The road to Mandu leads through lush green countryside and then upwards through the forests of the Vindhya Mountains. We arrived at a gate to this fortified city and crossed into another time and place.
We found enchanted lakes and the ruins of majestic mogul palaces, mosques and pavilions. These were built between 1401 and 1529 by the Sultans of Malwa who called it Shadiabad, the city of joy.
What better way to explore Mandu’s 23 square kilometres than by bicycle? There was little traffic and the leisurely pace allowed us to soak in the fresh air and lush countryside.
Mandu is considered to be one of India’s most romantic and picturesque sites. But all the guidebooks unanimously recommend that the best time visit is during the monsoon – considered to be the most romantic season in India!
I had another Kodak moment that didn’t happen in Mandu. Many men in Madhya Pradesh wear huge, colourful turbans. I saw two men go by on a motorcycle. They were wearing turbans: one was neon green… and the other fuchsia! But before I could reach for my camera, they were gone!