Gwalior – Best Travel Guide
Gwalior is a city of historical and cultural significance in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is famous for its majestic fort, splendid palaces, ancient temples, and musical heritage. Gwalior is also known as the city of Tansen, the legendary musician of the Mughal era. If you are looking for a place to visit that offers a blend of history, culture, and beauty, then Gwalior is the perfect destination for you. In this article, we will tell you more about Gwalior and its attractions, and give you some useful tips and information for your trip. You can visit Gwalior in One Day Gwalior Sightseeing Trip
History of Gwalior
Gwalior has a rich and diverse history that spans over many centuries and dynasties. The name Gwalior is derived from a local legend that says that a sage named Gwalipa cured a chieftain named Suraj Sen of leprosy by giving him water from a sacred pond. Suraj Sen then built a fort on the hill where the pond was located and named it after the sage. The fort became the center of power and glory for many rulers, such as the Tomars, the Mughals, the Marathas, the Scindias, and the British. Places to Visit in Delhi – Best Tourist Guide
The city also witnessed many battles and sieges in its history, such as the siege by Iltutmish in 1232, the siege by Babur in 1526, the siege by Aurangzeb in 1660, the siege by Daulat Rao Scindia in 1793, and the siege by the British in 1858. The city also played a role in the First War of Indian Independence in 1857, when Rani Lakshmibai fought bravely against the British forces. The city also became a center of learning and arts, producing many eminent personalities such as Rani Lakshmibai, Tatya Tope, Baiju Bawra, Jhansi Ki Rani, Mahatma Gandhi, etc.
Significance of Gwalior
Sas Bahu Temple
Gwalior is a city that has a lot of significance for India and its people. It is a city that showcases the architectural and artistic excellence of different periods of Indian history. It is a city that preserves and promotes the musical heritage of India. It is a city that reflects the courage and valor of its rulers and freedom fighters. It is a city that celebrates its diversity and harmony among different religions and communities. It is a city that inspires and educates its visitors with its rich and varied heritage and culture.
Why visit Gwalior?
There are many reasons to visit Gwalior and experience its charm and beauty. Some of them are:
- To see some of the most amazing and fascinating attractions of Gwalior, such as the Gwalior Fort, Jai Vilas Palace, The Gujari Mahal, Sun Temple, Tomb Of Tansen, Assi Khamb ki Bawadis, Suraj Kund, Siddanchal Jain Temple Caves, Gov. Museum, and more.
- To learn more about the history and culture of Gwalior and its rulers from various monuments, museums, inscriptions, coins, etc.
- To enjoy the musical atmosphere of Gwalior and listen to some of the finest classical music performances by various artists during the Tansen Samaroh or other festivals.
- To taste some of the delicious and authentic cuisine of Gwalior, such as kachoris, samosas, bedai, poha, jalebi, laddu, etc.
- To shop for some of the unique and beautiful handicrafts of Gwalior, such as chanderi sarees, maheshwari sarees, leather products, lacquerware, etc.
- To relax and rejuvenate in some of the natural and scenic places of Gwalior, such as Phool Bagh (Flower Garden), Amma Maharaj Ki Chhatri (Memorial), Tigra Dam (Reservoir), etc.
How to reach Gwalior?
Tansen Ka Maqbara
Gwalior is well-connected by road, rail, and air to other parts of India. You can choose any mode of transportation according to your convenience and budget.
- By road: You can reach Gwalior by bus or car from nearby cities such as Delhi (330 km), Agra (120 km), Jaipur (350 km), Bhopal (420 km), etc. You can also hire a taxi or cab from these cities or from Gwalior airport or railway station.
- By rail: You can reach Gwalior by train from major cities such as Delhi (3 hours), Agra (1 hour), Jaipur (5 hours), Bhopal (6 hours), Mumbai (16 hours), etc. Gwalior railway station is located in the heart of the city and has many trains running to and from it daily.
