Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
Intoduction: Gwalior - a historical Indian city - is located on the periphery of Madhya Pradesh State, 321 Kms (199.5 Miles) from Delhi and 121 Kms (76 Miles) from Agra.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. History: During the later period of 2nd Century a new dynasty called Nagvans (vans means clan) took roots in Vidisha-Gwalior region. Vrashnath was the founder of the Nagvans. A coin has been found of this ruler in Vidisha during Veshnagar excavations. Beginning of legendary Gwalior fort found it's roots in the 5th Century during the rule of a Kachhwaha Rajput prince, Suraj Sen.It is believed that Gwalior was also under the rule of Mihir Bhoj (836-882 AD). In the 10th Century, second ruler of Kachapghat Rajvans, Vrajdaman had taken over Gwalior after defeating king of Kannauz.During the later period of 14nd Century Tomar clan took advantage of weak position of Islamic rulers, and Vir Singh Dev established Tomars as rulers of Gwalior Description: The new city consists of three large areas, called Lashkar, Morar and Gwalior. Lashkar dominates in business activity while Morar serves as a market for the farmers and villagers of adjoining areas. Gwalior also known as Old Gwalior has most of the tourist places. Massive Gwalior Fort, popularly called Gibraltar of India overlooks the city. The great Mughal Emperor Babur presumably described it as, "The pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind".
Gwalior Quick facts
Gwalior Geography and Climate
Gwalior is located at [show location on an interactive map] 26.22� N 78.18� E. It has an average elevation of 197 metres (646 feet). Gwalior is a historical Indian city - is located on the periphery of Madhya Pradesh State, 321 km (199.5 Miles) from Delhi and 121 km (76 Miles) from Agra. Climate: Gwalior has a sub-tropical climate with hot summers from March to June, the humid monsoon season from July to October and a cool dry winter from November to December. The highest recorded temperature was 47oC and the lowest was -1oC.
Best time to visit Gwalior
The best time to visit Gwalior are the winter months from end October to early March. The last weeks of December and early January are the coldest time of the year here. Summers should be avoided, if possible, as it gets extremely hot.
The fort is to the north of the city, on top of a hill. The old city is situated next to this hill. The railway station is in the east section of town, half a km from the State bus stand. The main road in town is Maharani Lakshmi Bhai (MLB) Rd, which runs east-west. Most hotels are located near the railway station, on or near MLB Rd. The Private bus stand is inconveniently located in the southwest section of the city.
Gwalior Near Getaways
Shivpuri, the summer capital of the former Scindia rulers (112 km southwest), has several cenotaphs of the Scindias in the setting of the Madhav National Park. The Karera Bustard Sanctuary (40 km east of Shivpuri) is one of the few remaining habitats of the great Indian Bustard. Pawaya (68 km south) has 1st and 3rd century ruins of the Nag kings as well as a medieval fort built by the Parmaras.
Bhopal - 423 kms. Agra - 118 kms. Shivpuri - 112 kms. Orchha - 120 kms. Chanderi - 239 kms. Khajuraho - 275 kms. Narwar - 122 kms. Pawaya - 68 kms. Delhi - 321 kms. Sanchi - 381 kms.
How to reach Gwalior by Road
There are regular bus services connecting major cities including Agra (118 km), Bhopal (423 km), Delhi (318 km), Indore (486 km), Khajuraho (280 km) and Sanchi (344 km) to Gwalior. But the state run transport buses are not very comfortable or quick, though the low cost of fares often compensates the budget traveller.
How to reach Gwalior by Rail
Gwalior lies on the main rail routes between Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai and is a halt for a number of north-south and north-west bound trains. The journey to Gwalior from Delhi is comfortably short as two superfast trains, the Taj Express and the Shatabdi Express have daily morning services to Gwalior. Both trains return to Delhi each night, making it ideal for day-trippers. The ride by the Shatabdi takes around 3 hours from Delhi and by the Taj Express, approximately 41/2 hours. Both trains travel via Agra, which is just an hour and half away.
