Gwalior Forts


Overview

State: Madhya Pradesh
Distance: 321 Km S of Delhi
By Road: 6hrs 30min
By Rail: 4hrs
Location: The ancient capital of the Scindias is the far north of Madhya Pradesh, a convenient base from which to begin the Budelkhand circuit
Route: NH2 to Agra via Palwal, Hodal, Kosi Kalan and Mathura; NH3 to Gwalior via Dholpur and Morena

Fast Fact

  • When to go Gwalior

    Summer are awfully hot in central India, so winter months are the best

The fort city of Gwalior is situated in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on the main New Delhi-Mumbai and New Delhi-Chennai rail link. It is around 321 km from Delhi. The city extends between latitude 26°14' in the north to longitude 78°10' in the east.

Legends say that Gwalior owes its name to a sage of yesteryears. In fact, Suraj Sen, a prince of the Kachhwaha clan of the 8th century, is believed to have lost his way in the jungle and ultimately rambled up to an isolated hill. At this point of time his meeting with an old man, Sage Gwalipa, changed his course of life. Tired and spent, he asked for some water and the sage led him to a pond. The prince was taken by surprise when he found that after drinking the water it not only quenched his thirst but rid him of his disease of leprosy. Out of gratitude he wanted to offer something to the sage and the sage asked him to fortify the hill. The hill was thus fortified and named Gwalior, and the city that gradually developed around it acquired its name.

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  • Places to visit in Gwalior

    The Fort
    Standing on a steep mass of sandstone, Gwalior Fort dominates the city and is its most significant monument. It has been the scene of momentous events, imprisonment, battles and jauhars . A steep road winds upwards to the fort, flanked by statues of the Jain tirthankaras, carved into the rock face. The magnificent outer walls of the fort still stand, two miles in length and 35 feet high, bearing witness to its reputation for being one of the most invincible forts of India .

    Gujari Mahal
    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.

    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.

    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.
  • Places around Gwalior

    Shivpuri
    Shivpuri was summer capital of the Scindias and is 122 kms on the Mumbai - Agra highway. Shivpuri has numerous palaces and lakes which reminds of the splendour this place must have seen during the rein of Scindias.

    Datia
    A town of the Mahabharata period, Datia is 69 kms from Gwalior on the way to Chennai. Datia is historically very important. The seven storied palace built in brick and stone by Raja Bir Singh Deo is one of the finest example of Bundela architecture. This palace was built in 1614. The palace houses some of the fine Bundela paintings. The imposing Gopinath temple is a confluence of cultures with Mughal frescoes adorning the temple.

    Orchha
    Orchha was once the capital of Bundela Rajput and later it came under the Mughals. It is 120 kms on the road to Khajuraho and has not been touched by destructive hands of time.

    Dholpur
    On the way to Agra is a small tract of Rajasthani land which is called Dholpur. It was here that sons of Aurangzeb fought battle for succession. The battle was fought for the control of a declining Mughal empire. The Shergarh fort here is in ruins now. The Khanpur Mahal was built by Shah Jahan but it was never occupied.

    Narwar
    122 kms from Gwalior is another fort city called Narwar. This city was capital of Raja Nal. His love for Damayanti has been moulded into ballads and stories which form legends of the region. The town is dominated by a fort 500m above the town. The fort and palaces of Narwar are built in Rajput style. The flat ceilings, fluted columns and the many arches with interiors decorated with glass beads are typical in construction.

    Chanderi
    This place is famous for sarees which have fascinated the Indian lady since ages. Chanderi is 239 kms from Gwalior and is surrounded by forests, hills and lakes. Though the craft from Chanderi is very famous, the architecture of the area are in no way less imposing. The architecture here is influenced by the Bundela Rajputs and the Sultan of Malwa. In 1445 Mohammed Khilji built the Koshak Mahal on lines of Mandu architecture. The Jama Masjid , Shahzadi ka Rouza and Battisi Bandi were all built by the Sultans of Malwa in the 15th century. Chanderi also came up as pilgrimage center with the coming up of Jain temples in the 9th and 10th century. The picturesque Parameshwa Tal was built by the Bundelas and has a temple complex around it.

    Pawaya
    The ancient city of Padmawati is fascinating city of ruins. It is 68 kms from Gwalior on the Jhansi road. In the 3rd century Pawaya was the capital of Nag kings. The life size statue of Chaksha Manibhadra dates back to 1 A.D. The Parmars built the fort and the nearby Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo temple which are the main attractions of Pawaya.

    Tigra Dam
    A picnic spot which is 23 kms from the Gwalior City.

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