History of Mandsaur

Mandsaur, a city in the Malwa region and district of Madhya Pradesh state has a vast history to narrate. During ancient times the region was known as Dashapura . The city has been a witness to ancient, medieval and modern periods of Indian history. Ancient monuments illustrating the golden past of the city can still be found in Mandsaur. The oldest statues are dated back to 4-5th century AD. Mandsaur was part of the princely state of Gwalior during British rule.

Origin of the name

The name Mandsaur was originated from Marhsaur. Marhsaur further originated from Marh and Saur (or Dasaur). Marh and Saur were the two villages which merged in the town Mandsaur. The town was previously known as Dashapura in the ancient times. The area Mandsaur lies in was ruled by Dasharna people during the Mahabharata period. It is believed that Mandsaur town got its name as Dashpur from the Dasharna janapada. To some people Mandodri, wife of Ravana, was from this region hence this city came to be known as Mandsaur. And the ancient name, Dashpur, from the other name of Ravana -Dashanand. This is the reason Ravana is worshiped here in some places.

Early History of Mandsaur

Dasharna ruled this area during Mahabharata period. Jayavarma, Simhavarma, Naravarma, Vishvavarma and Bandhuvarma were the kings from Dashapura from the first dynasty who ruled the area. Bandhuvarma was contemporary of Kumaragupta I. There is an inscription about Bandhuvarma at Mandsaur. Sun temple constructed by the silk workers was repaired by Bandhuvarma in 436 CE. The Risthal stone slab inscription were discovered in 1983. It has brought to light another Aulikara dynasty. Aulikara dynasty was comprised of following kings in the order of succession: Drumavardhana, Jayavardhana Ajitavardhana, Vibhishanavardhana, Rajyavardhana and Prakashadharma.

History of Mandsaur

After Parakshadharma, the rule of Mandsaur came into the hands of Yashodharma. It is believed that he was the son and immediate successor of Prakashadharma.[1] After the victory over the territories of Bandhuvarma ,Yashodharma Vishnuvardhana assumed the title of Samrat. It is mentioned that Yashodharma Vishnuvardhana had received the title of ‘Maharajadhiraja’ or Emperor. At a distance of about 4 km from Mandsaur, a small village called Sondani is situated on Mahu-Nimach National Highway towards Mahu. King Yasodharman in 528 AD erected two monolith pillars here with inscription which describe his victory over Hunas. Hinglaj Fort is another ancient fort which is located near village Navali in Bhanpura tehsil of Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh. There are many sculptures of various periods in this fort. The statues in this fort are from Guptas period to Parmara period. The most ancient statues are from 4-5th century AD.

Mandsaur during Medieval Period

Mandsaur at one point if time was ruled by Mahendrapala II and was part of the Gurjara Pratihara empire. Malwa and Mewar are on the borders of Mandsaur . During the decline of the Delhi Sultanate, Dilawar Khan Ghauri was governor of the Malwa province of central India. In the year 1401, Dilawar Khan declared himself as the Sultan of Malwa. The kingdom was passed to his son Hoshang Shah after his death. Dilawar had also shifted the capital from Dhar to Mandu. He also renamed it Shadiabad, the city of joy. A fort was constructed for the defence of north-west boundary by Hoshang Shah Gori (1405–1435) which enhanced the security of the region.

Past and Present of Mandsaur

Hoshang Shah Gori (1405–1435) constructed a fort at strategically important Mandsaur city to strengthen his north-west boundary. In 1519 Rana Sanga occupied the fort. He appointed Ashokmal Rajput as its Kiledar. During Humayun’s Malwa expedition In 1535 Humayun also stayed here for few months. Sadar Khan was appointed its Kiledar during Sher Shah period. The region occupied status of sarkar during the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The region passed into the hands of mighty Marathas in 1733 when they defeated the Malwa subedar of Mughals Sawai Jaisingh.

British Rule in Mandsaur

Mandsaur came under British rule in 1818 during the treaty between Tantiya Jog senapati of Malhar Rao Holkar II and Sir John Malcum. Anglo -Maratha war and Pindari war of 1818 are the most discussed events of British rule in mandsaur. Mandsaur was a part of princely state of Gwalior before independence of India. During british rule Mandsaur was also the center of Opium trade.

Mandsaur Today

Today Mandsaur is the administrative division of Ujjain of Madhya Pradesh. With numerous places to bisit it has become one of the major tourist destination in Madhya Pradesh. In recent years the city has seen spurt in economic activities which has changed the living standards of its citizens.It has a total population of 116,483 and has a good literacy rate of about 71%. Mandsaur is very famous for its slate,pencil industry and export of opium. No doubt it has all to claim itself as a modern city of India.


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