Rupmati’s Pavilion

Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh

Standing at the top of an escarpment falling 366m to the plains, Rupmati’s Pavilion has a delicacy of design and beauty of location unmatched by Mandu's other monuments. According to Malwa legends, the music-loving Baz Bahadur built it to persuade his golden-voiced shepherdess beloved, Rupmati, to move here from her home on the plains. From its terrace and domed pavilions, Rupmati could gaze at the distant glint of the sacred Narmada River.

In fact, the pavilion probably began life as a watchtower a century or more before Rupmati’s time. Nonetheless, the love story is a subject of Malwa folk songs – not least because of its tragic ending. Lured by tales of Rupmati’s beauty, Akbar's general Adham Khan marched on Mandu and Baz Bahadur fled, leaving his lover to poison herself rather than fall into the invader's hands.

This place is simply gorgeous at sunset.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh attractions

1. Rewa Kund Group

0.17 MILES

A pleasant 4km cycle south of Mandu village brings you to the Rewa Kund tank and the two monuments of the Rewa Kund Group, Baz Bahadur's Palace and…

2. Baz Bahadur’s Palace

0.27 MILES

Baz Bahadur (r 1555–61) was the last independent ruler of Mandu. His palace, a curious mix of Rajasthani and Mughal styles, was built in 1508–09 by the…

3. Sagar Talao Group

1.44 MILES

If you have time, this group of handsome buildings is worth a detour between Mandu village and Rewa Kund. The main ones are Malik Mughith's Mosque, built…

4. Nil Kanth Palace

1.72 MILES

If you’re looking for a great reason to cycle out into the countryside, consider visiting this unusual former palace turned temple. It stands at the head…

5. Jain Temple


Entered through a kaleidoscopic potpourri of a gate, this complex is a splash of kitsch among the Islamic monuments. The temples feature marble, silver…

6. Saturday Haat

2.69 MILES

This colourful weekly haat (market), behind the Jama Masjid, is similar to ones held in many central Indian areas with a tribal population. Adivasis …

7. Ashrafi Mahal

2.71 MILES

The Ashrafi Mahal was built as a madrasa (Islamic college) by Hoshang Shah between 1405 and 1422. It was a quadrangle with rows of cells and arcaded…

8. Village Group

2.73 MILES

This group, straddling the main road in the centre of the village, comprises three grand edifices constructed in the 15th-century by the Ghuri and Khilji…