If you are an ardent fan of Indian history and you find century’s old monuments enchanting, then Gwalior is the city that you should be visiting next. Gwalior is one of the major cities of Madhya Pradesh and is of historical as well as commercial importance.
If you plan out a trip to this heart of Incredible India, then make sure that the itinerary is extended over at least 4-5 days of exploring the core city. Considered as one of the largest cities in Central India, Gwalior has matured to be an intense amalgamation of the history infused with the metropolitan factors of the current livelihood.
Don’t be surprised to find great impressions of the historic kingdoms like Tomars of the 13th century, Mughals, Marathas of the 1700’s and Scindias of the 18th century. Listed below are some of the must visit tourist places of Gwalior, that you should definitely be adding to your itinerary.
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The place that everyone speaks about and probably the initial establishment of the city is this architecturally mastered monument called the Gwalior Fort. Built by the Tomar dynasty and restructured by Raja Man Singh Tomar, the fort is built on a steepened hill and is popularly known as ‘The Gibraltar of India’. Overlooking the city, the uniqueness of this fort lies in its architecture that is hugely influenced by the Chinese dragons and other elements of the region. The fort was a result of an ancient trade that took place between China and India. Mughal Emperor Babar also described it as ‘the pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind’.
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Situated at the slope of Gwalior Fort, Gopachal Parvat is a devoted place for Jain Tirthankaras. Its main attraction is the 47 feet high idol of Lord Parshvanath seated on a lotus flower, that is also considered to the the largest in the world! Built in between the 13th – 15th century by Tomar kings, this statue along with 26 other Jain statues is one of its kind magnificent experiences.
Jai Vilas Mahal
Jai Vilas Mahal
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Learn more about the Scindia dynasty by visiting this residential palace turned museum of the Maratha Rulers. Just like any other museum, Jai Vilas Mahal too has an interesting collection of antiques and historical gadgets that are not common in India and are quite rare to find. The museum is one of the largest in Madhya Pradesh and proudly showcases the world’s largest chandelier as well. What’s interesting about this palace is that it was built in 1874 to replicate the palace of Versailles (France) by the British and has some significant features still present today.
Teli ka Mandir
Teli ka Mandir
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With a huge influence of the southern Indian architecture, Teli Ka Mandir stands distinguished from the other historical monuments of the city. Giving competition to the Gopachal Parvat, this holy place too stands 100 feet tall, with an acute resemblance to the temple of Prathihara Vishnu. The temple was originally used as the oil processor and was later occupied by the British and converted into a coffee shop. The temple has beautiful images of goddesses, passionate couples and has a roof top with Dravidian features that are quite unique to find otherwise. A must visit place to experience the centuries gone by and studying the detailed carvings that define the beauty of this tall standing temple.
Apart from these significant tourist spots, Gwalior too has an array of local cuisines to offer. If you like adventurous trips, then Gwalior is also surrounded with many sanctuaries like Kuno National Park, Madhav National Park and Chambal River Sanctuary with an hour’s drive from the main city.
Best time to visit Gwalior is between July – September and December – February.