Information of Gwalior
Gwalior - a historical Indian city - is located on the
periphery of Madhya Pradesh State, 321 Kms from Delhi and 121 Kms from
Agra. The new city consists of three large areas, called Lashkar, Morar
and Gwalior. Lashkar dominates in business activity while Morar serves as
a market for the farmers and villagers of adjoining areas. Gwalior also
known as Old Gwalior has most of the tourist places. Massive Gwalior Fort,
popularly called Gibraltar of India overlooks the city. The great Mughal
Emperor Babur presumably described it as, "The pearl in the necklace
of the forts of Hind". In the east of the city are two magnificent
examples of early Mughal architecture. One is mausoleum of, 16th century
Sufi saint Ghous Mohammed, and another is tomb of Mian Tansen, a great
singer and one of the 'Nine Jewels' of Emperor Akbar's court.
Close to the heart of the city is splendid Jai Vilas Palace, patterned on
the style of the 'Palais de Versailles' in France combines Tuscan, Italian
and Corinthian styles of architecture. Exciting excursion trip can be made
from Gwalior to Shivpuri, where the Madhav National Wildlife Park is
located. Rich in cultural heritage and architectural marvels, Gwalior has the added
advantage of it's proximity to Agra, the city of Taj Mahal, Khajuraho, the
city of great temples and Delhi, the national capital.
Mr.B.B. Lal has discovered implements of Paleolithic
age in Gwalior. Many cave paintings of the Middle Stone Age have also been
found in the area. Pottery of Iron Age has been excavated in Gwalior and
adjoining areas. Old name of Gwalior is Gopadri or Gopgiri. In the
Mahabharta Gopalkaksh has been mentioned as the place of victory of Bhima.
Probably Gopalkaksh is same Gopadri.
During the later period of 2nd Century a new dynasty called
Nagvans (vans means clan) took roots in Vidisha-Gwalior region. Vrashnath
was the founder of the Nagvans. A coin has been found of this ruler in
Vidisha during Veshnagar excavations.
Bhimnag was the next ruler of this clan who shifted it's capital from
Vidisha to Padmavati (modern Pawaya near Gwalior). Coins of descendant of
Bhimnag, Skandnag, Vashunag, and Vrahaspatinag have been found in Pawaya.
According to a pillar inscription found in Allahbad, Samudragupta had
defeated last ruler of Nagvans, Ganpatinag.
Pawaya is some 68 kms from Gwalior. The life-size statue of Chaksha
Manibhadra has been found here. The Parmars built the fort and the nearby
Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo temple, which are the main attractions of Pawaya.
Beginning of legendary Gwalior fort found it's roots in the 5th
Century during the rule of a Kachhwaha Rajput prince, Suraj Sen.
It is believed that Gwalior was also under the rule of Mihir Bhoj (836-882
AD). In the 10th Century, second ruler of Kachapghat Rajvans,
Vrajdaman had taken over Gwalior after defeating king of Kannauz.
Mangleraj and Kirtiraj were the subsequent rulers of Gwalior.
In 1021 AD Mahmud of Gazni attacked on Gwalior. One of his lieutenants
Malik Bahauddin Tughluq won Gwalior fort after lot of hard work.
magnificent monument of Gwalior the hilltop fort overlooks the city. The
fort is above 300 feet high and is about three kilometers in length and
600 to 3000 feet wide from East to West.
Raja Mansingh Tomar built it in 15th century. The fort can be approached
from two sides, on the eastern side is Gwalior Gate which leads pedestrian
path while on the western side is Urvai Gate which is the motorable way.
The fort wall which encircles almost the entire hill is about 10 meters
high. A steep road goes upward to the fort, flanked by statues of the Jain
Tirthakaras, carved into the rock face. One of the most invincible forts
in the entire History of India, this "pearl in the necklace of the
castles of Hind" has changed many hands but has rarely been captured.
The northern end has Jhangiri Palace, Shah Jahan Palace, Karna Mahal,
Vikram Mahal and Jal Johar Kund. Jahangiri and Shah Jahan Palaces are
predominantly Muslim in their architectural styles, these two-storied each
with large audience chambers. Karna Mahal was the palace of maternal uncle
of most famous king of Gwalior Raja Man Singh. Palace of prince Vikram,
Vikram Mahal had a small Vishnu temple in it.
In the same area is the Jal Jauhar kund or the tank used for Jauhar (mass
immolation undertaken by the ladies) which took place when Iltutmish the
slave king of Delhi besieged the fort and defeated the Parihar ruler. A
cenotaph nearby is of Maharajah Bhim Singh Rana (1757-1785), the Jat chief
of Gohad. The fort is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm except on Fridays. You
need to by different tickets for different sections. First when you enter
either from Gwalior Gate or Urvai Gate, you would buy Rs. 0.25 ticket for
whole fort, second one is bought on reaching the top, of Rs. 2 for Man
Man Mandir Palace
This marvelous palace was built between 1486 and 1517 by Raja Man Singh of
Tomar dynasty of Gwalior. The palace has two underground floors. It
consists of two open courts surrounded by apartments with carved stones,
pillars and brackets. Six rounded towers of singularly pleasing design
crowned with cupolas relieve this 80 feet high structure. It is further
complimented by blue ceramic mosaic and petite trellis work. Vast chambers
with fine stone screens were once the music halls, and behind these
screens, the royal ladies would learn music from the maestro of the day.
