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Gwalior

INTRODUCTION
Gwalior is an historical city in North of Madhya Pradesh at Central India. Today when we talk about Gwalior city, the first image comes in mind is the picture of Gwalior fort. It is the face of Gwalior tourism and heritage culture of Central India. The tactically important fort at Gwalior, govern the city and for centuries it controlled one of the major routes between north and south India. The city of Gwalior is a store house of historical buildings, forts, palaces, temples, articles etc. Gwalior is famous for its very old & very large fort. Within the fort walls there are a number of interesting temples & ruined palaces. The dramatic colourful history of the great fort certainly goes back over a thousand years. The fort city of Gwalior is situated in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on the main New Delhi-Mumbai and New Delhi-Chennai rail link. It is approximately 120 kms from Agra (Taj Mahal city) and 321kms from Delhi. The city extends between latitude 26°14' in the north to longitude 78°10' in the east.

gwalior tourism

HISTORY
Gwalior’s legendary beginning stems from a meeting between Suraj Sen & the hermit Gwalipa, who lived on the hilltop where the fort stands. When Suraj Sen asked for drinking water the recluse struck a rock & a cool clear spring gushed out & after having bath from that water Suraj Sen’s leprosy got cured. Then in gratitude king had built the tank from the fountain & named it Suraj Kund then later on the name changed to Suhan Pal & said his descendants would remain in power as long as they kept the name pal. His next 83 descendants did just that but number 84 changed his name to Tej Karan & said Good Bye to his kingdom. Then the Tomars came in to existence in 1398 & remained in power until 1505 when Ibrahim Lodi captured it. It was Raja Man Singh [1486-1516], the most illustrious of tomars, who built the magnificient palace Man Mandir here. The Mughals, under Babar later occupied the fort. The Marathas captured it in 1784 & then finally it came into the possession of the Scindias. During the First War of Independence in 1857, it witnessed a fierce battle when thousands of Indians fought against the British under the leadership of heroic Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi, still in her twenties & tantya tope. It was here that Rani of Jhansi was killed fighting fiercely against heavy odds. A memorial statue is there of Rani of Jhansi.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
City is located in northern-most part of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India. Their are number of tourist attractions in Gwalior city. Let us know about some of the prominent places to visit in Gwalior:
Fort: The Fort hill ascends 100 metres to less than 200 metres. The fort walls, which prolong around almost the entire hilltop, are 10 metres high & imposingly solid. underneath the walls the hill face drops absolute away to the plains. There are a number of things to see in & around the fort.
Archeological Museum: The museum is within the Gujari Mahal palace, at the start of the north-east gradient to the fort. The palace was built in the 15th century by Man Singh for his favorite queen Mrignayani. The building is now rather deteriorated but the museum has a compilation of Hindu & Jain sculptures & copies of the Bagh Caves fescoes.
Man Singh Palace: The Palace, or Man Mandir, which forms foyer to the fort is a delightfully fanciful building. The Palace was built between 1486 & 1616 & repaired in 1881. The palace has four story, two of them underground. The east face of the fort, with its six towers topped by domed cupolas, stands over the fort entrance path.
Sas-bahu Temples: Here "Sas" means “Mother-in-Law” & "Bahu" means “Daughter-in-Law”. Sas-bahu temples stand close to the eastern wall about mid-way along that side of the fort. The two temples are similar in style & date from the 9th to 11th centuries. The larger temple has an ornately carved base & figures of Vishnu over the entrances. Four huge pillars carry the heavy roof.
Teli Ka Mandir: It is the loftiest building inside the fort campus, beyond the Suraj Kund Tank, this temple probably dated from the 9th century & has a peculiar plan & design. Its name "Teli" means "Oil merchant" and "Mandir" means "Temple". It is a East facing temple built on a squared shape with 60Feet on each side. The roof is Dravidian while the decorations, the whole temple is covered with sculptures, is Indo-Aryan. A Garuda tops the 10 metres high Doorway. This is the highest structure in the fort.
Chatarbhuj Temple: It is inside Gwalior fort campus. Chaturbhuj temple is excavated from a single solid rock. It is a good example of rock-cut art and architecture. It have all the required constituents of a perfect temple. Due to rock shape, sculptures might have faced restrictions during carving work due to which temple is not very symmetrical. Its sanctum is of 12feet square room and portico is of size 10 feet by 09feet.
South-West Entrance: The long ascent on the south-west side climbs up through a ravine to the fort gate. Along the rock faces flanking this road are a large number of Jain sculptures, some of impressively large size. Originally cut into the cliff faces in the mid-1400s they were mutilated by the forces of Babur in 1527 but were later repaired.
Jai Vilas Palace: Located in the ‘new town’, which actually dates from 1809. This was the palace of the Scindia family. Although the current Maharaja still lives there in the palace a large part of it is used as a museum. It’s full of the erratic sort of items Hollywood Maharajas are supposed to collect – like Belgian cut glass, furniture, including a rocking chair. Or what looks like half the tiger population of India, all shot, stuffed & moth-eaten. But the piece-de-resistance is a model after dinner.
Sikh Gurudwara: Built in the memory of Guru Hargobind Singh, the 6th Sikh Guru, who was imprisoned here by Jahangir for over two years. To the west of the Gurudwara is a large tank, Suraj Kund, the original pond where Suraj Sen or Suraj Pal as he was later Known, was cured of leprosy by the Saint Gwalipa.
Tomb of Ghaus Mohammad: A sand stone mausoleum of the spiritual saint designed on earlier Mughal lines with finely carved jail screens. He played a key role in helping Babur, to win the fort.
Rani Lakshmi Bai Cenotaph: South east of the fort is the cremation place of Rani Lakhshmi Bai marked place by a stirring statue. The monument has a large horse borne sculpture of the Queen with a raised sword. The sculpture is moulded in bronze.

