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Situated in the dreary part of Madhya Pradesh, is Gwalior providing a sought after respite for the state tourism. A town famous throughout India, Gwalior is rich in the late medieval as well as modern history with some important incidents taking place here. Gwalior Fort and Jai Vilas Palace are the major attractions of Gwalior. But apart from these there are some other interesting monuments in Gwalior including the Tomb of Tansen, the great singer from the court of Akbar.

 

There are two ways to reach Gwalior Fort, one from the old town, which in itself is a site that shows the typical suburban life in India, and one from the newer parts of the city. If you take the way from the old city, you better walk, for you will have to gain an experience of at least two years to be able to drive here. The roads are narrow and lined with open gutters that can easily gobble up a wheel of your vehicle. Obstacles such as cattle, ignorant people, thoughtlessly parked vehicles, rubble from construction sites will be frequent. But if you walk, you will be able to notice other interesting things in this area such as a laid back life of the shopkeepers sailing sweets and grocery, one and two storied houses by the road and the simple people going about their business.

 

Gwalior Fort is perched atop a hill. While you reach it, you encounter some marvelous Rock Carvings on the way. These are statues of naked Jain Tirthankaras from the 15th century. Fallen victim of vandalism at the hands of Babur, these monuments were later restored. The size of the statues and the marvelous workmanship is definitely worth a look.

 

The drive ends as you enter the tableland at Urvai Gate of the fort. Here you park your vehicle, get tickets and pick up a guide if you wish to.

 

The Fort of Gwalior was built in the 8th century by the ruler of Kacchawa Pal dynasty. This long ruling dynasty enjoyed command over this fort for 84 generations. After their reign ended the fort passed through the hands of several dynasties, including Pratihar rulers, Tomars and several Muslim rulers. During the British rule it was in the command of their allies Scindias, who have it till date. Amongst the notable episodes in Indian history, one is the death of Rani Laxmibai, the queen of Jhansi, who died here a heroine fighting against the British.

 

The major attraction inside the fort is that of Mansingh Palace. It was built by Mansingh Tomar around the wake of 16th century. This marvelous palace, having been repainted twice in the last century, presents a grand view. Colored in patches of blue and built in sandstone, this attractive palace offers an intriguing tour from inside.

 

Mansingh, a man with peculiar taste in architecture, chose unusual adornments for the palace. Usage of different animals such as elephants, tigers, crocodiles, ducks and even mythological creatures as well as Chinese dragons has been made in motifs and pillars in different chambers of the palace.

 

There are halls and chambers for different purposes which make an interesting viewing when explained by the guide. There are dance and music chambers where veils have been carved for the queens so they can see the performers but the performers cannot see them. Then there are inner chambers for the queens made for recreational purposes such as enjoying swings, baths and resting which were later transformed by Aurangzeb for diametrically opposite uses such as prison and hanging the prisoners. Amongst these there is an interesting tube phone carved in the walls that connects two halls.

 

At the other end of the tableland is the Sans-Bahu Mandir, which literally translates as Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law temple. However, the guides account that the temple of Vishnu here was originally known as the Sahastra Baahu Mandir, the temple of the god with thousand arms. The name was later shortened by the people to Saans Bahu.

 

Amongst some other popular sites in the fort is Teli ka Mandir, Vikram Mandir, Karan Palace and the tank named Jauhar Kund where there queens had committed Jauhar, an act of mass suicide by immolation carried out to save honor during the defeat at the hands of Iltumish.

 

Down in the newer parts of the town lays the grand Jai Vilas Palace, the royal home of Scindias which now has been converted into Scindia Museum. The palace displays the articles gathered by the wealthy Scindias along with rooms and personal belongings of some of the members of Scindia hierarchy. Here there are antiquities such as a table of Napolean Bonapart and the shield of Rani Laxmibai. There is a swimming pool for the ladies and several rooms displaying regal articles such as shoe racks and shoes, dining tables, meeting chambers of the politically strong Scindias where some important figures in Indian history have been hosted and the bed chambers.

 

There is a grand celebration hall where a pair of gigantic chandeliers, three and half tons each, can be seen. It is believed that eight elephants were suspended by the roof to taste its strength before hanging the chandeliers. In some of the other chambers there are intriguing articles such as Asia’s largest carpet made by prisoners and a silver train that runs along a massive dining table carrying cigars and other pleasantries.

 

Situated nearly 350 kilometers from Delhi, the road connecting these two cities is pleasurable and unlike most of the other terrible roads of MP. A highlight of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior is a must see on the tourist map of the state.


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Gwalior, a Gorgeous City - by Sanmiti Holkar  Dated : 2011-03-29
There are rock sculptures in Gwalior. These rock sculptures are Jain rock sculptures. Babar was a Mughal emperor and his army defaced and castrated these Jain sculptures. The Jain sculptures are the sculptures of the Jain teachers.

Some of these Jain sculptures have been restored, but even then one can make out that these have been restored, because there is a difference in the colour of the face and the body. There is also a 17 meter high statue of Adinath, who was the first Jain tirthankar.
There is no admission fee to see the Jain sculptures and these are also a must visit destination in Gwalior.

Gwalior also has a cenotaph of Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana. It lies on the northern end of the Gwalior fort. Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana lived from 1707 to 1756.