- By air: You can reach Gwalior by flight from major cities such as Delhi (1 hour), Mumbai (2 hours), Bangalore (3 hours), etc. Gwalior airport is located 10 km away from the city and has regular flights operating to and from it.
Things to do in Gwalior
There are many things to do in Gwalior that will make your trip memorable and enjoyable. Some of them are:
- Visit the Gwalior Fort, one of the most impressive and well-preserved forts in India, and explore its various palaces, temples, and monuments within the fort complex, such as the Man Mandir Palace, the Teli Ka Mandir, the Saas Bahu Temple, and the Tomb of Ghaus Mohammed. You can also enjoy the panoramic views of the city from the fort walls.
- Admire the Jai Vilas Palace, a 19th-century palace built by Maharaja Jayajirao Scindia in European style. The palace is now partly a museum and partly a residence of the royal family. The museum displays a rich collection of art, furniture, weapons, and other objects that reflect the lavish lifestyle of the Scindias.
- Learn about the history and culture of Gwalior at the Gujari Mahal, a 15th-century palace built by Raja Man Singh Tomar for his Gujar queen, Mrignayani. The palace is now an archaeological museum that houses a fine collection of sculptures, coins, inscriptions, and other artifacts from various periods of Indian history.
- Witness the beauty and architecture of the Sun Temple, a modern temple dedicated to the Hindu sun god Surya. The temple is modeled after the famous Konark Sun Temple in Odisha and has a chariot-shaped structure with twelve wheels and seven horses. The temple is surrounded by a beautiful garden and a water tank.
- Pay your respects at the Tomb of Tansen, one of the greatest musicians of India and one of the nine jewels of Akbar’s court. Tansen was buried near his guru Mohammad Ghaus’s tomb in a simple and elegant structure with a dome and arches. The tomb is also a venue for an annual music festival called Tansen Samaroh, where renowned musicians perform classical music.
- Explore the Assi Khamb ki Bawadis, a group of step-wells surrounded by eighty stone pillars near the Man Singh Palace. The step-wells were built in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh Tomar for storing water and bathing purposes. The step-wells also have underground chambers and a temple inside them.
- End your day with a visit to the Suraj Kund, an ancient reservoir built by Suraj Pal of Tomar dynasty in the 10th century. Suraj Pal was a sun worshipper and he built a sun temple on the western bank of the reservoir. The reservoir has an amphitheater-shaped embankment and a pool called Siddha Kund. The reservoir is also famous for hosting an international crafts fair every year in February, where artisans from different countries display their handicrafts and cultural performances.
Must see places in Gwalior
There are many places to see in Gwalior that will leave you spellbound and impressed. Some of them are:
- The Man Mandir Palace, a 15th-century palace built by Raja Man Singh Tomar that has exquisite carvings, paintings, and tiles on its walls and ceilings.
- The Teli Ka Mandir, a 9th-century temple that has a unique blend of Nagara and Dravidian styles of architecture and a towering shikhara (spire).
- The Saas Bahu Temple, a pair of 11th-century temples dedicated to Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi that have intricate sculptures and motifs on their pillars and walls.
- The Tomb of Ghaus Mohammed, a 16th-century tomb of a Sufi saint and mentor of Tansen that has a beautiful dome and arches.
- The Silver Train with cut-glass wagons that served guests with drinks at dinner parties at Jai Vilas Palace.
- The Gold Painted Room that has gold furniture and fittings worth ₹10 crore at Jai Vilas Palace.
- The Glass Cradle from Italy that was used for cradling the newborns of the royal family at Jai Vilas Palace.
- The Swords of the Scindias that were used in various battles and wars at Jai Vilas Palace.
- The Shalabhanjika statue, a 10th-century sculpture of a woman holding a branch of a tree that is considered as a masterpiece of Indian art at Gujari Mahal.
- The Gyraspur statue, a 5th-century sculpture of Vishnu in his Varaha (boar) avatar that is one of the largest stone sculptures in India at Gujari Mahal.