FAIRS & FESTIVALS
All major festivals of Hindu, Muslim, Christian etc communities are celebrated with full fame in Gwalior city. Here you can notify festival celebrations of Dusshera, Diwali, Janmashtami, Eid, Holi, Christmas, Good Friday, Basant Panchmi, Maha Shivratri, Durga Puja, Ganesh Utsav etc. Here Rang Panchami is also celebrated in unique way after Holi festival. In Makar Sankranti festival, carnival are arranged and marched in streets of city. In addition to these popular festivals, their are other fairs & festivals that are uniquely held in Gwalior city and have their own unique identity. Gwalior has deep association with Indian Classical music. Indian classical music legend "Tansen" was from Gwalior and in his honor "Tansen Music Festival" or "Tansen Sangeet Samaroh" held every year on Tansen Tomb in Gwalior city. This music festival is organized by Madhya Pradesh State Government Another music legend "Baiju Bawra" who was originally from Chanderi and later lived in Gwalior. Baiju was the only person who, in a music competition, defeated Tansen. Baiju has mastery in Dhrupad form of music. The "Gwalior Gharana" is one of the oldest Khayal Gharanas.

CLIMATE
Gwalior is located at 26.21829 Latitude & 78.18283 Longitude. It has average elevation of 286 meters. Here we will find sub-tropical climate. It is located in the plateau of Central India. Average rainfall of Orchha is about 890 mm per year which comes mostly from south-west monsoon arises from Arabian sea and Indian ocean. Here monsoon lasts for 3-4 months i.e. from July-Aug-Sept-Oct. During monsoon, Gwalior Climate & Weather remain pleasant. Region of Gwalior & its adjoining area have dry deciduous forest where we can find more variation in day & night temperature. Here we can observe extreme temperatures. Summers season prevails from Apr-May-Jun-July where temperature rises up to 47°C with heat waves. Winter season prevails during Dec-Jan-Feb. While traveling from Central India to North India, Gwalior is consider to in border-line from where climate changes. Annual Temperature Chart of Gwalior is given below showing the average minimum & maximum temperature during each month of a year.
Months
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Minimum (°C)
06
12
18
24
31
29
26
25
22
21
20
10
Maximum(°C)
18
28
35
40
45
40
36
35
32
32
30
22
To know current weather report and climatic condition in Gwalior, please go through table given below:

