackets. There is bloomed lotus decoration between the brackets. Above the square portion there are octagonal and sixteen-angular bases of vitan. The sixteen-angular portion has arched niches, which were fitted with blue colour tiles. Outside, a huge dome is built on an octagonal base, which is plastered with lime. The Makbara has seven graves. On the basis of style, the Makbara may be assigned to the 16th century.





(329) Shiva Temple, Jamali

dhar13Jamali is 16 km west from Dhar-Manawar road. A Shiva temple exists here. Raised on a high platform near a small rivulet below a hilly slope the temple’s ground plan consists of mandapa, antaral and garbha-griha. Built on Pancharathi plan the temple has vertical Panchabhumi. The principle of vastu mandal in shilpa shashtra has been followed in construction of this temple. In the exterior layout, the vedibandh of the temple is simple and high, which includes khur, umbra and kalash bandhan. The jangha is ordinary having koot stambha and Pancha Bhoomi. There are bhadrarathas in all four directions, which are decorated with creepers. Images of Chamunda, Natraja and Andhakasur Vadh have been displayed in them in parikrama, the example of which is found in Samaranganshudradhra and shilpratnakar also. In every direction five vertical and three horizontal figurative shikhars are built on the main shikhar. The measurement adopted in this process is as per injunctions of the Shashtras in which every quadrilateral of the shikhar and soaring spire appears equal and attractive in all four directions. Long creepers are carved in which Soorsevakas are built, which are shown as originating from blades of grass. Natraja is carved in one of them.

The Soorsevak of Devalaya is divided into profusely decorated plates. The upper plat depicts Shiva (Natraj) with chaitya decoration, flanked on both sides by goddesses holding swords. The lower horizontal plate is carved with embracing images with chanwardharinis. Above the pillar are four human figures in all four directions. An amalak, shila, kalash and beejpoorak are built above it. It is noteworthy here that a lion is shown as squatting on an elephant which suggests that it was a later addition. The makarakriti pradal of Devalaya is to the north.

In the interior plan, the mandapa portion is ruined, but small antaral still exists which is reached by steps. The pillars on both sides are safe, but the walls have no decoration. The ceiling of Devalaya is flat, but is decorated with figures of bloomed lotus. The gate is of Subhaga category and there are stripped brackets on the pillar section. In the center there is Ratha decoration. Ganga andYamuna in their normal postures are shown in the vertical portion. Shivganas are depicted on both sides of it and there are dev kashthas in the arched gate below stambha shakha. Saptapatrikas with Ganesha and Shiva are carved in uttranga. The lintel-piece is occupied by Parvati seated under a chhatra. Gandharva couples are carved on both sides of it.

The garbha-griha (2.15 m) is rectangular and the vitan is of kshatra type, which is confirmed by the brackets built in every corner. The walls are plain but a bracket is built on the back wall and there is a tradition to install images of divinities in it. This tradition is found in the temples of Kachhapaghata period. A Shivlinga is installed on the ardhya patta of garbha-griha, which has exit to the north, as per injunction of the Shashtras. The temple is built in Chaturas (rectangular) plan, while all the Bhumij type temples in this area are built in tarakrit plan. It means that this temple is special in Malwa region. Its other features include a lion seated on an elephant and four human figures. On the basis of art the temple may be ascribed to the 12th century A.D.

There is arrangement of double bandhanas in the vedibandh of devalaya. There is an antar patra and kalash bandhan in the upper most bandhan. Similarly, there is arrangement of light and shade from three sides in all the bandhans from the lower most bandhan to manchika, where apsaras and other divinities are carved on the small kudya stambhikas. The kapotika bandhan is also decorated. In bhadralata three anurathiksas are shown on both sides, which add to the beauty of bhadralatas.

It may be mentioned here that there is a difference in the vedibandh of mukh-mandapa and kapili and the vedibandh of garbha-griha, but the two bandhans, khur and kumbha are large in size and are decorated. The dev koshthas on three sides are occupied by Brhama, Shiva and Ganesha. These images are visible on the walls of kapili as well. The devalaya above kapitika is ruined, but having saptakoot pillars it can be considered the biggest devalaya of this group. On the basis of art the temple might have been built in the 10th century A.D.