- The Garuda statue, a 15th-century sculpture of Vishnu’s mount that has intricate carvings and details at Gujari Mahal.
- The Saraswati statue, a 9th-century sculpture of the goddess of learning that has four arms and holds a veena (musical instrument) at Gujari Mahal.
- The colossal statue of Rishabhanatha (the first Jain Tirthankara) that is 17 meters high and 9 meters wide and is carved on a single rock at Siddanchal Jain Temple Caves.
- The statue of Parshvanatha (the 23rd Jain Tirthankara) that is 10 meters high and has a seven-headed serpent hood over his head at Siddanchal Jain Temple Caves.
- The statue of Mahavira (the 24th and last Jain Tirthankara) that is 6 meters high and has a halo around his head at Siddanchal Jain Temple Caves.
- The cave number 20 that has a large hall with pillars and arches and has sculptures of all the 24 Jain Tirthankaras on its walls at Siddanchal Jain Temple Caves.
- The sun motif on the spire of the sun temple that has twelve rays representing the twelve months of the year at Suraj Kund.
- The stone sculptures of various gods and goddesses on the walls of the sun temple at Suraj Kund.
- The colorful stalls and shops of the crafts fair that display a variety of handicrafts from different regions and countries at Suraj Kund.
- The vibrant and lively atmosphere of the crafts fair that attracts thousands of visitors every year at Suraj Kund.
FAQs for Gwalior sightseeing trip
Q: How many days are required to visit Gwalior?
A: Gwalior can be visited in one or two days, depending on your interest and time availability. You can cover the major attractions of Gwalior in one day by private cab or public transport. However, if you want to explore the city in more depth and enjoy its musical and cultural events, then you may need two days or more.
Q: What is the best time to visit Gwalior?
A: The best time to visit Gwalior is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and comfortable. The temperature ranges from 10°C to 30°C during this period. You can also enjoy various festivals and fairs during this time, such as Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, Tansen Samaroh, etc. However, you can also visit Gwalior during other months, but be prepared for hot summers (April to June) or cold winters (December to February).
Q: What are some of the best hotels to stay in Gwalior?
A: Gwalior has many hotels to suit different budgets and preferences. Some of the best hotels to stay in Gwalior are:
Usha Kiran Palace Hotel: A heritage hotel run by Taj Group that offers luxurious rooms and suites, modern amenities, royal hospitality, and a view of the Jai Vilas Palace. The hotel is located near the Gov. Museum and has a tariff of ₹10,000 to ₹20,000 per night.
Neemrana Deo Bagh: A heritage hotel run by Neemrana Group that offers elegant rooms and suites, traditional decor, serene ambiance, and a view of the gardens and temples. The hotel is located near the Suraj Kund and has a tariff of ₹5,000 to ₹10,000 per night.
Clarks Inn Suites: A contemporary hotel that offers spacious rooms and suites, cozy furnishings, modern facilities, friendly service, and a view of the city. The hotel is located near the Sun Temple and has a tariff of ₹3,000 to ₹5,000 per night.
Hotel Landmark: A budget hotel that offers comfortable rooms and suites, basic amenities, decent food, courteous staff, and a view of the fort. The hotel is located near the railway station and has a tariff of ₹1,000 to ₹3,000 per night.
Gwalior is a city that will enchant you with its history, culture, and beauty. You can visit some of the most amazing and fascinating attractions of Gwalior, such as the Gwalior Fort, Jai Vilas Palace, The Gujari Mahal, Sun Temple, Tomb Of Tansen, Assi Khamb ki Bawadis, Suraj Kund, Siddanchal Jain Temple Caves, Gov. Museum, and more. You can also enjoy the comfort and convenience of your own vehicle by booking a private cab for your Gwalior sightseeing trip. You can also learn more about the stories and legends of Gwalior from your driver or guide, who will be well-informed and friendly. You can also interact with the locals and experience their hospitality and warmth.
We hope this article has helped you plan your trip better and given you some useful information and tips. We wish you a great day and a memorable trip to Gwalior