HOW TO REACH
By Air: Gwalior city is one of the largest city in Madhya Pradesh state. For reaching the city by air, Gwalior Airport (IATA Code: GWL) is their to welcome you. It is well connected with Delhi and other cities of Madhya Pradesh state. Here Gwalior airport is know by the name of "Rajmata Vijayraje Scindia Airport".

By Train: Gwalior junction is the main railway station for this city. Almost all long route trains stops here along with express trains like Bhopal Shatabdi, Taj Express, Bhopal Express, GT Express, Chennai Rajdhani Express etc. One can reach Gwalior railway station from important cities and tourist destinations like Agra, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Ujjain, Varanasi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Amritsar, Haridwar, Bharatpur, Dehradun etc. City have 2 more small stations Gwalior Birla Nagar & Gwalior Sithouli, mainly used by local small route trains. Here we can see both narrow gauge and broad gauge railway lines which are actively used by passenger trains.
DISTANCE CHART
LOCATION MAP
From
Distance
(in Kms)
Agra 120 Kms.
Orchha 150 Kms.
Delhi 330 Kms.
Khajuraho 320 Kms.
Chambal Sanctuary 160 Kms.
Shivpuri 140 Kms.

By Road: Gwalior city is almost on border of Central India & North India. It is north of Madhya Pradesh state having road connectivity with important cities and tourist destinations like Agra, Delhi, Chambal Sanctuary, Jaipur, Ranthambhore, Bhopal, Khajuraho, Shivpuri etc. India's important highway projects like North-South Corridor and Golden-Quadrilateral passes through Gwalior. National Highway-3 that connects Agra with Mumbai, passes through this city. Jhansi is connected with Gwalior through National Highway-75. Similarly some state highway also connects Gwalior to other towns of Madhya Pradesh state like Indore, Jabalpur, Bhopal etc. Regular bus service are available for reaching Gwalior. You get bus from Delhi, Agra, Panna, Chatarpur, Jhansi, Bhopal, Datia etc. to reach Gwalior.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
Being a important tourism region, Madhya Pradesh state is visited by tourist through out the year. Broadly we can divide Madhya Pradesh tourism in 3 parts. Heritage tourism is active in Northern part of state which is more rocky and destinations comes under this region are Gwalior, Shivpuri, Orchha, Khajuraho, Panna, Chanderi, Datia etc. All these destination offers major palaces, forts, temples, cenotaphs of state. Best time to visit this region is from October to April as during this time climate remain pleasant and good.

Southern part, south-west region and some of the Northern region of Madhya Pradesh are rich in Wildlife which includes Tigers, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Hard-ground Barasingha, Indian Gaur, Wild Dog (Dholes) and atleast more than 250 bird species.

ACCOMMODATION
Gwalior is one among four large cities of Madhya Pradesh and administrative center of many government departments. Being a important tourist destination and administrative center, lot of people visits Gwalior. To provide them accommodation, their are number of hotels in Gwalior from luxury heritage hotels to cheap guest houses. Here Taj Group Usha Kiran Palace is the best luxury hotel. Among other standard category Gwalior hotels, prominent names are Gwalior Regency, Central Park, Hotel Shelter, Hotel Landmark, Tansen Residency etc. Some budget hotels are Hotel Suruchi, Hotel Sunbeam, Sita Manor etc.

