situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh, around 321 km from Delhi, Gwalior
holds a special position in the chapter of Indian history. Gwalior got
its name from a famous saint Gwalipa who cured the Kachwaha clan chieftain
from Leprosy. The history of Gwalior dates back to 8th century. Due to
its position right between north India and south India, the city was captured
many times by different dynasties like Tomars, Lodhis, Mughals and Marathas
to gain power of this strategic location. Many battles have been fought
on this soil and numerous heroes have been lost here. This princely state
still retains its royalty with Scindias having their dynastic seat here.
This city now is seen as a symbol of valor, strength, and glory. You can
visit this state at any time of the year however October to March season
is the best. Summers in the city are a bit harsh as the temperature can
easily sore above the 40 C mark. Similarly the winters here are a bit
nippy with temperature dropping to single digits regularly.
The city is quite
famous for the Tansen Music Festival that is held here every year in the
month of November and December. Many renowned prodigies of classical music
perform here attracting huge number of music lovers. The festival takes
place at the famous Tansen Memorial. When you are exploring the charms
of Gwalior, shop for exquisite handicrafts and antique showpieces that
are great memorabilia to take home. There are many government run shops
inside the Gwalior fort as well which offer a huge variety.
Gwalior Fort -
Not only Gwalior, but this fort also is the pride of entire Madhya
Pradesh. Built by Raja Man Singh Tomar, Gwalior Fort has dominated the
skyline of Gwalior since 15th century. Intricately designed, this was
virtually an unconquerable structure, probably the safest in entire India.
The beauty of its might fascinated many rulers and the fort became the
subject of many poetic works. Babar, the famous Mughal ruler, once tabbed
Gwalior Fort as 'the pearl amongst the fortresses in India. The overall
area covered is around 3sq. km. and the longest length is 2.4 km from
north-east to south west. The walls of the fort are built of solid sandstone,
which rise to a height of 35 feet.
Fort is a possessor of very unsettled history. The location of the fort
was very strategic and many rulers tried to take control of this beauty.
It has stood witness to numerous bloody battles that have taken the lives
of many heroes. The fort has come under the rule of many dynasties after
Tomars built it. Tomars were succeeded by Mughals, Marathas and British.
The plains around the fort were the center of turbulence during the first
war of independence in 1857. It was here legendary soldiers like Tantia
Tope and Rani Lakshmi Bai were defeated by the British. The British later
gave the hold of the fort to Scindias.
Inside the high walls
of the fort, you will find few of the most stunning temples and palaces.
The entrance to the fort itself will set the ball rolling. Gates to the
fort are huge, majestic and highly impressive. There are three magnificent
temples bounded by the walls of the fort. The most important of them all
is Teli Ka Mandir. This 9th century temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
The temple towers to a height of 100 feet making it the highest building
in the fort. The roof of the temple displays Dravidian architecture, whereas
the walls show strong resemblance to Indo-Aryan architecture style. 9th
century Chaturbhuj Temple which is also dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and
Saas Bahu kA Mandir are the other two temples in the fort. There are many
palaces as well inside the fort like Karan Palace and Jehangir Mahal.
But the best of them all is the Man Singh Palace that has walls and floors
decorated with brilliant collection of tiles and colors. The palace is
divided into four levels. The several old age water tanks are also something
to look out for.
kA Mandir - This magnificent temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Built
in 9th century, the temple is one of the oldest temples in Madhya Pradesh.
Situated in Gwalior Fort, the temple is more than 100 feet high making
it the highest building in the fort. The structure perfectly embodies
architectural styles of Dravidians and Indo-Aryans. The roof of the temple
is built in Dravidian style whereas the walls and the decorations on it
are predominantly Indo-Aryan. Like in other temples built in the same
era, there are no mandapams or pillared halls in this temple, which is
Jai Vilas Palace
-Jai Vilas Palace has turned out to be a great landmark for Gwalior
City. This magnificent palace currently serves as a residence to the Scindia
Family. The Palace from both inside and outside gives us a peek into the
luxurious lifestyle of royal people in India. The structure of Jai Vilas
Palace is Italianate to which, Tuscan and Corinthian architectural style
add extra grandeur. The Durbar hall inside the palace is the main attraction.
There are two mammoth chandeliers on the ceiling of this spacious room
that weigh a couple of tonnes. Before they were on the ceiling, 10 elephants
were used to examine the strength of the roof.
attraction of the palace are a silver train with cut glass wagons which
served guests as it moved around on miniature rails on the table. The
Scindia Museum also showcases swords worn by Aurangazeb and Shah Jehan,
jeweled slippers of Chinkoo rani and many personal momentoes of Scindia
Family. This 35-room museum is open on all days except on Mondays from
10 AM to 5 PM
How to Reach
By Air - Gwalior has its own airport and receives regular flights
from Delhi, Bhopal and other major cities of India. Air Deccan, Indian
Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Sahara and Alliance Air are the major operators
By Rail - Gwalior
railhead is an important station on Delhi - Mumbai and Delhi - Chennai
routes. All major trains have a stop in Gwalior.
By Road - Gwalior
is well connected to all the cities of Madhya Pradesh by regular state
transport buses. There are buses coming to Gwalior from Delhi, Jaipur
Tourist Destination in India