Gwalior, ‘The Best Heritage City’ witnesses an Ancient history, Medieval History and Modern History since thousand years. It is situated in northern part of Madhya Pradesh, India. City of Gwalior witnesses dynasties like Naag, Kushan, Shunga, Gupta, Pratihar, Kachhwaha, Tomars etc. Turks and Mughals also left foot-prints on the history of Gwalior. Gwalior Fort is also known as “The Gibraltar of India” had witnessed a lot of war and kingdoms.
The city of Gwalior witnessed a number of dynasties for the longer period of time and it occupies a lot of Heritage monuments. It was also witnesses ‘First War of Independence’. All these historical monuments attract tourists to stay and live the great history of Gwalior.
There are lots of Tourism Attractions in Gwalior city that Tourist should not miss are:
Places on Gwalior Fort
1. Gwalior Fort: Gwalior Fort was built by the local king named Shoor Sen on Gopachal Hill. According to some historian, Gwalior Fort belongs to Mahabharata age. It is famous as ‘Gibraltar of India’ and ‘Pearl in the necklace of the castles of Hind’. The splendid outer walls of the fort stand 3.5 km in length and 350 feet height, bearing witness to its reputation for being one of the most invincible forts of India. Monuments on Gwalior fort are below
2. Maan Mandir Palace: It is one of the most iconic monuments of Rajputana architecture built by Raja Maan Singh Tomar between the period of 1486 and 1571. More than 3 storey Royal palace is the wonderful example of civil engineering. King’s chamber, Queen’s chamber and common hall, vast chambers, galleries, and verandah ornamented with beautiful carving and colorful tiles.
3. Chaturbhuj Temple: It is a very interesting example of Rock cut Architecture and it belongs to 9th Century. It has a garbha-griha (sanctum) and a Mukha-mandapa (portico) supported on four pillars in front. Zero was first found here. The temple was built during the reign of Pratihara ruler, Adivarah Bhojdev.
4. Teli ka Mandir: A 100 feet high temple belongs to 8th Century Pratihar Dynasty temple of Shiva or Vishnu. It is an interesting example of temple architecture where both the Dravidian and Indo-Aryan styles meet known as Valabhi style of temple architecture. According to some locals, this place was used as business centers where they meet, deal and stay.
5. Saas-Bahu Temple: It is also known as Sahastra-bahu ‘A legendary warrior in Hindu Mythology’ situated on Gwalior Fort built in the year 1092 by King Mahipal of Kachchhapaghata (Kachhwaha) dynasty. The twin structures temples denoted to Lord Vishnu. This artistic piece of architecture not only fascinates the devotees but also the tourists. Both of these temples are adjacent to each other and are extravagantly decorated with beautiful carvings and sculptures.
6. Gurudwara Sri Data Bandi Chhod: It is the most famous Sikh Temple in Gwalior and having a historical significance. 6th Sikh Guru Har Govind Sahib was imprisoned here by Mughal Emperor Jehangir in this place along with 52 other kings. The word “Bandi” means “imprisoned”, “Chhor” means “release”. Devotees and Tourists from all over world visit Gurudwara for blessings.
7. Assi Khamba ki Baori: Assi Khamba ki Baori is the ancient monument in the Gwalior Fort in front of Man Mandir Palace. Built by Maharaja Man Singh Tomar this ancient monument consists of different chambers which were made for the Queens to bathe. It has 80 pillars and hence is called as ‘Assi Khamba ki Baori’.
8. Jain Sculptures and Caves: A striking part of the Jain remains at Gwalior is a series of caves or rock-cut sculptures, excavated in the rock on all sides and more than hundred in numbers. According to inscriptions, they were excavated between 13th to 15th Century A.D. during Rajputana Rule.
9. Gujari Mahal: It is situated on the foothill of Gwalior Fort. Gujari Mahal was built by Raja Maan Singh Tomar for his beloved Gurjar Queen Mrignayani. Archeological Museum in Gujari Mahal houses rare antiques, some of them dating back to the 1st century A.D. particularly, worth seeing is the statue of Shalbhanjka from Gyaaraspur, the tree goddess, an epitome of perfection in miniature. Tourist must-see Arms and Ammunition museum gallery in the basement.
