Malwa Architecture

Malwa Architecture

Malwa style of architecture developed in Malwa region during 15th and 16th century. Main examples of the style are found in the cities of Dhar, Mandu and Chanderi.

Important features:

  • Based on Tughlaq style
  • Battered walls
  • Pointed arches with spear head fringe.
  • Combination of arch with pillar, lintel and beam.
  • Buildings are raised on high plinths, accessed by long and stately flight of steps.
  • Prominent use of colour in decoration.
  • Use of different coloured marble, semi-precious stones and glazed tiles.
  • The artisans in Malwa possessed a secret formula for creating Turquoise blue colour.

The style can be divided into 3 phases:

  • First Phase:
    • Dismantling of temples and converting them into mosque.
      • Kamal Maula Masjid (Dhar)
      • Lat Masjid (Dhar)
      • Malik Mughis Masjid (Mandu)
  • Second (Classical) Phase:
    • Monuments of original character. Sober and elegant. More substantial and formal order.
      • Jami Masjid at Mandu
        • Started by Hushang Shah and finished by Mahmud I in A.D. 1440.
        • raised on a high plinth
        • front side of the basement to contain a series of arcaded chambers to be used as a serai.
        • Jami Masjid
      • Ashrafi Mahal at Mandu
        • built facing the Jami Masjid at Mandu
        • its approach of a noble flight of stairs aligning with and mirroring that of the mosque
        • composed of three distinct buildings
        • tower was in red sandstone
        • patterns of inlaid marble
        • Ashrafi Mahal
      • Hushang Shah’s Tomb at Mandu
        • built by Hushang Shah, completed by Mahmud I in 1440 A.D.
        • stands in a square enclosure contiguous with the western wall of the Jami Masjid at Mandu
        • made of marble
        • Hushang Shah Tomb
      • Hindola Mahal at Mandu
        • built by Hushang Shah
        • walls are thick,
        • battered slope which gives a swinging appearance to the building, hence the name.
        • structure was for women
        • ‘T’ shape plan
        • Hindola Mahal
      • Jahaaz Mahal at Mandu
        • shape, dimension and position gives the illusion of a ship
        • roof has a series of open pavilions, kiosks and overhanging balconies.
        • extending along the edge of lake
        • Jahaz Mahal
  • Third Phase:
    • Less austere and more fanciful structures, implying a life of ease and luxury.
    • Main examples are pavilions, loggias, kiosks, terraces etc.
      • Baz Bahadur’s Palace (Mandu)
        • form of summer palace and pavilions
        • ground storey consisted of compartments grouped around a central courtyard with pools or fountains.
        • all the surfaces adorned with painted tiles.
        • Baz Bahadur Palace
      • Kushk Mahal (Chanderi)
        • Originally seven storeyed, only four storeys now remain.
      • Jami Masjid at Chanderi
        • shape of three domes.
        • shape of the arches forming the open facade.
        • Jami Masjid Chanderi

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