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Tourist Places To Visit In Gwalior
The dazzling city of Gwalior is ideal to soak in the culture of Madhya Pradesh. Whether you are traveling solo or with family in the cultural/tourist capital of the state, there are myriad options to explore. While the city is best known for its grand fort, sitting atop a vast hill, there is no shortage of marvels to discover. Attending the Tansen Samaroh (Music Festival) and Baredi festival are also excellent ways to take a dip in the art, music, and culture of Gwalior. Here are the top places to visit when in Gwalior, the city of Scindias.
Described by the Mughal Emperor Babur as the ‘crown jewel among Indian forts’, this historic monument is a must-visit for people of all inclinations and ages. If you are planning to visit, make sure you take time to explore everything. With stunning architecture and a mesmerizing backstory, this fort is omnipresent in every locality, being visible from every corner of the city. Regarded as one of the most impregnable fortresses in India, this massive stronghold is bustling with tourists all year round. This glorious fort comprises of six palaces, rock-cut temples, and unique architectural elements like Chinese dragons. The captivating light and sound show organized each evening takes you through the fort’s history and must not be missed.
Jai Vilas Palace
The Jai Vilas Palace, also known as the Jai Vilas Mahal, is a museum that offers a glimpse into the grandiose lifestyle of the royal family of the city. It was established in 1874 by Jayajirao Scindia, and is still the residence of some of his descendants. With over thirty rooms to explore, it can take up to an entire day to examine every corner of this beautiful museum. This magnificent palace is also one of the best places to witness lavish, quirky, spectacular works of art. Every piece of artefact and furniture has a story, and the palace gardens are a sight to behold.
Saas Bahu Temples
The name, history, and architecture of this landmark are all equally fascinating. Built by King Mahipala and dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this place was originally known as the Sahastrabahu Temple. Over the years, the name changed to Saas Bahu perhaps by misinterpretation or mispronunciation. The magnificent temple has three gateways facing in three different directions and exhibits exquisitely carved idols of Lords Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva at the doorway. Brilliant carvings and the elaborate structure of this temple speak volumes about the artistic expertise of the artisans and sculptors in the era.
Gujari Mahal (State Archaeological Museum)
The Gwalior Mahal Archaeological Museum, sometimes called the Gwalior Fort Museum, is flush with 28 galleries and over 9000 artifacts. The landmark was originally a palace built by King Man Singh for his wife Mrignayini, who was a Gujar. Hence the palace acquired the name, Gujari Mahal. The fort has witnessed many ups and downs, changing hands from one ruler to another. Precious stones, jewels, terracotta objects, weapons, artifacts, sculptures, paintings, inscriptions, pottery, etc. are on display here. Jain and Hindu sculptures dating back to the 1st and 2nd century are also part of the set of rare artifacts at the museum.
One of the greatest musicians of India – an eminent vocalist, and one of the nine gems in the court of Akbar – Tansen, was from Gwalior. He was believed to create magic and enrapture audiences with his music. His tomb, surrounded by rich gardens, has a typical Mughal architectural style. Apart from being a beautiful monument, the place also serves as a testament to Gwalior’s cultural heritage. The final resting place of the fabled and famous musician is tucked away in a garden complex about a kilometre away from the Gwalior fort’s east entrance. The annual Tansen Samaroh is held here during the months of November-December every year where prominent musicians from all over the country come to deliver Indian classical music performances.
Teli ka Mandir
Telika Temple is an ancient complex well-known for its elegant architecture. This is a towering and extraordinary temple located in the complex of the Gwalior fort. The temple is said to have been built in the mid-eighth century and sits atop a hill in the city centre. The architecture portrays a beautiful blend of northern and southern styles, complete with a gigantic image of the Garuda (the Mount of Lord Vishnu). This unusual image makes the circlet of the doorway, which is the highest structure in the fortress. The outer surfaces of the temple, especially walls and doorways, are carved with coiled serpents, amorous couples, goddesses, and gods.
The Sun Temple, or Surya Mandir, is one of the most remarkable architectural wonders that adorn the city of Gwalior. As suggested by the name, this temple is dedicated to the Sun God, and is thronged by pilgrims and tourists all through the year. The temple is a splendid amalgamation of red sandstone and pearly white marble. Built by the eminent industrialist G. D. Birla, this temple is a replica of the Konark Sun Temple amidst manicured gardens. You can find intricate carvings depicting various Gods and Goddesses on the walls of the temple. Around the temple are statues, accompanied by descriptions, of various saints with priceless inscriptions.