A historic city founded by King Surajesan, Gwalior, the formerly princely state of Madhya Pradesh, is famed for its outstanding palaces, sacred temples and glorious monuments. Gwalior's history is as fascinating as the attractions in the city, which can be traced back to the 8th century AD. It is believed that this city is named after the saint ‘Gwalipa’, who cured the king’s deadly disease. A cradle of great dynasties, this fabulous city was in existence over the centuries.
With embracing structures like sandstone mosque, rock temples and fabulous statues, Gwalior city upkeeps its glorious tradition of the past. The magnificent fort on the majestic hills, that overlooks the entire city, gives an enthralling look to the scenic ambiance of this marvelous town. These spectacular monuments of the yesteryears, provides an exceptional charm to this wonderful city.
In addition to these heritages and museums, Gwalior will be remembered forever as the birthplace of the great musician Tansen. The major cultural event held every winter to commemorate the memory of this great musician, attracts large gathering. The stalwarts of music take it as a great privilege to be a part of this cultural extravaganza.
Situated on a prime location, Gwalior was a dream city for many dynasties. The city acquired much from the reign of different dynasties who had developed this as a renowned place. Being the birthplace of illustrious people, Gwalior is accredited with a unique status in the history of India.
A sprawling city where tradition is entwined with modernity, Gwalior presents a enthralling and a beguiling appeal to the tourists.
PLACES TO VISIT
There is much to see in and around the fort. Guides can be hired at the gate. Every evening light-and-sound show is held at the open-air theater outside the Man Singh Palace at fort.
There are many impressively big Jain Sculptures, which were originally cut into the cliff faces in the 15th century fort. They were defaced during Mughal time. The images are in five main groups.
Within the Gujri Palace is the Museum. It houses an extensive collection of Hindu and Jain sculptures and copies of the Caves frescos.
Jai Vilas Palace and Scindia Museum:
Though the Scindia family still dwells in this Palace, a part has been converted into a museum. The museum houses ostentatious items such as Belgian cut glass furniture, stuffed tigers, a Rolls Royce on rails, a German bubble car, a life-size marble statue of Leda and a silver railway that carried brandy and cigars around the dining table. The main Durbar hall with its giant chandeliers is captivating.
Approx. 20 kms from the city of Gwalior is huge lake where water sports are available on nominal payment apart from being a nice place for picnics in monsoon season.
A place which was turned into a Govt. Office in Independent India has beautiful painted ceilings and walls, recently renovated by INTACH in its original grandeur.
Dolphin & Crocodiles are breed and can be seen in Chambal river by Chambal Safari boats run by MPSTDC.
Within the fort are some marvels of medieval architecture. The 15th century Gujari Mahal is a monument to the love of Raja Mansingh Tomar for his intrepid Gujar Queen, Mrignayani. The outer structure of Gujari Mahal has survived in an almost total state of preservation; the interior has been converted into Archaeological Museum housing rare antiquities,some of them dating back to the 1st century A.D.
Even though many of these have been defaced by the iconoclastic Mughals , their perfection of form has survived the ravages of time. Particularly worth seeing is the statue of Shalbhanjika from Gyraspur, the tree goddess, the epitome of perfection in miniature . The statue is kept in the custody of the museum's curator, and can be seen on request.
Man Mandir Palace:
Built between 1486 and 1517 by Raja Mansingh.The tiles that once adorned its exterior have not survived , but at the entrance , traces of these still remain. Within the palace rooms stand bare, stripped of their former glory, testifying to the passing of the centuries. Vast chambers with fine stone screens were once the music halls, and behind these screens, the royal ladies would learn music from the great masters of the day. Below, circular dungeons housed the state prisoners of the Mughals.
Emperor Aurangzeb had his brother , Murad imprisoned , and later executed here. Close by is Jauhar Pond, where in the Rajput tradition, the Ranis committed mass sati after their consorts had been defeated in battle. At Man Mandir Palace, a poignant ambience of those days of chivalry and heroism still lingers in the silent chambers. A superbly mounted Son-et-Lumiere here brings it all alive every evening.
Ghaus Mohammed's Tomb:
The sandstone mausoleum of the Afghan prince, Ghaus Mohammed, is also designed on early Mughal lines. Particularly exquisite are the screens which use the pierced stone technique as delicate as lace. It is on the way to Gwalior fort near Hazira from Railway Station.
Gurudwara Data Bandhi Chhod:
Built in the memory of Guru Hargobind Saheb , the 6th Sikh Guru who was imprisoned here by Emperor Jehangir for over two years. It is located on the Gwalior Fort.
Located near the Residency at Morar, the newly constructed Sun Temple takes its inspiration from the famous Konark Sun Temple in Orissa.
This Museum of Music has been set up in the old ancestral house of the legendary Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan. It houses ancient instruments of the great Indian Masters of yesteryears.It also houses an impressive collection of photographs and documents.
Sarod Ghar is a unique institution devoted to promoting Indian classical music, heritage and culture.Through this 'window' to the past , music lovers can gain a better understanding of the evolution and history of our classical music and a deeper perspective and insight into the context of the art as it exists today.
HOW TO GET HERE
Gwalior railway station is a major rail junction in Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Mumbai rail line. It is connected to almost all cities like Delhi (Ndls Shatabdi E), Mumbai (Mngla Lksdp Exp), Kolkata (Chambal Express), Chennai (Chennai Rajdhni) and Bangalore (Karnataka Exp). Railway station is located at the heart of the city.
Gwalior airport is 8 km away from the heart of the city. It costs about Rs 150 by taxi. Many air travel agencies fly their flights from Gwalior to Delhi, Agra, Indore, Bhopal, Mumbai, Jaipur and Varanasi. Delhi International airport, which is nearly 319 km from Gwalior, is the main connecting airport for international travelers.
Very good bus service facilities are available in Gwalior. Gwalior is connected by state owned buses and private deluxe buses from in and around all major cities. Overnight A/C tourist buses are available from Delhi (319 km), Indore (486 km), Agra (118 km) and Jaipur (348 km). Tourist buses charge about Rs 3 to Rs 4 per kilometer.