GWALIOR TOURISM GUIDE:
Map: Gwalior Tourism, Madhya Pradesh, India
Location: Madhya Pradesh
Tourist Attractions: Bhopal, Sanchi, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Ujjain, Indore and Mundu
Best Time To Visit: October to March.
Gwalior is named after a saint who cured the local chieftain Suraj Sen from leprosy. History of Gwalior dates back to 8th century. From then onwards Gwalior was to become the cradle of dynasties. The massive fort which overlooks the city is a testimony to its glory and grandeur. Warrior kings, poets, musicians and saints contributed in making Gwalior the city it is.
Gwalior is one place which was most affected during the Revolt of 1857. It was one of the centers which experienced fierce encounters between the British and the ‘Rebels’. The Maharaja of Gwalior was loyal to the British during the mutiny but his troops sided with the rebels who had laid their hands on the city. Towards the end of mutiny, Gwalior was subject to heavy fighting, after which British gained complete control over India. Among those who laid down their lives here in their attempt to capture the fort were Tatiya Tope and Rani of Jhansi.
Gwalior changed hands from the Tomars to Lodhis of Delhi. Then it was ruled by the Mughals and finally the Marathas laid their hands on this city. Each era and rulers left their impression on this city but what remained unchanged and un phased was the imposing fort which withstood any assault on Gwalior. Even today thick walls and high ramparts of the fort seem invincible. Gwalior is a city where the rich cultural tradition blend with modern life, where the princely past lives in palaces and museums, past mixes with present to offer visitor a city of enduring greatness.
CLIMATE IN GWALIOR:
Gwalior has extreme climate. The summers are very hot and winter are cold. There have been frequent deaths reported due to heat wave during the summers so it is better to avoid the summers. Though the winters are cold they are better than summers to visit the city. Best time to visit from October to March.
HOW TO REACH GWALIOR:
Gwalior is barely 321 kms from Delhi and is well connected by Air, Rail, Road services. This city has its own airport and the airlines operating in India provide their services to this city. Flights connect Gwalior with the other cities of India. On the railway route Gwalior is major a station with many superfast and express trains having a stoppage at Gwalior station. This beautiful station receives Shatabdi trains and the Royal Palace on Wheels. By road also this city is linked with other cities in India. The state transport and private bus operators have their services not only to the nearby places but also to places outside the state. There are bus services to Chandigarh and Lucknow too.
SIGHTSEEING: The Fort – For over 100 years this fort has been over looking the city of Gwalior. One of the most invincible forts in India, this imposing citadel has changed many hands but has rarely been captured.
Jai Vilas Palace – Built in 1809, this palace is located in new city of Gwalior. It is house of the present Maharaja of Gwalior.
Tomb of Tansen – Father of Indian classical music and one of the nine Gems in Akbar’s court is buried in Gwalior. The memorial of this great singer carriers a very simple tone in itself and is surrounded by gardens on its sides. This monument is a part of Gwalior’s cultural heritage. Every year a music festival is organised here. The festival is held in November / December and attracts singers and musicians from all over India.
Mausoleum of Ghaus Mohammed – Ghaus Mohammed, whose sand stone mausoleums is laid in the old town of Hazira, was a Afghan Prince turned sufi saint who had helped Babur to win the Gwalior fort. His mausoleum is designed on early Mughal architectural lines. Particularly exquisite are the screens using pierced stone technique. The carvings on these screens are as delicate as lace.
Sun Temple – This newly constructed temple is based on the lines of the Konark temple. It is located near the Residency at Morar.
GWALIOR SIGHTSEEING AND EXCURSIONS:
Dholpur: On the way to Agra is a small tract of Rajasthani land which is called Dholpur. It was here that sons of Aurangzeb fought battle for succession. The battle was fought for the control of a declining Mughal empire. The Shergarh fort here is in ruins now. The Khanpur Mahal was built by Shah Jahan but it was never occupied.
Shivpuri: Shivpuri was summer capital of the Scindias and is 122 kms on the Mumbai – Agra highway. Shivpuri has numerous palaces and lakes which reminds of the splendour this place must have seen during the rein of Scindias.
Orchha: Orchha was once the capital of Bundela Rajput and later it came under the Mughals. It is 120 kms on the road to Khajuraho and has not been touched by destructive hands of time. For more information on the Orcha ruins .
Datia: A town of the Mahabharata period, Datia is 69 kms from Gwalior on the way to Chennai. Datia is historically very important. The seven storied palace built in brick and stone by Raja Bir Singh Deo is one of the finest example of Bundela architecture. This palace was built in 1614. The palace houses some of the fine Bundela paintings. The imposing Gopinath temple is a confluence of cultures with Mughal frescoes adorning the temple.
Chanderi: This place is famous for sarees which have fascinated the Indian lady since ages. Chanderi is 239 kms from Gwalior and is surrounded by forests, hills and lakes. Though the craft from Chanderi is very famous, the architecture of the area are in no way less imposing. The architecture here is influenced by the Bundela Rajputs and the Sultan of Malwa. In 1445 Mohammed Khilji built the Koshak Mahal on lines of Mandu architecture. The Jama Masjid , Shahzadi ka Rouza and Battisi Bandi were all built by the Sultans of Malwa in the 15th century. Chanderi also came up as pilgrimage center with the coming up of Jain temples in the 9th and 10th century. The picturesque Parameshwa Tal was built by the Bundelas and has a temple complex around it.
Narwar: 122 kms from Gwalior is another fort city called Narwar. This city was capital of Raja Nal. His love for Damayanti has been moulded into ballads and stories which form legends of the region. The town is dominated by a fort 500m above the town. The fort and palaces of Narwar are built in Rajput style. The flat ceilings, fluted columns and the many arches with interiors decorated with glass beads are typical in construction.
Pawaya: The ancient city of Padmawati is fascinating city of ruins. It is 68 kms from Gwalior on the Jhansi road. In the 3rd century Pawaya was the capital of Nag kings. The life size statue of Chaksha Manibhadra dates back to 1 A.D. The Parmars built the fort and the nearby Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo temple which are the main attractions of Pawaya.
Tigra Dam: A picnic spot which is 23 kms from the Gwalior City.
GWALIOR TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES:
- Tourist Information – Regional Office, M.P State tourism Development Corporation, Hotel Tansen, Gandhi Road, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh (India).
- Tourist information Center – M.P State Tourism Development Corporation, Railway Station, Platform No. 1, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, (India).
- Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. – Gangotri, 4th floor, T.T. Nagar, Bhopal- 462 003 Madhya Pradesh, India.
- Tourist Information Counter – 204-205, Kanishka Shopping Plaza, 19 Ashoka Road, New Delhi – 110 001 India
GWALIOR FAIRS AND FESTIVALS:
The Tansen Music Festival: Gwalior has special affinity with the classical music and singing. It has been an influence on the Hindustani classical music. Gwalior has retained the strong musical tradition. Tansen the exponent of Dhrupad style, went on to evolve the Gwalior Gharana whose contemporary exponent is the world renowned Sarod player Amjad Ali Khan. As a tribute to Tansen, the great master of classical music, a festival is organised in the month of November / December every year. Renowned musicians from the country gather to give performance during the festival.
NEAR BY CITIE(S) OF GWALIOR:
Bhopal – 423 kms. Agra – 118 kms.
Shivpuri – 112 kms. Orchha – 120 kms.
Chanderi – 239 kms. Khajuraho – 275 kms.
Narwar – 122 kms. Pawaya – 68 kms.
Delhi – 321 kms. Sanchi – 381 kms.