10. Light and Sound Show: It is one of the most interesting shows to see in Gwalior. The Half an hour show in Hindi and English both showcases the history of Gwalior Fort by colors lights and sound effects.
Places in the City
11. Jai Vilas Palace: One of the eyes soothing monument architecture by Sir Michael Filose, designed on the plan of an Italian Palazzo is worth visiting. The construction of Palace distinct in three styles of architecture, the ground floor represents Tuscan style, the first floor depicts the Italian design and the topmost floors depict the Corinthian style. It’s Darbar Hall along with eye-catching treasures including a silver train with cut glass wagons serving guests as it chugged around on miniature rails on the tables; a glass cradle from Italy, Mughal carpets, Swords of Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan etc.
12. Sarod Ghar: This Museum of Music has been set up in the old ancestral house of the legendary Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan. It houses ancient instruments of the great Indian Masters of yesteryears. It also houses an impressive collection of photographs and documents. Sarod Ghar is a unique institution devoted to promoting Indian classical music, heritage, and culture. Through this ‘window’ to the past, music lovers can gain a better understanding of the evolution and history of our classical music and a deeper perspective and insight into the context of the art as it exists today.
13. Rani of Jhansi Memorial: During ‘First War of Independence-1857’ Maharani got surrounded by British Army and having no chance of survival, she is said to have died of her wounds at this very place after she jumped off the Gwalior Fort with her horse. The memorial is dedicated to her.
14. Chhatris (Cenotaphs) of Scindia Dynasty: It is situated on the Theme Road and in front of most famous Maharani Laxmi Bai College. It is a cremation place for the member of Scindia Royal Family who rules city for many years. Another premise of Scindia Family Chhatri is near to Maharaj Bada.
15. Municipal Corporation Museum: It is also called ‘Nagar Nigam Museum’. I can bet you that this one is as best as another one. Artifacts, arms, animal and bird skin, belongings of Rani Laxmi Bai, and other documents related to the city’s history, First War of Independence etc can get here.
16. Ladhedi Gate: It is also known as ‘Buland Darwaza of Gwalior’. It was built in 14th-15th century by local king Kalyan Mal. According to some historians, this place used for hanging the enemy and some says it was used for securing the treasure of royal family. It is protected by Archeological Survey of India.
17. Tomb of Gaus Mohammad and Tansen: The great Sufi saint Hazrat Mohammad Gaus is situated at Hazira and was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar. Gaus Mohammad was one of the notable Sufi in the history of India. The tomb is a beautiful piece of early Mughal architecture. The place also famous for the ‘Samadhi’ of Tansen, the great Singer, and Musician of Hindustani Classical Music. Tansen was one of the ‘Navratnas’ of Akbar. World Famous Tansen Music Festival organized every year in this premises.
18. Jain Golden Temple: This temple situated at Gwalior was constructed in the year 1761. During the construction of this temple, the devotees gave 80 kilos of gold for golden and ornamental work inside the temple. The main idol of this temple is Lord Parsvanath which was installed in the year 1212. It means that there was an ancient temple originally where this idol was installed and later when this temple was constructed, the idol was placed here. It is not clear whether the old temple still exist or it had been totally ruined and dismantled with the passage of time.
19. Sun Temple: The Sun Temple is a facsimile of the famous Sun Temple of Konarka, Odisha and now this Sun Temple is one among the significant pilgrimage centers in Gwalior. It was constructed by Shri G.D Birla (a famous industrialist of India) in the year 1988.
20. Maharaja Bada: ‘Heart of the city’ Maharaj Bada is the biggest and important marketplace of Gwalior. It is also known as Jiwaji Chowk. In the surroundings of Maharaj Bada, there are buildings of European, Indian- Islamic Architecture. It is the best place for shopping and street food.
This is not an end of tourism places in Gwalior. Once you come, you came to about the historical richness and beauty of the city.
Where to stay: All categories of hotels, resorts, Home-stays, inns and Guest Houses are available in the city like Tansen Residency, Taj Usha Kiran Palace, Radisson Blu, Central Park, etc.
When to visit: October to March is the best time to visit Gwalior.
How to Reach: Airways: Gwalior is connected with Mumbai and Delhi
Railways: Connected with almost all big cities of India.
Roadways: Buses are available of all nearby big cities like New Delhi, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore, Kanpur etc.