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Gwalior :: City Information

Best Travel Duration

October to March

About Gwalior

One day, Suraj Sen, a prince of the Kachwaha clan, while out hinting, ventured deep into the forest and lost his way. Wandering around, he reached an isolated hill where, to his surprise, he came across a venerable old man. This was the sage Gwalipa. Tired and thirsty, the prince asked for some water and the sage led him to a pond.

Suraj Sen, who suffered from leprosy was astonished when he found that the waters had not only quenched his thirst, but had cured him of his disease as well. Grateful, he asked what he could do is return. The sage told him to beautify the tank and fortify the fill. He did both, and the hill was called Gwalior, in recognition of the boom granted to the prince.

This was in the 8th century. Gwalior Fort that dominates this dry and dusty city described by Babur as 'the pearl among the fortresses of Hind'. Massive, awe-inspiring and battle-scarred, the Fort has witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties.

Its towers three hundred feet above the city and few can imagine the time and effort it took to cut the steep cliffs all around the five mile perimeter of the hill and to build the thick walls, in some places to a height of forty to fifty feet.

Places to Visit at Gwalior

Gwalior Fort

Description: Gwalior Fort

Truly impressive both in size and the beauty of structure the Fort's history which spans over twelve centuries is evident in the plethora of edifices that do the area; from old, crumbling ruins and exquisite palaces to the modern-day Scindia Public School. Gwalior's strategic position between north and south India made the Fort an important possession and it was captured by several ruling houses. Some left almost as soon as they came, while others stayed on to build and beautify the citadel. The first historical holders were the Huns. The Fort in 10th, 11th and 12th centuries was under the Kachwaha Rajputs, the Pratihars, Qutbuddin Aibak and Iltutamish and remained under Muslim possession till 1398. Under the Tomars, whose most important king was Man Singh (1486-1517), Gwalior rose to prominence. The Fort was finally surrendered to Ibrahim Lodhi in 1518.

Man Mandir

Description: Man Mandir

Moving through the Urvashi gate, where the towering Jain monoliths, with straight, severe forms and staring eyes are cut out of the rock face, you will come to Man Mandir the Fort's 'piece de resistance,' the palace built by Man Singh Tomar in the 11th century. A delicate structure exhibiting a sense of joy and abandon through use of colour, motif and design, Man Mandir is at once delightfully spontaneous and yet exhibits a restraint that results in finished perfection. There are chambers for affairs of state as well as those for relaxation, adorned appropriately and ornately with carved animals, flowers and the human form; the yellow, green and bright blue tiles, adding a rich touch of colour, set off by the pale yellow sandstone base.

Sas Bahu Temples

Description: Sas Bahu Temples

The Sas Bahu temples, in another part of the Fort are not, as people believe, dedicated to a mother-in-law (sas) and daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law (bahu). Sas Bahu is the name traditionally given to two adjoining temples of different sizes. Similar to the Sas Bahu temples near Udaipur, these were built at the time of Kirtiraj and Mahipal, both Kachwaha rulers. The larger of the two, is profusely sculpted with graceful figures and intricate patterns. This is more apparent in the interior where above the sculpted walls and pillars an elaborately carved lotus, similar to the Dilwara temple at Mount Abu, adorns the roof.
Mani-Kantha, an 11th century poet of Gwalior, describes the musicians and dancing girls who performed in the temple and how it took a whole village to serve both gods and devadasis.

How To Get To Gwalior

By Air:

 

Gwalior is connected to Bombay, Bhopal, Indore, and Delhi.

By Rail:

 

Gwalior is on the Central Railways main Delhi - Gwalior and Delhi - Chennai lines, just as Agra. Among other major trains, and Gwalior connect with Agra.

By Road:

 

There are regular bus service from Gwalior to Agra, Mathura, Jaipur, Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal, Chanderi, Indore, Jhansi, Khajuraho, Rewa, Ujjain and Shivpuri.