Former Emperor Aurangzeb had imprisoned his brother here. Aurangzeb
ordered that his brother be killed by being put in to a big vessel
containing boiling oil. This place still has black walls for the aforesaid
reason. A magnificent 'Son-et-Lumiere' brings back all this alive in the
evening. Light and sound show or 'Son-et-Lumiere' in English is from 8:30
pm to 9:15 pm.
Sas Bahu Ka Madir
This is a 9th century temple. The Sas-Bahu temple was probably called the
Shashtra Bahu (another name for Vishnu) temple. "The smaller one
close to it was perhaps a Shiva temple, but over the years this pair of
temples whose carvings can be compared to any of the great temples of
India came to be known as the "Sas-Bahu temples". In local
language Hindi sas means mother-in-law and bahu means daughter-in-law.
Teli Ka Madir
This is a 11th century 70 feet high temple. The temple was probably known
as the Telengana temple. It has a South Indian influence on its
architecture especially on the roof, which is Dravadian, though it's
facade remains Indo-Ayran.
It has sculptures found in Naresar, Batesar, Kherat, Ater(my maternal
native place), Ranod, Surwaya, Terahi and Padhawali. Sculptures are of
Gurjar Pratihar period( 7th century AD to 10th century AD). These
sculptures show the later development of Gupta art. 17th century AD
sculptures, from Ater are of Bhadoria rulers, showing Hindu and Mughal
Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhode
It has been built in the remembrance of sixth guru of Sikhs "Saint
Hargovind Singh ji". It is a beautiful structure completely made up
of white marble. The building is decorated with color glasses. Cupolas on
domes are of gold. There are two sarowars or ponds as well in this
Gurudwara. Non Sikhs are kindly requested to keep their head covered, by
some cloth like handkerchief, when going to Gurudwara. I am not exactly
aware of its reason as I am a Hindu but I follow the custom in accordance
with the sentiments of the Sikh brothers. If some Sikh is reading this,
please inform me about it.
The 15th century Gujari Mahal is a monument to the love of Raja Mansingh
for his Gujar queen, Mrignayani. Today Gujari Mahal has one of the finest
museums of sculptures dating back to 1st century AD even though many of
them have been defaced by the Mughals, their perfection of form has
survived the ravage of time. Particularly worth seeing is the statue of
Shalbhanjika from Gyraspur, the tree goddess, epitome of perfection in
miniature. The statue is kept in the custody of the museum's curator and
can be seen on request (timing of this museum is from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
daily except Monday).
Tomb of Tansen
This is the tomb of the father of Hindustani classical music, the great
Mian Tansen, one of the 'Nine Jewels' of Emperor Akbar's court. It is
built in the early Mughal architectural style and is surrounded by lush
gardens in typical Mughal style. Every year a national level music
festival is organized here in November/December. There is a tamarind tree
near the tomb. It is believed that Tansen got fabulous voice after eating
leaves of this tree so people visiting the place also eat these leaves.
Unfortunately there has been no change is my heavy voice, does any body
know the reason?
Mausoleum of Ghous Mohammed
The great, Ghous Mohammed, whose mausoleum is laid near tomb of Tansen,
was a Afghan Prince turned sufi saint who had helped Babur to win the
Gwalior fort. His mausoleum is a typical Mughal architecture. Particularly
interesting are the hexagonal pillars and screens using pierced stone
Sun Temple or Surya Mandir
This was Constructed in 1988. It is inspired by architecture of the famous
Konark Temple in Orissa. Red stone has been used on exteriors and white
marble on interior. There is a beautiful sculpture of Lord Surya in the
This is the busiest place in Gwalior. There is a garden in the middle of
which stands a copper sculpture of Maharaja of Gwalior, Late Jiyaji Rao
Scindhia. This garden is surrounded by shopping centers. There is the
biggest post office and bank of, Gwalior. Mrignayani shop for handicrafts
that I mentioned for shopping on Roaming
Page is also close to it.
Jai Vilas Palace
This beautiful pure white edifice patterned on the style of the 'Palais de
Versailles' in France combines Tuscan, Italian and Corinthian styles of
architecture. The palace has been partly converted into a museum for Royal
memorabilia. The rest of the part is the residence of Madhav Rao Scindia.
The royal Durbar Hall is a magnificent structure and taking support only
from columns on four sides. It also has the largest single piece carpet
woven right there in the hall by 12 weavers who took 13 years to complete
it. The ceiling of the Hall has a pair of the largest crystal chandeliers
in the world which were built in Belgium and bought in Paris each weigh
3.5 tones. The banquet hall below has the famous Royal Gwalior silver
train, which is infect, a liquor serving trolley.
Memorial of Rani(Queen) Jhansi
This memorial stands near Phoolbagh. One of the most famous ladies in the
entire History of India, Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi laid down her life in
Gwalior. Laxmibai was one of the leaders in the first freedom struggle of
India. Rani of Jhansi, Laxmibai came to Gwalior when general Huroz of
British army defeated Laxmibai in Kalpi. Maharaja Scindhia of Gwalior
betrayed Laxmibai. He gave her a weak horse. Sensing something-fishy
Laxmibai decided to leave Gwalior. She made the supreme sacrifice while
fighting British, on 18th June 1858.