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How to reach Gwalior by Air
Gwalior has a domestic airport with regular flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, and Indore. A number of private airlines fly commercial services to the city, as does the national domestic carrier.
Gwalior Festivals and culture
All national festivals, Diwali, Holi, Makara Sankranti, Eid-ul-Fitr, Rakhi and other local ones like Nag-Panchmi, Ahilya Utsav, Ganesh Utsav, Garba (Navratri Utsav), Dussehara, Durga Puja are celebrated with equal enthusiam. Last decade has seen a rise in celebration of events like Valentine's Day, Rose Day and New Year's Eve. Gwalior also celebrates Rang Panchami quite differently. This festival is celebrated five days after Dulendi or Holi. This is also celebrated like Dulendi, but colors are mixed with water and then either sprinkled or poured on others. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in a unique way in Gwalior city. Gwalior's Peoples were arrange a carnival of floats (known as "Jhanki" in local Hindi language) in various places of city. Makar Sankranit - is a 'Kite Festival' where people fly kites and competitions are held to cut each other's kites in sky on 14th January each year. Tansen Festival: Every year a national level music festival is organised in November/December near the tomb of Mian Tansen, one of the 'Nine Jewels' of Emperor Akbar's court. Musicians and singers from all over India come here to perform in the festival.
Culturally Gwalior is the confluence of two rich cultures Bundeli and Braj. Bundelkhand covers Gwalior, Bhind, Morena, Sagar, Shivpuri, Guna, Sheopur and adjoining areas.
Gwalior Religious Places
Sas Bahu Ka Madir: This is a 9th century temple. The Sas-Bahu temple was probably called the Shashtra Bahu (another name for Vishnu) temple. "The smaller one close to it was perhaps a Shiva temple, but over the years this pair of temples whose carvings can be compared to any of the great temples of India came to be known as the "Sas-Bahu temples". In local language Hindi sas means mother-in-law and bahu means daughter-in-law. Teli Ka Madir: This is a 11th century 70 feet high temple. The temple was probably known as the Telengana temple. It has a South Indian influence on its architecture especially on the roof, which is Dravadian, though it's facade remains Indo-Ayran. Surya Mandir: This was Constructed in 1988. It is inspired by architecture of the famous Konark Temple in Orissa. Red stone has been used on exteriors and white marble on interior. There is a beautiful sculpture of Lord Surya in the temple. Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhode: It has been built in the remembrance of sixth guru of Sikhs "Saint Hargovind Singh ji". It is a beautiful structure completely made up of white marble. The building is decorated with color glasses. Cupolas on domes are of gold. There are two sarowars or ponds as well in this Gurudwara.
The Fort: The most magnificent monument of Gwalior; the hilltop fort overlooks the city. The fort is above 300 feet high and is about three kilometers(1.86 Miles) in length and 600 to 3000 feet wide from East to West. Memorial of Rani (Queen) Jhansi: This memorial stands near Phoolbagh. One of the most famous ladies in the entire History of India, Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi laid down her life in Gwalior. Laxmibai was one of the leaders in the first freedom struggle of India. Rani of Jhansi, Laxmibai came to Gwalior when general Huroz of British army defeated Laxmibai in Kalpi. Tomb of Tansen: This is the tomb of the father of Hindustani classical music, the great Mian Tansen, one of the 'Nine Jewels' of Emperor Akbar's court. It is built in the early Mughal architectural style and is surrounded by lush gardens in typical Mughal style.
Gwalior Entertainment and Night Life
There are a number of casinos and pubs and good restaurants that give you the opportunity to spend your nights enjoying with your friends.
