A Hill Fort: Gwalior Fort
Gwalior Fort is a hill fort stands on a rock in the middle of the city Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, Central Bharat. Its main building was constructed in the 8th Century, but the construction was started somewhere in the 6Th Century and was renewed and prolonged later on till the British rule by different dynasties. It was a Battle Station for the great warriors Tatya Tope & Rani Lax.
How to reach Gwalior?
By Air: Gwalior Airport is the nearest one which is located at a distance of 8 km from the city.
By Rail: Gwalior Railway Station is the nearest station to reach the city.
By Road: There are several tourist and private buses from Delhi (319 Km), Indore (169 km), and Jaipur (348 km), which are well connected to Gwalior.
What is the best time to visit Gwalior Fort?
The best time to visit Gwalior Fort is October to March as the weather remains pleasant. A large number of tourists crowd there during this time
Why visit Gwalior Fort amongst all other Forts of India?
Gwalior Fort is indeed a treasure house of Indian art and architecture. There is so much to have high regard within the Fort apart from the fort itself. The fort is made up of red sand-stones and covered with the blue tiles all over that look like goosebumps. It spreads across a huge area of 3 sqKm and, there have been so many more gorgeous things to admire. There is a pathway leading to the top of the Fort if someone enters from the Southwestern gate. The vehicle is allowed till fort parking, you have to walk up to the top of the fort having the glimpses of natural and manmade beauty around. The architecture of the monuments looks incredible, especially Hathi Pol Gate. Gwalior Fort is a must-visit attraction when visiting Central India Without a doubt Gwalior Fort is surely a gem amongst the forts of India. The Mughal Emperor Babur (1483-1531) described it as,
“The pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind”
Geographical Importance of Gwalior Fort.
There are worth seen geographical monuments inside and outside the fort, which enhances the beauty and value of the site. The prominent monuments and sites are;
The Manmandir Palace, Vikram Mandir, Karan Mahal, Johar Kund, Bhim Kund, Sas-Bahu Ka Mandir, Suraj Kund, Teli Ka Mandir, Urwahi Group, Trishala Giri, Ek Pathar Ki Bawari, Gujari Mahal, Girnar and Siddhanchal.
How to enter into the fort?
The entry into the Gwalior Fort is from two sides, one from the northeastern gate and the other is from the southwestern gate.
You must choose Northeastern Gate if you are young, energetic, and want to visit every single site and monument of the fort. For that, you need to tramp all over as vehicles are not allowed from that side.
From that gate vehicles are allowed till the parking area, then you have to amble or saunter while having a glance at worth seeing rock carved statues of Gopachal Jain on both sides of the road.
How to set a route to sightsee the fort and nearby tombs, mandirs, and Mahals?
The most suggested route to start with it is from the Northeastern Gate entrance. As soon as you will enter, you will see Gujari Mahal, which was built by Raja Man Singh Tomar for his wife Mrignayani on her demand to have a separate Mahal with uninterrupted water supply.
Gujari Mehal is now being used as the State Museum of India, where the artifacts of 1st and 2nd Century BC form Hindu and Jain cultures are on display for tourists.
Visiting Hours: 9:00 am to 5 pm. Friday closed
- As you come out of Gujari Mehal you will walk on a long sloppy way, which will take you to the main Gwalior Fort. If you keep yourself busy in viewing the beauty of the Gwalior city & incredible sites and capturing them you won’t get tired.
Archaeological Survey Central Government Museum of India:
At the end of the sloppy way, just in front of Hati Gate Pol, you will find this museum. Now it’s completely up to you, whether to visit both or just one.
Visiting Hours: 10:00 to 5:00 pm, Monday closed
Man Singh Palace or Man Mandir:
When you come out of Museum, on the right side of Hati Pol Gate you will see Man Singh Palace or Man Mandir In the 15th Century, the King of Tomar Dynasty, Maharaja Man Singh had built the Palace for his wife.
The palace is also known as Painted Palace or Chit Mandir, because of the tiles used, which are painted in turquoise green and yellow colours.
The palace has 4 storeys, the lower down levels had a queen’s room and hammam, and the upper levels had both public and private halls, for discussions, meetings, entertainments, and events.