Bhim Singh Rana was the most powerful ruler of Gohad state in Madhya Pradesh. Later Gohad state became a Jat state.

The jat rulers of Gohad were given the title of Rana. Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana was very ambitious. There was a fierce battle between Bhim Singh Rana’s army and the Marathas, to conquer the Gwalior fort. Bhim Singh Rana’s army was the jat army.

The jats won the battle and conquered the Gwalior fort. Bhim Singh Rana occupied the Gwalior fort from 1740 to 1756. Bhim Singh Rana’s successor built the monument in Bhim Singh Rana’s memory.
Gwalior, my Favourite City - by Abhijeet Sahni  Dated : 2011-03-29
The Jai vilas palace and Scindia museum are excellent places in Gwalior and should not be missed.

Both, the Jai vilas palace and Scindia museum were built by prisoners in the year 1874. These two places are built lavishly.

Belgian cut glass has been used in the extravagant rooms of the Jai vilas palace and Scindia museum. These places also have huge chandeliers made from venician glass. A silver train is also present here. The silver train is as long as a never ending dining table and it contains, brandy, whiskey, cocktails and gin.

The Saas bahu temples are mother in law and daughter in law temples. These temples have a display of a few statues, so when we go there we feel that we are in an outdoor museum.

The Saas bahu temples were built form 9th century to 11thn century. These temples are dedicated to lord Vishnu. Some of the temples have been restored to their original form and as lot of work has gone into this.

On the western side of the fortress, there are some ancient Jain carvings. These carvings have been made in the face of the rock and date back to the 15th century.

The carvings in the rock show the Jain teachers, called tirthankars. These sculptures are nude, because the Jain tirthankars are nude even in real life.
Gwalior, a Memorable City - by Tanya Gupta  Dated : 2011-03-29
I had heard a lot about the Raja Mansingh fort in Gwalior, so when I reached Gwalior, I decided to visit this fort. I had gone to Gwalior with my friends. Raja Mansingh fort can be reached by rickshaw form different places in Gwalior.

As we started exploring the Raja Mansingh fort, we realized that it will take us 12 hours to explore the whole fort. The architecture of the fort is truly magnificent and the ancient technology used in the fort is mind blowing.

When we reached the top most point in the Raja Mansingh fort, we got an aerial view of Gwalior city. The fort is built with an excellent plan, as the fort has underground jails, water reservoirs and temples.

The Raja Mansingh fort will offer an encyclopaedia of knowledge to civil engineers and architects, because of its studied design.

There are many restaurants in Gwalior, which offer delicious and inexpensive food. The city offers various delicacies, so food lovers can have a good time here. You should not forget to taste gajak, which is a famous delicacy of Gwalior.

There are amusement parks and water parks, where people can enjoy. These water parks and amusement parks are also an attraction for children.

Gwalior is well connected by train to most of the major railway stations in India. Gwalior is also connected by road to many cities in India.
Gwalior, the Historical City - by Deepak Shahane  Dated : 2011-03-29
You can plan a weekend trip to visit Gwalior fort. The Gwalior fort is close from the railway station in Gwalior and is located on a hill in the centre of the city. Once in the Gwalior fort, you can visit places and temples. The temples are both Hindu as well as Sikh temples.

In the past, the Gwalior fort was praised by the Mughal emperor Babar. Thus, you can imagine the beauty of this fort. The fort also has a place from where the Rani of Jhansi took her last leap while battling with the British. The British were ruling India and the Rani of Jhansi died while battling them.

Close to the Gwalior fort, there is a religious place for the Sikhs, call ‘Data bandi chor’. This monument is a gurudwara. Jains also visit Gwalior fort, because it has 20 feet tall statues of Lord Mahavir and other Jain Masters.

Gwalior is the birth place of Tansen. There is a tomb of Tansen in Gwalior, as it was his wish to be buried there. Gwalior also has a replica of Konark Sun temple. This temple is built in Gwalior by the Birlas.

There is a Gujari museum in Gwalior, where exhibiutions of the international level are held. Sculptures are displayed in this museum. Gwalior also has the Scindia museum. This museum belongs to the Scindias who were the rulers of Gwalior in the past.
Gwalior, a Tryst with History - by Girish Shinde  Dated : 2011-03-29
Gwalior is an amazing place and it will offer you a peep into the past. The Gwalior fort is a must-visit destination. When you visit the Gwalior fort, do take a guide, because without the guide, you will not know the importance of the different places in the fort.

There are ruins left of a temple. This is not a major attraction in Gwalior, but all the same, it should be visited. There is a gurudwara, which tells a tale. I recommend that you should take a whole day’s tour and end the day with the magnificent light and sound show.

The sound and light show lasts for 45 minutes. It is in Hindi first and is followed by the same show in English. The show starts at 7.30 pm in the winters and at 8.30 pm in the summers.
Gwalior is very well connected from Delhi and is a must-visit destination.

There is a shopping mall in Gwalior, by the name of Dindayal city mall. There is also a shopping circle in Gwalior, by the name of Bada.

Gwalior is also known for the various activities held there. Some days ago there was a classical programme held in Gwalior. This programme was organized by Heritage Gwalior club.

As I told you earlier, it is very easy to reach Gwalior. Gwalior is situated on the Agra Mumbai, national highway.