Gwalior- The Pearl of Castles’ Necklace in India
Gwalior has been the most impressive and Royal city of Madhya Pradesh. The place has a great importance in History and has been always famous for its wonderful castles in India. If we still fantasize Royal Living and their stories then Gwalior is one of the best places to visit. Gwalior has much to tell, it has been located in a strategic location in the Grids of India, and has been ruled by various North Indian rulers. Tomars, Mughals, Marathas, and Scindias all have ruled here from time to time. For Britishers, the place has always been a princely state. The city is the valley surrounded by mountains. And now it has become under the provision of smart cities in the era of 21st century.
The name Story of Gwalior
The name” Gwalior” has a folk story attached to it. It is said that Suraj Sen a prince of Gurjar- Pratihar clan during 8th century once lost his way in the forest and on asking help and drinking water from a sage named Gwalipa, the sage took him to a pond where the water quenched his thirst and cured his leprosy too. Our of honor and gratitude Suraj Sen asked Gwalipa what he can do for him, and in answer, Gwalipa asked to build a wall on the hill to protect all sages and their pujas from wild animals and beasts. In return, Suraj Sen builds a fort and named it Gwalior after the sage.
Do you Know?
Gwalior is among the five princely states of India along with Hyderabad, Baroda, Mysore, Jammu and Kashmir who still enjoys 21 gun salutes.
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Historical facts of Gwalior
Gwalior has its existence in Historical records since during ancient days of 500 AD. Gwalior had seen its golden days during the rule of Raja Veer Singh who was the founder of Tomar clan. During the Scindia rule in the 18th and 19th century, Gwalior was one of the major regional power holders. Later on, after independence, Gwalior was merged with other small Rajyas( territories) and was uniformly known as Madhya Bharat which later on named o be Madhya Pradesh. Since those days of 18th Century Scindias ruled the place and till now ascenders from Scindia family are actively involved politically.
Do you know?
Rani Laxmi was betrayed by Scindias and was not allowed to take shelter in the fort, later she went to a Rishi’s ashram where she wished to set her pyre and that place is now famously known as Samadhi of Rani Laxmi Bai.
Places to visit in Gwalior
Do you Know?
Suraj Sen has built Gwalior Fort during the 3rd century.
Gwalior Fort is the most impenetrable fortress which is situated on a rocky mountain in Gwalior. The place is one of the best forts in North and West India. It has great defensive structure. It is said the Gwalior Fort is built by Suraj Sen in the third century. The fort includes 6 palaces, 3 temples, and several water tanks. The fort includes Man Mandir palace which was said to be built by Man Singh Tomar, it also includes Gujari Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, Vikram Mahal, Karan Mahal and Shah Jahan Mahal. The fort has two gates- Hathi Pul and Badalgarh Gate. The Fort has a breathtaking view. Teli-ka-mandir, Gopachal, Urvahi, Siddhachal Jain Temple Caves and Sas- Bahu Temple are must-see places to visit.
Do you Know?
Gwalior Fort is one of the largest forts in India.
Do not miss the light and sound show conducted at Gwalior Fort, this is worth seeing. It depicts the rich history and of the Fort, Raja Man Singh and his love story with Mrignayani.
Man Mandir Palace
Man Singh Tomar has built his dream palace in the year 1486-1516. The beautiful carvings of the place showcase the art of that era. The palace is located at the North-east end of Gwalior fort. The palace has two levels- each level has open court and apartments. There are also prison cells which were later built by Mughals. It is said that Aurangzeb poisoned his brother Murad and poised him slowly via opium and led him to death. Jauhar Kund is the place where women committed suicide to avoid rapes by Illtutmish during 13th century AD.
You need to hire a local guide who can explain you best about all historical stories.
Jai Vilas Palace
Jai Vilas Palace has a stunning display. The architectural grandeur of that era was simply awesome. The palace was built in an amalgamation of Italian style, Corinthian style and European style with a blend of Tuscan. The palace was constructed by Jiyaji Rao Scindia in the year 1875 which has now converted to a museum. The pair of chandeliers which you can find in the museum is Asia’s largest pair of chandeliers. The wall of the Durbar Hall is decorated with Golden leaves. The awe-inspiring carpet is Asia’s largest plush carpet. The palace was built by the prisoners from the fort. The dining table has a silver train which acts as a serving trolley. The Royal family still resides there.
The Sun temple by name it is clear that it is dedicated to Sun God and was built by GD Birla in the year 1988. It represented Konark. The exterior is made up of red sandstone and the interior is of white marble. The atmosphere is peaceful. You can also find a beautiful garden in front of the temple. Tourists from all over India come to visit this place
Do you Know?
Gwalior has a major place in Indian classical music. Gwalior Gharana is one of the oldest Khayala Gharana. Tansen was one of the most renowned singers of this Gharana during Mughal Dynasty.
Tomb of Ghaus Mohammed
The tomb is located in the town Hazira. The tomb is a prince who turned to Sufi Ghaur Mohammed. The astonishing Mughal architecture has been a famous pilgrim place for Muslims. The places have a scenic beauty.
Do you know the real meaning Sas- Bahu temple in Gwalior?
Sas- Bahu actually is the short form of Shashtra Bahu which is another name of Lord Vishnu and the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Tomb of Tansen
Tansen was one of the greatest vocalists and was one of the gems of Mughal court during Akhbar. He learned Drupad music from his guru Mohammed Ghaus and is buried near to his guru. The burial site has converted to a tomb with some beautiful Mughal architecture. The annual music festival is held here every year.
There are a lot more to see- Padavali and Bateshwar which is around 40 km far from Gwalior. You must visit Sarod Ghar if you are a music lover. Do not miss Shyam Vatika which has world’s largest Mural which was painted by 6 artists led by Ashutosh Panigrahi. For animal lovers, Gwalior zoo will be a great recreation.
Do you Know?
The Dhrupad music got popular during the reign of Raja Man Singh and Baiju Bawra ( Bijunath Prasad) was a famous patron of dhrupad, he was also the court singer of Gwalior.
How to reach Gwalior
Gwalior is well connected by train from all major cities of India. Gwalior has an airport which is also an Indian Airforce Base. Gwalior can also be reached via road. NH3, NH75, and NH92 connect Gwalior with all major cities.
Best time to visit Gwalior
October to March is the best time to visit Gwalior.
Local Food of Gwalior
Do not miss the local food once you visit Gwalior. The food here is rich, colorful and is followed by the royal heritage. The Samosas, Kachories, Bedai Andre best among vegetarian snacks. The Kebabs, Dal Bafla, Imarti, Bhutto ki kees, Rogan Josh, Malpua, Mawa- Bati and the traditional sweet Morena gajak is just mouth-watering
Do you Know?
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on 25th December 1924 in Gwalior and completed his graduation from Victoria College of Gwalior which is now known as Rani Laxmibai College.