5. Assi Khamba Ki Baori
Assi Khambi Baori consists of 80 pillars and lies to the left of Man Singh Palace. It was built by Raja Man Singh Tomar for his wife to bathe. Afterward, it was made prison by Mughal Emperor Jahangir
Shah Jahan and seven other Mahals & Monuments:
On the right side of Man Singh Mandir, there are seven other attractive monuments for tourists’ interest, though they are getting ragged but still look stunning.
Jai Vilas Mahal
The Jai Vilas Mahal, is a symbol of long-standing Indian lavishness and culture. Each room in the regal palace contains artefacts of historical significance, including a collection of swords that dates back to the time of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. The palace covers an area of about 75 acres and serves as a residence for the descendants of the Maratha Scindia family.
The Karan Mahal is another substantial monument at Gwalior Fort. The Karan Mahal was built by the second king of the Tomar dynasty, Kirti Singh. He was also known as Karn Singh, hence the name of the palace.
The Vikram Mahal (also known as the Vikram mandir, as it once accommodated as a temple of Shiva) was built by Vikramaditya Singh, the elder son of Maharaja Mansingh. He was a devotee of shiva. The temple was destroyed during the Mughal period but now has been re-established in the front open space of the Vikram mahal.
Chhatra of Bahim Singh Rana
The Chhatra (cupola or domed shaped pavilion) was built as a memorial to Bahim Singh Rana (1707–1756), a ruler of Gohad state. It was built by his descendant, Chhatra Singh. Bhim Singh occupied Gwalior fort in 1740 when the Mughal Governor, Ali Khan, surrendered. In 1754, Bhim Singh built a bhimtal (a lake) as a monument at the fort. Chhatra Singh built the memorial chhatri near the bhimtal.
Sahstrabahu (Sas- Bahu) Temple
A twin temple is not the part of the fort that lies I kilometer away from the parking area, but has its cultural value. It was built by Lord Vishnu. The bigger temple is called Sas-Temple and the smaller one is called Bahu Temple. Though it’s building is worn out but the carving and stonework are still worth seeing.
Teli Ka Mandir
One kilometer away from Sas-Bahu Mandir there is a Teli ka Mandir. It was built by King Mihira Bhoja in between the 8th and 9th Centuries. It was gifted to Lord Vishnu. It is a beautiful combination of South and North Indian Cultures. The architecture is spectacular and worth seeing.
Gurdwara Data Bandi Chhor:
On the opposite of Teli Ka Mandir there lies the Gurdwara Data Chhor. It was a Jail. And at the time of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, Guru Har Bandi Sahib was confined there. Bandi means “imprison” and “Chhor “means release. It is a famous story echoed there that at the time of his release he succeeded to get other 52 Kings released along with him.
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Gupachal rock-cut Jains’Monuments.
On both sides of the road from Southeast Gate, there are fine-looking, splendidly carved statues of Jains. The mystical teachers (Tirthankara) of Jain are either in standing or in sitting positions. They are portrayed in a typical nude form of Jain iconography. There is also a statue of 23rd Tirthankara Parshvanath.
Light and Sound Show:
After having viewed all the sites you can join beautiful light and sound show which is held on every evening in the open-air theater beside Man Singh Palace. It is a 45 min show in two languages, which are Hindi and English, where there is the history of Gwalior and the fort is being told to the tourists.
From November to February
Timings of the show in Hindi: 6:30 pm till 7:15 pm.
Timings of the show in English: 7:30 pm till 8:15 pm
From March to October
Timings of the show in Hindi: 7:30 pm till 8:15 pm.
Timings of the show in English: 8:30 pm till 9:15 pm
Fort View Café
To satisfy your hunger and thrust you need to bring along with you some snacks and water bottles as it is a long day and dynamic visit. However near the parking area, you will find a Café, here you can have many delicious dishes from local to different country’s cuisine.
On the side of the road, you may find some vendors selling beverages and snacks at low prices
Returning to your destination.
After having completed your day trip with edifying and enthralling memories, you can book your transport straight to your accommodation or to the next sightseeing destination, from the parking area.
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