Perched along the Vindhya ranges at an altitude of 2,000 feet, Mandu, with its natural defenses, was originally the fort capital of the Parmara rulers of Malwa. Towards the end of the 13th century, it came under the way of the Sultans of Malwa, the first of whom named it Shadiabad - 'city of joy'. And indeed the pervading spirit of Mandu was of gaiety; and its rulers built exquisite palaces like the Jahaz and Hindola Mahals, ornamental canals, baths and pavilions, as graceful and refined as those times of peace and plenty. Each of Mandu's structures is an architectural gem; some are outstanding like the massive Jama Masjid and Hoshang Shah's tomb, which provided inspiration to the master builders of the Taj Mahal centuries later. Mandu known as the city of joy is a hilltop fortress bearing a deserted look. The fabled city of Mandu is steeped in history. Built by the Parmara ruler Raja Bhoja, Mandu was once the capital of Malwa. Built in the 10th century a summer retreat and fortress Mandu exemplifies Afghan architecture in India. Later Mandu passed from the hands of Muslim rulers of Delhi to Afghan governors to Gujarat and was restored back to the Mughals. Under the rule of the Afghan ruler Mandu witnessed the greatest prosperity and flourish. He made Mandu an independent kingdom. His son Hoshang Shah made Mandu the capital of Malwa. Several temples, palaces and ghats built during this time were the finest examples of Afghan architecture. A tour to Mandu takes you around town drenched in history and romance.