(330) Roshanbagh Mahal

dhar14This palace is located at a distance of three km from Ashrafi Mahal on the bank of Gadaria Lake, northeast of the Lal Bungalow. The square palace has entrance gate on all four sides. The interior walls have formation of arched niches with large gawakshas on the corners. The monument is made of black stones and lime. A stone “Shuchi” is fitted to fix wooden doors in the southern entrance gate, which suggests that remaining three were latticed vatayans, the lattices of which are now gone.

The cornice and chhajja in the exterior portion are ruined. There is a huge dome based on an octagonal base. The dome and walls had lime plaster. There exists a step-well nearby. On the basis of style the monument may be ascribed to the 16th century.

(331) Adar Gumbad Mahal

dhar15The monument is located to the west of Chhoti Dai Ka Mahal in the nursery in front of the lake. The enormous palace is built on a high plinth and double halls are based on four pillars. There are formations of arched gates on each side. The formations to the east and north are now ruined. The monument is made of black stones and lime. There is a flight of steps to the south to go up. The square shaped palace is similar to the Chhappan Mahal. Although, there are entrance gates on all four sides, yet the main entrance gate is to the south. Yellow sandstone was used in arches of the entrance gates and in walls of interior portion. However, the exterior walls are made of black stones and lime. The hajji outside is damaged. Its brackets are in the shape of inverted lotus. There is a bloomed lotus decoration between two brackets each. A huge dome is built on an octagonal base. The monument is in a good shape. On the basis of style, it was built in the 16th century.


(332) Jamanya Mahal

dhar16Situated at village Jamanya about 3 km east of Baj Bahadur Palace, the palace was, probably, a Makbara. However, it has no grave. The monument is located in the agricultural field of Rumal Baba Bhil. The square monument is made of yellow sandstone. Figures of bloomed lotus are carved above on both sides of the arched entrance gates in the outer portion. The small gawakshas built in sixteen facets portion is filled with blue colour. A huge dome is built on an octagonal base above. The base and cornice are decorated. The dome is made of bricks with a thick lime plaster. On the basis of style the monument belongs to the 16th century.



(333) Bodia Mahal

dhar17The monument is located about two km from Jama Masjid on Lal Bangalow road. It is built on an octagonal plan on an octagonal platform. There is an arched gate on each corner of the monument. It is made of black stones and lime. Earlier, there was a thick lime plaster in the interior portion, which is now gone. Four-canted arch is a special feature of it. In the ceiling of the dome, there was a decoration in the small niches on sixteen-angular portion. The dome is made of bricks with a thick plaster on both sides. In the exterior the brackets, chajja and cornice are almost ruined. The monument is in a good shape. Earlier, there existed a step-well to the north of the monument. On the basis of style the monument belongs to the 16th century.






*(334) Soramalwala Palace

dhar18This palace is situated about 500 meter south of Jamunya Gate, which is about 2 km from the Roopmati mandapa. The monument is located near the agricultural field of a tribal farmer named Tularam Bhil. The octagonal monument is probably a Makbara. In the interior portion, there is a hug arched gawaksha on each angle and it has entrance gates on four sides. The monument is made of black stone and lime. A huge brick-built dome exists on an octagonal base. The walls and dome had had lime plaster. The exterior walls were decorated and were fitted with colour tiles. There are rectangular gates inside the huge arch and gawakshas above it. On the basis of style, the monument belongs to the 16th century.



(336) Dakanya Wala Mahal

dhar19The monument is perched on a hill about 2 km north of Roopmati mandapa. The square Makbara is made of black stone and lime while the gates have yellow sandstone doorframe and arch. There are entrance gates on all four sides. Bloomed lotus figures are carved above on both sides of the arch of the entrance gate. There was a hajji based on brackets, which is now gone. The brackets are decorated with inverted lotus figures. The dome is made of bricks and plastered with lime. The Makbara has two graves. On the basis of style, the monument may be assigned to the 16th century.




*Madankui Sarai

Situated on the right side of the road to the south of the shop of Gadashah, the Sarai is now in a state of disrepair with wild growth around it.

dhar20The Sarai is built on a rectangular plan. Its northern portion is damaged but the structures of small rooms on three sides of the premises are single. Made of black sandstone and lime the monument’s entrance gate is arched. Some rooms of the Sarai are safe, which may be clearly visible after removal of the debris. There exists a well near the Sarai, which is the main source of drinking water for the area. On the basis of style the monument may be attributed to the 15th century. It is encroached upon by a farmer named Beenu Maharaj.