Mandsaur or Mandsour is a city in the Malwa region and district of Madhya Pradesh state of central India. It is the administrative headquarters of Mandsaur District.
Origin of name
The name Mandsaur evolved from Marhsaur, which originated from Marh and Saur (or Dasaur), two of the villages which merged in the town.The town was known as Dashapura in ancient times. The area was ruled by Dasharna people during Mahabharata period. It is probably Dasharna janapada which gave name Dashpur to the Mandsaur town. Some people (Shobhit shrivastava and his friend) also say that the name originated from Mandodri, wife of Ravana, as she was from this region. And the ancient name, dashpur, from dashanand, the other name of Ravana. This is so because in some places Ravana is worshiped.
The Mahabharata Book 2: Sabha Parva SECTION XXXI locates Trigartas along with Dasharnas, the Sivis, the Amvashtas, the Malavas, the five tribes of the Karnatas around Rohtak in Haryana as under:
Epigraphical discoveries have brought to light two ancient royal houses, who call themselves as Aulikaras and ruled from Dashapura (present-day Mandsaur). The first dynasty, who ruled from Dashapura from the beginning comprised the following kings in the order of succession: Jayavarma, Simhavarma, Naravarma, Vishvavarma and Bandhuvarma. Bandhuvarma was contemporary of Kumaragupta I. There is an inscription about Bandhuvarma at Mandsaur. The silk workers had constructed a Sun temple here which was repaired by Bandhuvarma in Samvat 493 (436 CE). This indicates that he was present there till 436 CE. The Risthal stone slab inscription discovered in 1983 has brought to light another Aulikara dynasty, which comprised the following kings in the order of succession: Drumavardhana, Jayavardhana Ajitavardhana, Vibhishanavardhana, Rajyavardhana and Prakashadharma. After Parakshadharma, the ruler of Mandsaur was Yashodharma, who is identified with Vishnuvardhana, who erected a pillar of victory at Bayana due to which Bayana’s name became Vijaygarh. In all probabilities, he was the son and immediate successor of Prakashadharma. Yashodharma Vishnuvardhana assumed the title of Samrat after he occupied the territories of Bandhuvarma. It is also mentioned that Yashodharma Vishnuvardhana had assumed the title of â€˜Maharajadhiraja’ or Emperor.
Sondani is a small village at a distance of about 4 km from Mandsaur situated on Mahu-Nimach National Highway towards Mahu. Two monolith pillars were erected here by King Yasodharman in 528 AD with inscription which describe his exploits including victory over Hunas., Excavations by the Indian Archaeology Department show that these pillars are lying at their original site. Nearby was discovered a double head of stone with two faces of lions looking in opposite directions. It was probably the crowning piece of one of the pillars. Each pillar is of height 40 feet, girth 3.5 feet and weighs 200 ton., The inscription bears verses composed by the poet Vasula, the son of Kakka. This eulogy has been engraved by Govinda. The composition is in Sanskrit language and script is north Indian brahmi., Nagappa and Dasappa were two south Indian artisans who gave shape to these pillars. These pillars were discovered by British officer Sulvin in 1875. John F. Fleet discovered their other pieces. In 1921 Shri V.S. Garde, Director Archaeology Gwalior state, made a terrace and put these pillars over it.
The Gurjara Pratihara empire was extended up to Mandasor during the reign of Mahendrapala II. The Mandsaur city is situated on the border of Malwa and Mewar and as such is strategically very important. After the attack of Timur, the Delhi Sultanate became weak. Dilawar Khan Ghauri was governor of the Malwa province of central India during the decline of the Delhi Sultanate. Dilawar Khan declared himself Sultan of Malwa in 1401, and passed the kingdom to his son Hoshang Shah upon his death. Thus he had practically come to Mandu in 1401 as the first sultan of Malwa. Dilawar had also shifted the capital from Dhar to Mandu, renaming it Shadiabad, the city of joy. The successor of Dilawar Khan Gauri was Hushang Shah Gori (1405–1435), who constructed fort at strategically important Mandsaur city to strengthen his north-west boundary. In 1519 Rana Sanga occupied the fort and appointed Ashokmal Rajput as its Kiledar. In 1535 Humayun also stayed here for few months during his Malwa expedition. During Sher Shah period Sadar Khan was appointed its Kiledar. During the reign of Akbar Mandsaur got the status of sarkar. In 1733 the Malwa subedar of Mughals Sawai Jaisingh attacked the fort but was defeated by Marathas and the fort went to Marathas. The historically most important event in the fort was the treaty of 1818 between Tantiya Jog senapati of Malhar Rao Holkar II and Sir John Malcum under which Malwa came in occupation of British rule. There are two gardens in which there is a pillar of torandwar. It is believed to be pillar of Surya Mandir of the inscription of Bandhu Varma. There is a Shiva statue also in the garden.
Hinglajgarh or Hinglaj Fort is an ancient fort situated near village Navali in Bhanpura tehsil of Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh. Its coordinates are Latitude 25°30' N and Longitude 65°31' E. It is situated at a distance of 165 km from Mandsaur town and 26 km from Bhanpura town in Madhya Pradesh. This fort has been at its peak of grandeur during Parmara rule. There are many artistic sculptures of various periods in this fort. The Nandi and Uma-Maheshwar sculptures were sent from here to France and Washington for display in India festivals and left a mark at International levels. The Hinglajgarh had been centre of excellence in craftmanship of sculptures for about 800 years. The statues recovered from this fort are from Guptas period to Parmara period. The most ancient statues are from 4-5th century AD.
In 19th century before India's independence in 1947, Mandsaur was part of the princely state of Gwalior. It gave its name to the treaty with the Holkar Maharaja of Indore, who concluded the Third Anglo-Maratha War and the Pindari War in 1818. At the turn of the 20th century it was a centre of the Malwa opium trade.
Mandsaur District forms the northern projection of Madhya Pradesh from its western Division, i.e.,Ujjain Commissioner's Division. It lies between the parallels of latitude 230 45' 50" North and 250 2' 55" North, and between the meridians of longitude 740 42' 30" East and 750 50' 20" East.
The District is an average size district of Madhya Pradesh. It extends for about 142 km. from north to south and 124 km. from east to west. The total area is 5521 km² with a population of 116483 in 2001.
As of 2001[update] India census, Mandsaur had a population of 116,483. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Mandsaur has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78%, and female literacy is 64%. In Mandsaur, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.In 2011, Mandsaur had population of 1,339,832 of which male and female were 681,439 and 658,393 respectively.
The major trains passing from Mandsaur are:-