A Palace, Built Within Three Days with Black Magic, Faces Neglect

Tripoto
20th Jun 2018
Photo of A Palace, Built Within Three Days with Black Magic, Faces Neglect by Rupa Abdi
Photo of A Palace, Built Within Three Days with Black Magic, Faces Neglect 1/12 by Rupa Abdi
Motimahal

Twenty four kilometers from Mandla city of Madhya Pradesh lie a cluster of two palaces and one fort. According to legend, these structures were built in two and a half days by the Gond king, Hriday Shah using Tantrik knowledge.

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The Mandla fort, also known as Moti Mahal is strategically located in a loop of the Narmada river, thus being shielded by the river from four sides.

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Narmada as seen from the top of the fort

It is a three storied fort and show cases ingenious architecture and beautifully engraved motifs.

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Unfortunately the entire structure is facing neglect and is in poor condition.

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Parts of the inner walls are covered with engravings but most of it has been eroded away by weather and lack of maintenance

Mandla was once the capital of the brave Gond kings. Even today the Gonds come here to pay respect to their erstwhile kings who fought bravely against the British, but alas the government authorities have no desire to preserve this monument in the memory of the brave martyrs of our motherland.

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King Hriday Shah's two sons, Raghunath Shah and Shankar Shah sacrificed their lives fighting against the British. And the courage of the Gond kings drove back the British.

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Some rituals are still performed here by the locals.

We were told by the locals that some cosmetic renovations were done around the fort in lieu of the a two day event nearby in April 2015. But the fort is in a bad shape.

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A treasure house of information now lies in form of worn out and faded writings etched on a crumbling stone block
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The water tank inside the fort is dry and dirty

King Hridaya Shah built a palace, called Ranimahal for his queen using black stones from a hill five kilometers away. How could someone transport such huge rocks and built these structures in less than three days ?!! The mystery remains unsolved but the Gonds believe that their king was an accomplished Tantrik and he achieved this miracle using his Tantrik knowledge !!

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Ranimahal as seen from the Ramnagar fort

The king also built another structure called Rai Bhagat ki kothi for his ministers

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Rai Bhagat ki kothi

Travel Tips

This place can easily be visited on your way to Kanha N.P. from Jabalpur.

Its about three hours drive from Jabalpur and about an hour's drive from Kanha N.P.

Local snacks and tea are available at dhabas near Moti Mahal, but carry your own drinking water.

There are no public toilets nearby.

Photo credits: Rupa Abdi

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