Renowned for being the birthplace of Tansen-the legendary musician and one of the nine gems of the great Mughal ruler Akbar, Gwalior is also the tourist capital of Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. History has endowed Gwalior with a splendid and glorious cultural inheritance which is also the evidence of bravery and adore for art of the rulers of this place. The wonderful historical attractions in the form of forts and palaces reveal the truly rich and magnificent past of the city. The well-known Mughal Emperor Babur has called Gwalior as the ‘pearl in the necklace of forts of Hind’.
Major Attractions in Gwalior
- Gwalior Fort – Built over a thousand years ago by the King Man Singh Tomar, Gwalior Fort also known as Man Singh Palace is a must visit tourist spot of Gwalior. It was commissioned by King Surya Sen on the instruction of Sage Gwalipa. Standing marvelously on an isolated rock, this huge fort is truly unique. There are six palaces, a number of water tanks and three temples inside the fort. An architectural masterpiece with fascinating stone carvings, the Gwalior fort is an absolutely spectacular place to visit.
- Sun Temple – Built by G.D. Birla, the great industrialist in the year 1988, the temple, as suggested by its name, is dedicated to Sun which is revered as God by the Hindus. The architecture of Sun Temple in Gwalior resembles that of Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa. Almost all the tourists who visit Gwalior crave to have a glance at the beautiful shrine.
- Tansen Memorial – Located close to the tomb of Ghaus, the memorial of Tansen is constructed to immortalize the greatest musician of his era. Built in the Mughal style of architecture, the place is the venue for the national Tansen Sangeet Samroh. Tansen, as also known popularly was one of the nine gems of Mughal King Akbar.
- Sas Bahu Temple – Consecrated to Lord Vishnu, this temple was built by King Mahipala in 1092 A.D. This temple was originally named as Sahastrabahu Temple. Sahastrabahu means the one with many hands and is another name for Lord Vishnu. Gradually, due to incorrect pronunciation, the temple popularly came to be known as the Sas Bahu Temple. Built with exceptional architecture, this is a set of two temples, the bigger one is considered to be the Mother-in-Law while the smaller one is regarded as the Daughter-in-Law.
Other places of tourist interest in Gwalior are –
- Sarod Ghar
- Suraj Kund
- Scindia Museum
- Gujari Mahal
- Teli Ka Mandir
- Hathi Pool
- Phool Bagh
- Jai Vilas Palace
- Tigra Dam
Festivals and fairs
The most important of all the festivals and fairs organized in the city of Gwalior is the Tansen Festival. Celebrated in the month of December, this 5-day long cultural music festival is dedicated to honor the accomplishments and talent of the great musician Tansen. Musicians from all over the country gather at the Tomb of Tansen to show their musical flair.
Other major festivals celebrated with a lot of excitement and fanfare in Gwalior are Rang Panchami, Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali.
Best time to visit
Since the summers in Gwalior are extremely hot, this weather is not ideal for enjoying outings and sightseeing. So the best time to visit Gwalior is between the months of October and March when the weather here is pleasant and perfect for vacation. However, the last week of December and first week of January can be quite chilling.
How to reach
By Air – Rajmata Vijya Raje Scindia Vimantal is the airport of Gwalior which is at a distance of about 8km from the main city. There are regular flights between almost all the major cities of the country and Gwalior airport.
By Train – Train is the most convenient way of reaching Gwalior. It is an important railway junction and commercial railway station of the north central railways. The city is well connected to rest of the country by way of regular trains.
By Road – A number of national and state highways serve as a link between Gwalior and many other major cities of Madhya Pradesh and rest of India. State and private transport bus services are also available from almost all the cities of Madhya Pradesh for Gwalior.