A chilly Gwalior welcomed us after a hectic drive from Shivpuri. The temperature here was below 10 degree centigrade, typical of the Northern Indian climate in January. We checked into Hotel Ambassador and decided to rest for the day due to the weather and the temperature only kept going down, creating uneasiness to our little one. As he started to catch cold, he became more uncomfortable and woke up from his sleep crying loud. We tried to comfort him and gave him the required medicines. As the hotels there did not have a heater installed in rooms, we had no other choice but to request for a separate heater and only wished their response was positive. Fortunately, he obliged to the request and did the needful, which helped us much that night. Our little one felt much better after getting the room heater and slept peacefully for rest of the night. We woke up late the next morning only to realize it was totally foggy outside and decided to stay indoors until the situation improved. We stepped out at around 10.30 am to check out the town of Gwalior, though it remained foggy with a slight drizzle too.
Gwalior always has been in our list of places to
visit for various reasons, right from its role in India's first war of
Independence to the Nanda dynasty rule of Pataliputra during early 6th century
BC. The state of Gwalior rose to prominence with Chieftain Suraj Sen. He met
saint Gwalipa who lived on the hilltop where the fort now stands and was cured
of his disease by the saint. In return, Suraj Sen founded the city and named it
after the saint. Thus Gwalior was founded. Man Singh Tomar, the great ruler of
Tomar dynasty improved the fort here and built the most famous palace of
Gwalior, the Man Mandir Palace. Later this fort was captured by the Mughals and
remained under them for a long period, after which in 1810, it came under the
control of the Scindia dynasty and finally the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, led by Tantya
Tope and strongly supported by Rani
Lakshmi Bai. Both the brave warriors gave up their lives during the struggle
for independence of this great country.
Gwalior Fort: This most impressive
structure of Madhya Pradesh is built on a small hillock. Other monuments inside
the fort are the Man Mandir Palace, Hathi Pol, Karn Mahal, Vikram Mahal, Gujari Mahal, Shah Jahan Mahal, Jahangeer Mahal and many such.
Saas-Bahu Temple (Mother-in-law
Daughter-in-law Temple): Built
in the 11-12th century by Mahipala Kachhwaha, this temple is dedicated to Lord
Chaturbhuj Temple: Here is the world's
first written zero found! The inscribed slab is believed to be of a much
earlier period than the temple which was built by Pratiharas in 9th century.
Teli Ka Mandir: This 9th century temple
built by Pratiharas is the tallest temple, with its unusual shikhara.
Jain Rock Cut Temples: These were
built over 800 years, from the 7th century and are dedicated to various Jain Tirthankaras.
The tallest murti (idol) here is that of the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath.
Moti Mahal: This 19th century palace built
by the Scindia kings was the Secretariat of Madhya Bharat government back then.
There is a beautiful garden with a neatly done network of fountains in front of
|This is How Gwalior Fort Looked at Noon|
|Maharaja Jiyaji Rao Scindia Chhatri|
|Qila Gate/ Gwalior Gate|
|Blue Tiled Walls of Gwalior Fort|
|Inside Man Mandir Palace|
|Saas - Bahu Temple Complex|
|World's First Written Zero|
|Teli Ka Mandir|
|Tomb of Mohammad Ghaus|
|Tomb of Tansen and Famed Tamarind Tree|
|Lit Gwalior Fort|
Entry Fee: The Entry fee collected for various sites are as below,
A. Man Mandir Palace - Rs 15/- for Indians and Rs 200/- for Foreigners
B. Royal enclosure - Rs 15/- for Indians and Rs 200/- for Foreigners
C. Gujari Mahal/ ASI Museum - Rs 5/- for all, Monday Holiday
D. Light and Sound Show - Rs 100/- for all
E. Jai Vilas Palace Museum - Rs 60/- for Indians and Rs 350/- for Foreigners
Accommodation:- We stayed for a day at Hotel Ambassador which offered very basic amenities and held a decent and friendly staff, though not very clean. Our second day accommodation was at Hotel Shelter, a bit upscale hotel with nice ambiance, centrally located, mid-range and friendly staff. Being a popular tourist destination, there are many options tailored to meet the varying budgets. Hotel Tansen Residency is another good one being maintained by MPSTDC.
Where to eat: Options are many. There should be no difficulty in finding a suitable place for meals.
1. RBS visitors Guide India Madhya Pradesh
2. DK Eyewitness Travel India