Gwalior is an historical place of Madhya Pradesh. The strategically important fort at Gwalior dominates the city and for centuries it controlled one of the major routes between north and south India. The new section of the city called Lashkar. (Interactive map of Gwalior)
History of Gwalior
Gwalior's history is traced back to a legend in 8th century AD when a chief tain known as Suraj Sen was struck by a deadly disease and cured by a hermit-saint Gwalipa. As a gratitude for that incidence, he founded this city by his name. The new city of Gwalior became existance over the centuries. The cradle of great dynasties ruled the city Gwalior. With different dynasties, the city gained new dimensions from the warrior kings, poets, musicians, and saints who contributed to making it renowned throughout the country. The city is also the setting for the memorials of freedom fighters such as Tatya Tope and the indomitable Rani of Jhansi.
Places of Interest
Standing on a steep mass of sandstone, Gwalior Fort dominates the city and is its most significant monument. It has been the scene of momentous events, imprisonment, battles and jauhars . A steep road winds upwards to the fort, flanked by statues of the Jain tirthankaras, carved into the rock face. The magnificent outer walls of the fort still stand, two miles in length and 35 feet high, bearing witness to its reputation for being one of the most invincible forts of India. This imposing structure inspired Emperor Babur to describe it as " the pearl amongst the fortresses of Hind ".
Within the fort are some marvels of medieval architecture. The 15th century Gujari Mahal is a monument to the love of Raja Mansingh Tomar for his intrepid Gujar Queen, Mrignayani. The outer structure of Gujari Mahal has survived in an almost total state of preservation; the interior has been converted into Archaeological Museum housing rare antiquities,some of them dating back to the 1st century A.D. Even though many of these have been defaced by the iconoclastic Mughals , their perfection of form has survived the ravages of time. Particularly worth seeing is the statue of Shalbhanjika from Gyraspur, the tree goddess, the epitome of perfection in miniature . The statue is kept in the custody of the museum's curator, and can be seen on request.
Man Mandir Palace
Gurudwara Data Bandhi Chhod
Situated on the Mountain Area at slopes of Gwalior Fort carries unique statue of Jain Tirthankars. The largest Idol of Bhagwan Parshwanath on Lotus is the largest statue(in single stone piece) in the world, being 47 feet high and 30 feet in width. 26 Jain statues in a series give a beautiful and attractivce picturescue. Built between 1398 to 1536 by Tomar Kings - these Jain Tirthankars Statues are a species of Architecture and a treasure of Old Indian heritage and culture.
Jai Vilas Palace and Museum
A splendor of a different kind exists in the Jai Vilas Palace, current residence of the Scindia family. Some 25 rooms have been turned into the Jivaji Rao Scindia Museum, and in these rooms , so evocative of a regal lifestyle, the past comes alive. Jai Vilas is an Italianate structure which combines the Tuscan and Corinthian architectural modes. The imposing Darbar Hall has two central chandeliers weighing a couple of tonnes, and hung only after ten elephants had tested the strength of the roof. Ceilings picked out in gilt, heavy draperies and tapestries , fine Persian carpets and antique furniture from France and Italy are the features of these spacious rooms. Eye catching treasures include : a silver train with cutglass wagons which served guests as it chugged around the table on miniature rails; a glass cradle from Italy used for the baby Krishna each Janmashtami, silver dinner services and swords that were once worn by Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan. These are ,besides, personal momentoes of past members of the Scindia family : the jeweled slippers that belonged to Chinkoo Rani , four-poster beds, gifts from practically every country in the world, hunting trophies and portraits. The Scindia Museum offers an unparalled glimpse into the rich culture and lifestyle of princely India.
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