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Destination of the Month

Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh

Referred to as the heart of Incredible India, the city of Gwalior derived it’s named after sage Gwalipa. In addition to art, culture, religion, music and education, this city gave humankind one of the most significant contributions, the numerical “0”. The first occurrence of Zero as a number can be seen in Ganesh Temple at Gwalior.

Gwalior, the formerly princely state of Madhya Pradesh was ruled by Scindia dynasty of the Marathas and is referred as the royal family of Gwalior till date. The city is illustrious for its outstanding fort, palaces, sacred temples and glorious monuments. With embracing structures like sandstone mosque, rock temples and fabulous statues, Gwalior city conserves its glorious tradition of the gone ages. The majestic fort situated atop a hill, overlooking the entire city is an architectural gem. Situated on a prime location, Gwalior was a once dream city for many dynasties. The city is also reminisced as the birthplace of Mian Tansen, the great Indian Musician.

Gwalior Fort was built by Tomar dynasty. This formidable structure was reputed to be one of the most structurally sound forts of India, having been improved by Raja Man Singh Tomar where a previous structure existed. It occupies an isolated rock outcrop. The hill is steepened to make it virtually unscalable and is surrounded by high walls which enclose buildings from several periods. The old town of Gwalior lies at the eastern base of the fortress. Both the fortress and the city have been integral to the history of the kingdoms of North India. The massive Gwalior Fort, popularly called "the Gibraltar of India", overlooks the city.  Emperor Babur reputedly described it as "the pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind", as this fort's architecture has a unique and distinctive style.

Gujari Mahal- 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.

Tansen Tomb is a pillar of Hindustani Classical music. Tansen, the great Indian musician was the gem at the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Tansen was conferred the title of Mian, by Emperor Akbar and since came to be known as Mian Tansen. He wrote two important documents on music namely Sangeeta Sara and Rajmala.

Apart from these, it’s worth experiencing a private tour of Jai Vilas Palace while sipping some Wine from a sparkling goblet. This Palace was constructed by Maharaja Jayaji Rao Scindia in 1874 to commemorate the visit of Prince of Wales in 1876. It is one of the finest examples of European architecture designed and built by Sir Michael Filose. The architecture of Jai Vilas Palace has a strong Baroque influence, with long colonnades, pigmented windows, sweeping carriageways and axial view.

The vibrant Bazaars of Gwalior are not just old but also hold a rich legacy with them. The streets are spiked with Indian taste, and are well stocked with shopping attractions like wall carpets, chanderi saris, wall hangings, wooden carvings, artifacts and other attractive items. The main bazaars in Gwalior are Patankar, Sarafa, Bada and Naya Bazaar. You will also experience Horse Carriage Ride during the Bazaar Walk.

Gwalior also allows one to leave on a day long excursion to Datia, Sonagiri and Orchha.

The Datia Castle is a well-built fort and its architectural design includes layout of Mughal and Rajput Empire. The fort was constructed by Bir Singh Dev, The Chief Officer of Bundela in the year 1620. The castle is divided into four regions, each of which possesses a Mandap in the middle. The most astonishing feature of this palace is that it is completely constructed with stones and wood. Not a single bit of iron is used in its fabrication which is indeed a marvelous piece of architecture.

Sonagiri is one of the important pilgrimage sites for Jains. It is a sacred Jain hill and houses as many as 77 Jain temples along the hills and on the slopes of these hills. Out of the 77 temples, temple number 57 is the main temple and of utmost significance.

Orchha in Madhya Pradesh is a retreat of absolute bliss, far away from the maddening crowd and daily hustle of city life. It is a scenic place where man's architecture and nature's artistry are in perfect symphony. Being considered as ‘Photographer's delight and explorer's paradise’, the main attraction here is the Orchha Fort.

Gwalior is a living legacy and synonymous to excellence in art and culture….