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Gwalior

 

Gwalior is famous for Gwalior Fort. Gwalior is the fourth largest city of Madhya Pradesh. Gwalior owes its name to a sage of former times. According to history, the original fort of Gwalior was founded by the Bargujar Kings. Many historical places are found near the Dabra-Bhitarwar Road. Gwalior fort also has the Gurudwara Data Bandi built in the memory of the sixth Sikh Guru Har Gobind. There is a Gurdwara that was converted to a mandir of "kalli devi" and process is on to take it back by sikhs. Gwalior is a well acknowledged place of art, associated with historic as well as contemporary evidence. Culturally Gwalior is the confluence of two rich cultures Bundeli and Braj. also known as city of Music. Tansen, born in Behat, trained in music at Vrindavan, served Raja Ramchandra Waghela of Bandhawgarh, then went to Agra under the patronage of Akbar. The Gwalior Gharana is one of the oldest Khayal Gharanas and one to which most classical Indian musicians can trace the origin of their style. 

Gwalior Fort

It is one of the biggest forts in India and historical records state that it was built in the 8th century. Known as 'The Pearl in the Necklace of the Forts of Hind' by the Mughal Emperor Babur, the fort attracts thousands of tourists every year. The fort was constructed in two parts; the first part constitutes the main fort that was built during the early rule of the Tomaras. Apart from this, other buildings present in the fort were constructed by Raja Man Singh Tomar for his queen, Mrignayani during the 15th century. Gwalior Fort is situated on an isolated rock, offering views of entire Gwalior town. Full of medieval architecture, the fort houses a number of historic buildings including Man Mandir, Gujari Mahal cum museum, Teli-ka-Mandir Temple and many others. To highlight the importance of this fort, the Indian Postal Service has issued a postage stamp with a picture of the fort. Spread across an area of about 3 sq km, the fort was constructed at a height of 100 metres above the city. Surrounded by walls of sandstone, the fort has three temples, six palaces and number of water tanks. 

Phool Bagh

Phool Bagh is situated within the vicinity of Gwalior Railway Station. Constructed by late Madho Rao Scindia, Phool Bagh comprises a residential palace and a museum along with other buildings. The garden was inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1922 on his visit to Gwalior. Gwalior zoo along with a temple, a mosque and a Gurudwara are situated in the garden. Moreover, there is a Theosophical Lodge and a prayer place within the campus of Phool Bagh.

 

Suraj Kund

Suraj Kund is a tank located in the Gwalior Fort. The kund was constructed in the 15th century though its history dates back to as early as 425 AD. Legend states that during this period a king named Suraj Sen went into the forest for hunting and was missing. The king asked for water from the sage Gwalipa, who lived in the forest. The sage asked him to climb a hill for water. The water of the tank cured his leprosy and as a token of gratitude to the sage, he constructed the Suraj tank and a temple. The local people still believe that the water in the tank has medicinal power. Beautiful surroundings and historical significance of the tank attract many devotees as well tourists every year.

Hathi Pool is the main entrance of the Gwalior Fort. Also known as Hathiya Paur, the main gate offers direct entry to Man Mandir Palace, which was constructed by Man Singh.

Hathi Pool

Possessing a series of seven gates, Hathi Pool is the last gate of the fort. The gate received its name from the statue of a life-sized elephant, which was once made at the entrance to the gate. The huge gate built with stone on the south-east corner of the palace has cylindrical towers that are covered with cupola domes. Another belief behind the name of this gate is its huge size through which even elephants could pass. The gate can only be accessed after passing through six other gates of the fort. Besides Hathi Pool, another prominent gate used by travellers to enter the fort is the Badalgarh Gate. 

Sas-Bahu Temple

These temples are not dedicated to Sas (mother-in-law) and Bahu (daughter-in-law) but rather the short form of Shashtra Bahu, another name of Lord Vishnu. These temples situated adjacent to each other and the larger one is elaborately decorated with beautiful carvings and sculptures. The roof of the larger temple is adorned with a marvelous lotus carving which is very fascinating. These ancient temples display exceptional architectural brilliance and are a perfect destination for pious people.

