Madhav National Park, Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh


State: Madhya Pradesh
Distance: 433 Km S of Delhi
By Road: 9hrs
By Rail: 4hrs
Location: This little known wildlife sanctuary is 112km from Gwalior, in North Central Madhya Pradesh
Route: NH2 to Agra via Palwal, Hodal and Mathura; NH3 to SHivpuri via Dholpur, Morena, Gwalior, Mohana and Satanwara

Fast Fact

  • Best time to visit Shiv Puri

    Winter is best; summer is unbearably hot. The park stays open in the rains but the roads are not good at this time

Shivpuri is steeped in the royal legacy of its past, when it was the summer capital of the Scindia rulers of Gwalior. And earlier, its dense forests were the hunting grounds of the Mughal emperors when great herds of elephants were captured by emperor Akbar.

Much later, it was the Tiger that roamed the wooded hills and many a magnificent beast was 'bagged' by royal Shikaris. Today Shivpuri is a sanctuary for rare wildlife and avifauna. Its royal past has thus been transformed into a vibrant, hopeful present.

  • Places to visit in Shivpuri

    Madhav National Park
    156 sq km in area, the park is open throughout the year. With a varied terrain of wooded hills, the forest being dry, mixed and deciduous with flat grasslands around the lake, it offers abundant opportunities of sighting a variety of wildlife. The predominant species that inhabits the park is the deer, of which the most easily sighted are the graceful little Chinkara, the Indian gazelle, and the Chital. Other species that have their habitat in the park are Nilgai, Sambar, Chausingha or four-horned Antelope, Blackbuck, Sloth Bear, Leopard and the ubiquitous common Langur.

    The National Park is equally rich in avifauna. The artificial lake, Chandpata, is the winter home of migratory Geese, Pochard, Pintail, Teal, Mallard Gadwall, Red Wattled Lapwing, Large Pied Wagtail, Pond Heron, White - Breasted Kingfisher, Cormorant, Painted Stork, White Ibis, Laggar Falcon, Purple Sunbird, Paradise Flycatcher and Golden Oriole.

    Set in a formal Mughal garden, with quiet nooks under flowering trees, intersected by pathways with ornamental balustrades and illuminated by Victorian lamps, is the complex in which the cenotaphs of the Scindias are set. Facing each other across a water tank are the Chhatris of Madho Rao Scindia and the dowager queen Maharani Sakhya Raje Scindia, synthesising the architectural idioms of Hindu and Islamic styles with their shikhara-type spires and Rajput and Mughal pavilions.

    Madhav Vilas Palace
    Standing upon a natural eminence, the elongated rose-pink summer palace of the Scindias is a fine example of colonial architecture. The 'Mahal' as it is called, is remarkable for its marble floors, iron columns, graceful terraces and the Ganpati mandap.

    Sakhya Sagar Boat Club
    Edging the forests of the Madhav National Park is the Sakhya Sagar Lake, habitat of a variety of reptiles. Seen here are the Marsh Crocodile or Mugger, Indian Python and the Monitor Lizard. On the shores of the lake and connected to it by a broad pier is a Boat Club, an airy, delicate structure with glass panels.

    Bhadaiya Kund
    A scenic spot by a natural spring. The water here is rich in minerals, supposedly of a curative nature.
  • Places Around Shiv Puri

    41 km from Shivpuri is the medieval fortress of Narwar. At one time, it was the capital of Raja Nal of Naisadha, whose love for Damyanti has been mentioned in detail in the Mahabharata.

    The fort is situated atop a hill about 500 feet above ground level and has an area of 8 sq km. The interior of the fort is divided by cross walls into four 'ahata' and 'dholaahata'. The architecture of the fort and palaces is basically Rajput in style with flat ceiling, fluted columns and multifoil arches. The inner walls of the palaces have been decorated with bright paint and glass beads.

    21 km from Shivpuri. Noteworthy at this place are the remains of a fort within which are housed three Hindu temples, a monastery and a step-well. The three temples are dedicated to Vishnu and reveal traces of extremely fine carvings.

    Karera Bird Sanctuary
    45 km away on the Shivpuri-Jhansi road, the Karera Bird Sanctury has been set up for the protection of the Great Indian Bustard. It also houses a big population of the Black Buck.

    Pichhore is 78 km from Shivpuri. The present fort at the northern end of the western ghats was built in 1675 AD by the Bundela ruler Rajaveer Vrashabh Dev Singh. The city earlier known as Champa Nagari, was destroyed in 1313 AD during a fierce battle between the Tomar and Rajput kings. Among the historical spots which still exist are the bungalow of Raja Bhoj, the tomb of Veer Jagat Singh in the Nageshwar mountains, Rasik Bihavi, the temple of Ganesh built in 1734, and a huge lake.

    Once a centre for the Shaivite cult, Kadwaha, 100 km from Shivpuri, is renowned for the remarkable remains of 14 Brahmanical temples, unknown elsewhere in the northern region of the State. It also has an ancient two- storeyed monastery.
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