Kidding around Gwalior
Cheel Pata Pat Ghaghar Gholi This is a game of girls. This game is particularly played in moonlight. In this game girls sit in courtyard in such a way that their ankles and the feet meet together. In this position they sing "cheel pata pat ghaghar gholi" and clap once then they move a bit aside. Suddenly a girl say "furra" and all the girls climb to the courtyard wall the girl who does this in the last has to give "dav". Giving "dav" means the girl has to touch some other girl. Other girls try to run away from that girl. This game continues till that girl touches some other girl. Aati Pati This is a game of boys. All the boys stand in a circular path and choose a leader of the group. The leader of the group puts his hand on the chest of the boys one by one while saying " Aati-pati mar gadha ki chhati, Tera ladka mera nati, Ja le aa babul ki pati". On whomsoever this line end, needs to bring a leaf of Babul (Acacia Arabica). In the mean time rest of the boys hide themselves. When the boy returns with a leaf, he needs to find a boy. If he does then the boy who got discovered will go to bring new leaf and so on
Downtown Bada: This is the busiest place in Gwalior. There is a garden in the middle of which stands a copper sculpture of Maharaja of Gwalior, Late Jiyaji Rao Scindhia. This garden is surrounded by shopping centers. There is the biggest post office and bank of, Gwalior. Mrignayani shop for handicrafts that I mentioned for shopping on Roaming Page is also close to it.
Famous To Eat at Gwalior
Here we can get taste of Madhya Pradesh dishes and also other continental at the restaurants. As Gwalior and Indore abound in milk and milk-based dishes are here famous to eat. An interesting dish is the bafla (wheat cakes) dunked in rich ghee which are eaten with daal (a pungent lentil broth). The tongue-tingling sharpness of this combo is moderated by the sweet ladoos that follow it. To drink, there is lassi (buttermilk), sugarcane juice, an excellent beer and a fine rum which is produced from the cane. For stronger (and more adventurous) heads there is the local liquor which is distilled from the flowers of the mahua tree called sulfi and date palm toddy.
Gwalior Museum and Hill Stations
Man Mandir Palace: This marvelous palace was built between 1486 and 1517 by Raja Man Singh of Tomar dynasty of Gwalior. The palace has two underground floors. It consists of two open courts surrounded by apartments with carved stones, pillars and brackets. Archeological Museum: It has sculptures found in Naresar, Batesar, Kherat, Ater(my maternal native place), Ranod, Surwaya, Terahi and Padhawali. Sculptures are of Gurjar Pratihar period( 7th century AD to 10th century AD). These sculptures show the later development of Gupta art. Jai Vilas Palace: This beautiful pure white edifice patterned on the style of the 'Palais de Versailles' in France combines Tuscan, Italian and Corinthian styles of architecture. The palace has been partly converted into a museum for Royal memorabilia. The rest of the part is the residence of Madhav Rao Scindia. The royal Durbar Hall is a magnificent structure and taking support only from columns on four sides.
Gardens and Parks at Gwalior
There is a National Park at Shivpuri (112 kms from Gwalior)-the Madhav National Park, which not only provides sanctury to the wildlife but to the avifauna as well.
Lake at Gwalior
Chanderi is 239 kms from Gwalior and is surrounded by forests, hills and lakes.
In summers the meals tend to end with fruit luscious mangoes (dusseharis which you must try and take home), juicy melons and watermelons, custard apples, bananas, papayas, guavas.
Gwalior Travel Tips
It is recommended that you make prior reservation in hotel. It will save you from lot of hassles like taxi driver favoring a particular hotel etc. During the winter months, the temperatures can really touch the bottom of the barometer, so come with an adequate supply of woollens. A basic first-aid kit with essential medication, antiseptic and insect repellents and antihistamines can come very handy, so pack it in too.
Gwalior Tourist Offices
Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd, c/o Hotel Tansen, 6, Gandhi Road, Gwalior. Tel: 21568, 26742
ICICI Bank ATM, Old High Court, Ramcharan Mkt, Gwalior.
Must do at Gwalior
Things to do in Gwalior and places to see in Gwalior while you are on your tourism trip to Gwalior. Do not forget to checkout reviews of places of interest before you plan your visit or tour to Gwalior. Apart from checking out details of visiting places, do not forget to help others by adding details of Gwalior tourist attractions that you have visited.