 

Memorial of Tansen

The Memorial of Tansen, also known as the 'Tomb of Tansen', is located in the vicinity of the tomb of Muhammad Ghaus. Surrounded by gardens, the tomb is has a typical Mughal architectural style. Buried in the tomb complex of Muhammad Ghaus, Tansen was a follower of the Sufi saint. He also learnt Hindustani classical music and several ragas from Muhammad Ghaus, his music teacher. Tansen was an exponent of the Dhrupad style and developed the Gwalior Gharana style. Apart from being a beautiful monument, the tomb also serves as a part of the living cultural heritage of Gwalior. A national level music festival is organized every year during the months of November and December at the tomb. Many emerging musicians and singers perform at the site during festivals and competitions.

 Kala Vithika

Kala Vithika is one of the prominent museums housing ancient instruments of the great Indian masters of history. The museum also has many paintings and portraits displaying the rich culture and history of the city. Under the guidance of sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, the ancestral house of the legendary Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan has recently been converted into Sarod Ghar. Constructed by Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Trust, the museum is designed as per traditional Gwalior architecture.

 Teli Ka Mandir

Teli-ka-Mandir or the Oilman's Temple is situated within the Gwalior Fort. Historical evidence states that the temple was either constructed during the 8th century or 11th century. The temple is referred to as the oldest temple of the fort, which portrays a combination of South Indian and North Indian architectural styles. It is a 100 feet high temple, which has influence from both Buddhist and Hindu architectural styles. The temple was originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu but was later converted to the worship of Lord Shiva. The entrance door has a torana or archway accompanied by beautifully decorated sculpted images. These include images of romantic couples, river goddesses, flower decoration and a Garuda. The structure of Garuda is the highest monument in the fort, which can be seen from a distance.

 Gujari Mahal

The 15th century Gujari Mahal is a monument to the love of Raja Mansingh Tomar for his intrepid Gujar Queen, Mrignayani. Gujari Mahal is one of the palaces in Gwalior which has now been transformed into a museum. The palace was converted into a museum in 1922 and is known by the name of Central Archaeological Museum. Housing 28 galleries and around 6,000 artefacts, the museum is known for its collection of sculptures, coins, pottery, terracotta, paintings, inscriptions and weapons. The museum possesses antiques from the 2nd century to at least 300 years ago. It was built on demand of the queen that she needed a separate palace for herself with regular water supply. For fulfilling the same, the structure was constructed near the Rai River. The collection provides evidences that fifteen among the thirty one great singers of the country, including Tansen, learnt classical singing in this mahal. The museum is also popular for a huge collection of photographs including the Bagh Cave paintings and monuments of India.

 Man Mandir Palace

Man Mandir Palace was constructed by Man Singh Tomar between the years 1486-1517. The palace was ruled by various rulers such as Kachwaha Rajputs, Qutubiddin Aibawk, the Tomaras, Mughals, Marathas, the British and the Scindias. This palace is also known as Chit Mandir or Painted Palace. It is constructed in four levels, out of which two are underground. The palace is an 80 feet high structure, which has six rounded towers with cupolas. The circular prison within the palace witnessed imprisonment and murder of Murad, who was killed by his brother Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor. Jhulagar, Kesar Kunda and Phansi Ghar are the prominent structural premises, which were used during the Mughal era. Influenced by both Hindu and medieval architecture, the exteriors of the palace are decorated with designed tiles. The chambers are decorated with carved stone walls. The interiors of the palace are designed with coloured paintings of human figures, animals and flowers and glazed tiles.

Jauhar Kund

Jauhar Kund is one of the prominent attractions, which is built within the Gwalior Fort. Besides palaces and temples, many tanks were built in the Gwalior Fort. The surroundings and the design of the tanks were made as per medieval architecture. For maintaining adequate water supply in the fort, the tanks were constructed near the water sources such as rivers, tributaries, water streams and lakes. Mansarovar Tal, Gangola Tal, KatoraTal, EkKhambha Tal, Rani Tal and Chedi Tal are the various tanks built within the fort. According to history, Jauhar Kund is the tank where Rajput women of the harem committed Jauhar or suicide, when the place was attacked by Iltumash. After the defeat of the King of Gwalior in 1232, the women of the region carried out mass sati or self-immolation around the tank.

