ASHARFI MAHAL - A SONG OF RISE AND FALLDirection
Situated right in front of the Jami Masjid, the Asharfi Mahal, has been known by many different names on the pages of history. It is said to have been a Sanskrit University during the time of Raja Bhoj in 1024. When Mandav was taken over by the Sultans and Hoshang Shah ascended the throne, he turned it into a Persian University. This was India’s first and world’s fourth Persian University. The students lived upstairs and studied on the ground floor. After Hoshang Shah, Mahmud Shah came into power and during his rule the kingdom of Mandav was at its peak. Before his death, he wanted a grand tomb for himself. The design of this building, therefore, was changed and the courtyard was turned into a tomb. The dome of this tomb, made with black, yellow and white marble, was grander than the Jami Masjid and Hoshang Shah’s tomb. Built in a hurry by inept artisans, the tomb did not withstand the vagaries of time and soon dilapidated. If the tomb wasn’t made with carelessness, today it would have been the most impressive one among the city’s grand buildings.
The beauty of the moon on a full moon night can be seen from this palace’s pavilion. There is a story behind the palace’s name. With every step, the moon rises higher and from the final step the moon it looks like a silver coin through the arched frame and hence the palace was named Asharfi Mahal.