Mike Chowla

Mandu - Baz Bahadur's Palace & Jami Masjid

The visiting Mandu made me think about how even history's most powerful empires all fall. The ruins of Mandu that we visit today were built by the Malwa Sultanate. The Malwa Sultanate ruled for 150 years and was rich and powerful. But most people today have never heard of the Malwa Sultanate. Our governments and major corporations will one day be like the Malwa Sultanate. Perhaps we'll be more like the Roman Empire which better remembered but still, most of the details will be only known to the historians.

My sense of everything turning to dust was strengthened by my last stop, Mahmud Khalji's Tomb. The Sultanate reached its zenith under him. Mahmud Khalji's tomb is built on top of the Ashrafi Mahal but is mostly in ruins today. Pieces of what must have been a grand structure were in piles. The scene made me think of the Shelley poem:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair.

Perhaps Khalji's tomb will be rebuilt by Archeological Service and some of its grandeur will be seen again. But for now, it's a ruin which tells us everything fades away. If it's reassembled, it will over time fall to pieces again.