 

Tomb of Ghous Mohammed

The tomb of Ghous Mohammed is a prominent sightseeing attraction located in the old town of Hazira. Legend states that the tomb belongs to Ghous Mohammed, the Afghan prince, who later turned into a Sufi saint. According to history, the prince also helped Babur in acquiring the Gwalior Fort. Constructed in the 16th century, the tomb originally belonged to the time of Akbar. An example of Mughal architecture, the screens of the monument have been carved and developed using the pierced stone technique. The tomb has number of chhatris that are covered with blue tiles. Moreover, the walls feature intricate carvings and latticework. The Tomb of Ghous Mohammed is situated near the neighbouring tomb, which belongs to Tansen, a great composer and singer. Apart from being a prominent Sufi Shattari exponent and author, the Mohammed was also the spiritual mentor of Tansen.

Dev Kho

Dev Kho is located at a distance of around 16 km from Gwalior. Owing to its natural beauty, the place is a habitat of numerous species of birds and wild animals. Dev Kho is also popular for a temple of Lord Shiva, which is situated on a hillock. It can be easily reached by road with the availability of taxis from the city.

Chhatris of Scindia Dynasty

The Chhatris of Scindia Dynasty are one of the prominent tourist attractions and is located in the Chhatri Bazar. Possessing various chhatris of the Scindia dynasty, these are famous for their architecture and beautiful structure. Apart from others, the Chhatris of Jivaji Rao Scindia, Daulat Rao Scindia and Janko ji Rao Scindia are well known. These chhatris preserve the beauty of the medieval period and are decorated with stone carvings of elephants, horses and tigers. 

Jai Vilas Mahal

Jai Vilas Mahal is a huge and beautiful palace constructed in the European style. The 25 rooms of the palace have been converted into the museum. The museum is one of the largest in Madhya Pradesh and has the worlds largest chandelier and the complex reflective the mixture of the British as well as Hindu architecture.This standing Italianate structure is a combination of Tuscan and Corinthian architectural styles. Designed by Lt. Col. Sir Michael Filose, the palace was constructed by Maharaja Jivaji Rao Scindia in 1809. The palace also has historic swords, which were once worn by Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan during their ruling period. At present, some parts of the palace are occupied by the Scindia family.

Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhod

Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhod is a memorial constructed in the memory of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the 6th Sikh Guru. History states that Guru Hargobind Sahib was imprisoned in the premises by Jehangir for over two years. During the time of release of the guru, he also wanted 52 Hindu kings, who were his fellow prisoners, to be released. Built inside the Gwalior Fort, the Gurudwara was constructed in 1970. Made up of marble and colourful stained glass exteriors, the Gurudwara is one of the significant Sikh pilgrimage sites.

Sun Temple

Surya Mandir, also known as Sun Temple, is the replica of the famous Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. Dedicated to the Sun god, the temple is situated near the residency at Morar, and is one of the pilgrimage places in the region. The temple was constructed by G.D. Birla, the famous industrialist of India in 1988. Surya Mandir is constructed using red sand stone and white marble. The exterior of the temple is decorated with red sand stone while the interiors present a perfect white marble work. The exteriors of the temple are also decorated with numerous stone carved images depicting various Hindu gods.

Samadhi of Rani Lakshmi Bai

The Samadhi of Rani Lakshmi Bai is located in the complex of Phool Bagh. Virangana Lakshmi Bai is a well known freedom fighter, who fought against the British for the freedom of the princely state, Jhansi. For paying tribute and respect to the Rani, an eight metalled tall statue of Rani Lakshmi Bai has been installed within the garden. In her honour and memory, every year a fair is organised in Gwalior on 18th June.

Dargah Khwaja Kanoon Sahib

Dargah Khwaja Kanoon Sahib was built in the memory of Khwaja Kanoon Sahib Nagauri. He was a resident of Marwad and arrived in Gwalior during 1481. His full name was Saiyed Saiyeeduddin Kanoon Rehmat Ullah Aleh chishtiya, which is carved on the dome of the Dargah. Known as Khwaja Kanoon, Hazrat Khwaja Kanoon Sahib died in 940 Hijri, the Islamic Calendar. It is believed that visiting the Dargah for regularly 40 days fulfils all the desires.

 

Best Time To Visit: October to March.
 
How to reach there:
Gwalior is connected with regular flights from Delhi & Bhopal.
Gwalior is connected by regular bus service with Agra, Mathura, Jaipur, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bhopal, Chanderi, Indore, Jhansi, Khajuraho, Rewa, Jabalpur, Ujjain and Shivpuri.
Gwalior is on the Central Railway's main Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai lines. Among other major trains, the Shatabdi and the Taj Express connect Gwalior with Delhi and Agra daily.+ 

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