Gwalior is a historical and major city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is 319 kilometres (198 mi) south of Delhi the capital city of India, Gwalior occupies a strategic location in the Gird region of India, and the city and its fortress has been ruled under several historic northern Indian kingdoms. From the Tomars in the 13th century, it passed to the Mughals, then the Marathas under the Scindias.
Besides being the administrative headquarters of Gwalior district and Gwalior division, Gwalior situates many administrative offices of Chambal Division of northern Madhya Pradesh. Several administrative and judicial organizations, commissions and boards have their state as well as national headquarters situated in the city. Gwalior was the winter capital of the estwhile states Madhya Bharat, which later became a part of the larger state Madhya Pradesh. Before Independence Gwalior remained a princely state of British Raj with Scindias as the local ruler. The high rocky hills surrounds the city from all sides, on the north it just forms the border of the Ganga- Yamuna Drainage Basin.the city however is situated on the valley between the hills of Plateau. Gwalior’s metropolitan area includes Lashkar Subcity, Morar Subcity, Thatipur and the City center.
The city has made a rich contribution to the history of India. From the vedic ages to the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the British Raj, Gwalior has emerged as a prominent place making it an important archaeological as well as historical site. The rich heritage of art and culture and especially contribution of Gwalior to the classical music is worth mentioning.
Gwalior was among the five princely states which enjoyed 21 gun salute during British rule. Along with Hyderabad, Mysore, Jammu and Kashmir and Baroda, Gwalior held important stature within British India.
Gwalior is the headquarters of Chambal region and a major industrial and commercial region. Often referred to as the tourist capital of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior is the fourth largest city of Madhya Pradesh and an education hub.
The city is also famous for Scindia School located inside the Gwalior fort. Established in 1897, it is among the prominent boarding schools of India. It was originally started exclusively for nobles and princes and housed in the erstwhile barracks of the British soldiers.
Gwalior is also known as city of music. Gwalior is one of the oldest gharanas or schools of Hindustani classical music. The city is the final resting place of Tansen, the musical genius and one of the nine gems of Emperor Akbar’s court. Sarod Ghar, the first ever museum dedicated to Indian musical instruments, is based in the city.
At the heart of Gwalior is Gwalior Fort of the 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. Lashkar, formerly a separate town that originated as a military camp, lies to the south, and Morar, also a formerly separate town, lies to the east. Gwalior, Lashkar and Morar are part of the Gwalior Municipal Corporation.
Punjabi castle, Las gwalior
Punjabi castle, Las gwalior- This charming and divine castle is one of the finest tourist hotspots in gwalior located just close to the collectorate of gwalior. It is fondly also called as CHINGAPAUN castle. It is famous for its reunion of BEREHAMS. The berehams are a highly intellectual breed of humans who reunite every few months. This group was created after Lord Mithun’s instructions and has garnered a cult status ever since. Punjabi castle offers a diverse variety of exotic cuisine ranging from chilly kuta, kuta chingapaun, hawaiin salsa fetal twist to khao-phuck-jaye. The ride to the top of this castle is a treat to the eyes in itself.
Maharaj Bada is the biggest and most important market of Gwalior. Seven ancient buildings of different styles of architecture (Italian, Russian, Mughal, Rajputi, Chinese, etc.) can be viewed.The town hall situated at Maharaj Bada
Gopachal Parvat is situated on the mountainous terrain at the slopes of Gwalior Fort. Gopachal Parvat contains unique statues of Jain Tirthankaras. The idol of Lord Parshvanath seated on a lotus (carved out of a single stone) is the largest in the world, towering at 47 feet in height and 30 feet in breadth. There is a series of 26 Jain statues in a single line. Built between 1398 and 1536 by Tomar kings, these Jain Tirthankar statues are one of a kind in architecture and a treasure trove of old Indian heritage and culture. Gopachal Parvat is located approximately 2 km from the railway station and bus stand.
Tomb of Rani Lakshmibai
Tomb of Rani Lakshmibai, a famous freedom fighter, at Phoolbag area. It is here where the great warrior queen of Jhansi died in 1858 fighting against the British. It is also her burial place.
Municipality Museum, one of the more important museums of the city, is situated a little distance from Rani Lakshmibai’s tomb.
Vivsvaan Mandir – Sun Temple
Vivsvaan Mandir – Sun Temple, A newly built temple dedicated to the Sun god, the Sun Temple is located near the residency at Morar, Gwalior. It is a facsimile of the famous Sun temple of Konark, Orissa and now this sun temple is one among the significant pilgrimage centres in Gwalior. The temple is located in a serene ambiance and a well-maintained garden within the temple premises is very attractive. This holy temple draws the locals and tourists alike who gather here to render their prayers. It makes one astounded that a shrine of comparatively modern origin is held in such high regard, and became one among the most sought after pilgrimage centres in the city.
Jai Vilas Mahal
Jai Vilas Mahal is the residential palace turned museum of Scindias in the heart of the city. The palace has notable collections of antiques and also some of the old time gadgets and collections that can’t be easily seen.The museum is one of the largest in Madhya Pradesh and has the world’s largest chandelier and the complex is a mixture of British as well as Hindu architecture. The palace was made in 1874 as an attempt to bring the palace of Versailles to Gwalior and the Jai Vilas Palace was a successful attempt.