The Fort City of Gwalior is situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Occupying a strategic location in the Gird region of North India, the city with its fortress has served as the center of several of North India's historic kingdoms. Steeped in the splendour of its past, the ancient capital of Gwalior has yet made a successful transition into a modern Indian city, vibrant and bustling. A multitude of reigning dynasties, of the great Rajput clans of the Pratiharas, Kacchwahas and Tomars have left indelible etchings of their rule in this city of palaces, temples and monuments. Gwalior's tradition as a royal capital continued until the formation of present day India, with the Scindias having their dynastic seat here. The magnificent mementoes of a glorious past have been preserved with care, giving Gwalior an appeal unique and timeless.
This, then, is Gwalior : where a rich cultural tradition has been interwoven into the fabric of modern life. Where a princely past lives on in great palaces and their museums. Where a multitude of images merge and mix to present to the visitor a city of enduring greatness.
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.
A palace-turned-temple has a charming legend attached to it. King Madhukar Shah brought an idol of Lord Rama from Ayodhya to his capital following the dream visitation of God Ram to be installed later in a temple (now known as Chaturbhuj Temple). When the idol proved impossible to move, the king recalled, too late, the deity's edict that the image would remain in the place where it was first installed. Today with its soaring spires and palatial structure, the temple is surely one of the most unusual in India. It is also the only temple in India where Ram is worshipped as a king.
Jai Vilas Palace and Museum
A splendor of a different kind exists in the Jai Vilas Palace, current residence of the Scindia family. Sas Bahu Temple 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.
Man Mandir Palace
Built between 1486 and 1517 by Raja Mansingh.The tiles that once adorned its exterior have not survived , but at the entrance , traces of these still remain. Within the palace rooms stand bare, stripped of their former glory, testifying to the passing of the centuries. Vast chambers with fine stone screens were once the music halls, and behind these screens, the royal ladies would learn music from the great masters of the day. Below, circular dungeons housed the state prisoners of the Mughals. Emperor Aurangzeb had his brother , Murad imprisoned , and later executed here. Close by is Jauhar Pond, where in the Rajput tradition, the Ranis committed mass sati after their consorts had been defeated in battle. At Man Mandir Palace, a poignant ambience of those days of chivalry and heroism still lingers in the silent chambers. A superbly mounted Son-et-Lumiere here brings it all alive every evening.
Ghaus Mohammed's Tomb
The sandstone mausoleum of the Afghan prince, Ghaus Mohammed, is also designed on early Mughal lines. Particularly exquisite are the screens which use the pierced stone technique as delicate as lace. It is on the way to Gwalior fort near Hazira from Railway Station.
Located near the Residency at Morar, the newly constructed Sun Temple takes its inspiration from the famous Konark Sun Temple in Orissa. Distance from Railway Station / Bus Stand : 5.00 Kms. Approx.
This Museum of Music has been set up in the old ancestral house of the legendary Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan. It houses ancient instruments of the great Indian Masters of yesteryears.It also houses an impressive collection of photographs and documents.
Sarod Ghar is a unique institution devoted to promoting Indian classical music, heritage and culture.Through this 'window' to the past , music lovers can gain a better understanding of the evolution and history of our classical music and a deeper perspective and insight into the context of the art as it exists today.
Air : The city has its own airport. The airport at Gwalior receives domestic flights from Delhi, Mumbai and other cities.
Train : Gwalior is major station with many super fast and express trains having a stoppage at Gwalior station. It is on the Central Railway's main Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai lines.
Road : Gwalior is connected to most cities in India by road. Gwalior is just 321 kms from Delhi and is well connected by major cities.