Find The Past In Gwalior

Nov 16, 2022, 20:13 IST

t Find the past in Gwalior - Gwalior Fort

Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh is a city steeped in history, and a gateway to help you discover a time gone by

Home to a number of temples and dotted with palaces, the city of Gwalior sprawls beneath its medieval namesake fort on a hill. To visit is to immerse oneself in its rich past. 

Here’s  how you can take in Gwalior’s main draws and then get under its skin…

Marvel At The Gorgeous Gwalior Fort
(main image)
Built in the 8th century AD, the massive fort has served as the stronghold of the city  ever since. Walk around the architectural mammoth and see for yourself why Mughal  emperor Babar once called it “the pearl among the fortresses in the empire.” Also known as the Gibraltar of India, it has two entrances, both of which require you to climb uphill. If you cannot, drive up to the west side from the Urvai Gate. You will also get to see rock sculptures and figures of the 24 Jain tirthankaras. Once defaced by Babar’s army, these have since been restored. 

Find the past in Gwalior - Jai Vilas Palace

Go On A Palace Hop

Gwalior is known for its palaces, and seeking some of these out should be on your itinerary. Start with the grand Jai Vilas Palace (above) built in 1874 by Maharaja Jayajirao. It now houses the Scindia Museum, crammed full with interesting exhibits.

Move on to Man Mandir Palace, built by Raja Man Singh of the Tomar dynasty, in the 15th century. The exterior features murals in stunning meenakari work, and the palace has witnessed everything from queens committing jauhar to being seized by the Rani of Jhansi.

And then on to the Gujari Mahal Archaeological Museum, built for Mrignayani, the only one of Man Singh’s nine wives who did not come from royalty. Today, the museum on its premises cocoons antiquities that date back to the 5th century. 

Find the past in Gwalior - Tansen Memorial
Image: Instagram/@shadowsgalore

Follow The Music
In Tansen Nagar, you will find the Tansen Memorial (above), the resting place of Tansen, one of the Nine Jewels of Emperor Akbar’s court. It sits in the same compound as the tomb of Muslim saint Mohammed Gaus. If you want to enrich your singing voice, you need to chew the leaves of the tamarind tree by Tansen’s tomb - or so goes the legend.

Go On A Day Trip To Shivpuri
Shivpuri is the ancient summer capital of Scindia royalty and the place to check out the family cenotaphs displaying both Hindu and Islamic architectural influences and set within a formal garden. Look for the fine marble inlay work on Madhorao Scindia’s chattri.

Once you’re done with history, you might want to go a little wild - the Madhav National Park awaits and might offer glimpses of crocs, antelope and leopards; it used to be the royal family’s former hunting grounds. 

Images: Shutterstock 

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