The rugged ramparts of Gwalior reverberate with history. Unfolding tales of grandeur can be traced back to the 6th century. Fierce battles, passionate romances and tales of valour are etched on the sandstone of this former kingdom. One such tale is of how the patron saint of the shepherds and cowherds, Gwalipa cured the king, and thus the city was named Gwalior after him.
Today, the kingdom has declined, and the monarchs are history, but the splendour of Gwalior lives on in its magnificent palaces, the glittering chandeliers, the exquisitely carved temples and the melodies of Tansenís ragas. The romance and legend of Gwalior beckons as one traces the history of warriors, kings and poets.
Gwalior is well connected by air, train and road. The city is just a 2-hour drive from Agra and a 5 Ĺ hour drive from New Delhi.
One can go to Orcha or Jhansi by road (a journey of just over 2 hours). The heritage city of Khajuraho
is a 6 hour drive. The New Delhi - Bhopal - New Delhi
Shatabdi Express connects Gwalior to most of the
prominent cities in the region.
Location & Attractions
Gwalior Fort :
Standing on a steep mass of sandstone the fort dominates the city like a great monolith and is its most magnificent monument. This imposing structure inspired the emperor Babar to describe it as "the pearl amongst the fortress of Hind." Drive from Taj Usha Kiran Palace is 8km. 25 minutes.
The city of Gwalior has many monuments that were built by the erstwhile Tomar and Scindia rulers. The majestic Gwalior fort is one of the largest and mightiest forts in India. There are various chattris or cenotaphs commemorating the Scindia rulers who ruled the region till India's independence. The Man Mandir Palace and the Gujari Mahal are two other interesting sights in Gwalior. The Sas-Bahu Temples are 11th-century temples of Lord Vishnu while Teli-ka-Mandir is a 300-meter-high Vishnu temple of the 9th century.
Man Mandir Palace :
The glory of Gwalior fort is epitomized in the resplendent Man Mandir, built between 1486 & 1517 by Raja Man Singh. Delicate decorative carvings add to the beauty of this place. The Man Mandir Palace still depicts the chivalry & heroism in its ambience and the chambers are intricately designed. Around Man Mandir a superbly mounted Son et Lumiere brings it all alive every evening. For 45 minutes except in rainy season.
Sas Bhau ka Mandir:
These are twin temples adjoining each other both dedicated to God Vishnu (Sahastrabahu) but over the years got known as Sas-Bahu Temple. It was built by Raja Mahipal and got completed in 1093 A.D as per the Sanskrit inscription written. The doorway depicts trinity, ie Lord Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva. The temples are architectural marvels. Large slabs of sandstone are balanced over each other in slanting positions.
Teli ka Mandir:
This is built as a round barrel shaped Shikhar, and is said to be the oldest. It is ascribed to the 8th-9th century rule of Adivaraha Mihir Bhoj of Kannauj. The stories of an Oilman building it, or a royal patron from South India, are apocryphal.
Ek Patthar ki Bavadi (Gopachal Parvat):
This place is carved in an entire mountain of single stones that is carvings of the gods of Jainism. Also there is a stream of water that keeps flowing throughout the year.
This is a four square structure with open terraces for music festivals.
An archaeological museum built during the 15th century for Rani Mrignayani, the 9th wife of Raja Mansingh.
Drive from Taj Usha Kiran Palace is 8km. 30 minutes and place known as Keelagate.
Jai Vilas Palace:
It is the abode of the Scindias, built from 1872 to 1874 on turrets.
The grand Durbar hall is one of the finest in the world it is painted with gold leaves,
hung with wonderful chandeliers and decorated with enormous mirrors.
The way to the hall is by a grand crystal staircase. Roofed with stone slabs, the hall is 36 ft long.
Asia's biggest pair of chandeliers hang in the Durbar hall and the carpet spread over is Asia's largest single piece carpet.
There is also a Silver Train with cut glass wagons which served guests as it chugged around on miniature rails on the table and swords that were once worn by Aurangazeb & Shah Jehan.
Its near by Taj Usha kiran Palace.
Some monuments from the Mahabharat era to the medieval age. These monuments are part of the country's rich cultural heritage. Some of the places are as follows :-
In the east of Padawali, there is Chausath Yogini temple situated on the hundred feet high mountain.
In the center of the temple there is the circular temple of Lord Shiva. Indian Parliament design based on his structure.
Mitawali is 40 KM drive from Gwalior 0050 minutes.
Padawali ( Gupta Period )
It was period of Gupta empire was established in this area.
The 'Gotra' of the emperors of the Gupta dynasty was 'Charan'.
Gharon Village was inhabited near Padawali.
Here was a magnificent ancient Vishnu Temple which was later converted into a big 'Gahri'.
Inside the temple thousands of miniature sculptures of mythological origin adorn every nook and corner of the remains.
One can spend hours watching the beauty of individual idols. Padawali is 42 KM drive from Gwalior 0050 minutes.
Its a congregate of about 400 small & large temples built over hundreds of years from 7th to 12th century A.D.
Bateshwer is 45 KM drive from Gwalior 0050 minutes.
Sihoniya (The capital of the Kachhwahas):
Kachhwaha kingdom was established in between 1015 to 1035 A.D. The King Kirtiraj built a "Shiv Temple"It stand on a spot,
two miles away from Sihoniya in the north west of District Morena. This Kakanmath Temple was built by king Kirti Raj to fulfill the will of queen Kakanawati.
It is 115 ft. Height.Sihoniya kakanamath Temple is 80 KM drive from Gwalior 0090 minutes.
Daata Bandi Chhor Gurdwara:
This place gets its name from the sixth Sikh Guru " Hargobind Saheb's" generous act of
releasing as many as 52 Rajas who were imprisoned at the Gwalior fort, during the reign of moghul emperor Jehangir.
On the way to Orchha and khajuraho near Datia comes Sonagiri with 108 beautiful Jain temples scattered over multiple hillocks.
An auspicious place for the followers of Bhagwan Mahaveer. Followers of Jainism from all over the world come to visit the destination.
Sonagiri - is 85 KM drive from Gwalior 0090 minutes.