NEXT TO MADHYA PRADESH
Gwalior is surrounded by some very good tourist destinations whose details are given below. Here we are providing you information on those tourist attractions which can be travelled directly by taxi cab and can be reached in half-day journey.
Agra: Agra is globally renowned as the city of the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal stands serene & awesome, on a hoisted marble platform, by the bank of Yamuna, testifying to the timelessness of love & Art. But this royal Mughal city has, in addition to the legendary Taj, many monuments that exemplify the high point of Mughal architecture. In the Mughal period, in the 16th & 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of India. It was here that the founder of the dynasty, Babar, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of the river Yamuna. The crowning glory of the city of Agra is obviously the Taj, a monument of love & imagination, that represents India to the world. Along with Taj Mahal, tourist can also visit World Heritage Agra Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri also.
Shivpuri: Shivpuri is sheered in the royal legacy of its past when it was summer capital of the Scindia rulers of Gwalior. Shivpuri’s royal ambience lives on in the wonderful palaces & hunting lodges & the beautiful marbled memorials, cenotaphs to the Scindia rulers inlaid in fine pietra dura & jail work style, like the famed Taj Mahal. The dense forest of Shivpuri were hunting grounds of the Mughal emperors when great flocks of elephant were captured by Emperor Akbar. This was also where the Maharajas of Gwalior once hunted tigers. Madhav National Park in this forested hill territory promises a variety of wildlife.
Datia fort: Datia 69 kms from Gwalior on the Delhi-Chennai main line, is a medival historical site. Its main attraction is seven storey palaces atop a hill built by Raja Bir Singh Deo in the 17th century in Hindu style of architecture. There is also a Gopeshwar Temple with beautiful frescoes. The other Temples in the town are Hanuman Mandir, Banravandeshwar & Sonagiri Jain Temples built in the 10th century [11 km]. Datia is connected with Gwalior, Shivpuri, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Bhopal & Khajuraho by bus. There are a PWD Circuit House & a Rest House & some Indian Style hotels.
Orchha: Orchha, that means a "hidden place", undoubtedly lives up to its name. Architectural gems, nevertheless, flourish in this town. Gathered around the foot of the striking ruins, a sleepy village of efficiently painted houses, market stalls, and a couple of attractive government hotels offer most of the basic amenities.
Orchha is a less hyped tourist resort on Jhansi-Khajuraho journey. Usually the tourists are drawn to concluding on historical & artistic pursuits. Orchha has an alluring different appeal. It too has a history & a history of Indian music & poetry. It is also a warehouse of medival archietecture not noticeable elsewhere. Once you are in Orchha, you are fairly in a dreamland of a hoary past, humming its mellow strain in the waves of Betwa River.
Sonagiri Jain temples: Sonagiri means `golden peak`. Sonagiri is primarily the site of the Digambar sect of Jains. History speaks that King Nanganag Kumar had conquered salvation and was liberated from the cycles of death and life in this very place. Millions of his devotees took his path to liberation. Thus, Jain saints who seek deliverance or practice the paths to nirvana, flock to this place. There are more than 100 temples that magnetize visitors and tourists. The leading temple has an idol of Chandraprabhu in meditation, 11 feet in height. There are 77 striking Jain Temples in the hills and 26 temples in villages. Temple no. 57 on the hill is actually the main temple. It consists of a charming spire. Two other idols of Lord Sheetalnath and Parsvanath are installed beside the chieftain. There is a column of dignity (Maanstambh), 43 feet in height, also a model of Samavsharan. This is a outstanding place known as Laghu Sammed Shikar covering the area of 132 acres, straddling two hills. A pillar of white stone outside the temple is bound to catch one`s eye, with its intrinsic carvings; there are `chatris` (cenotaphs) on three sides of the pillar showcasing images of all Jain Tirthankaras.
National Chambal Sanctuary: This Wildlife Scantuary is about 70 Kms from Gwalior via Morena was constituted for the protection & conservation of acquatic animals in the Chambal river system. Birding in Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary is popular among birders. Due to chambal river and other marshy locations in adjoining regions, it is the perfect place for birds gathering and to be shooted by photographers. From here, Agra is just 40kms away and Bharatpur is at 90kms distance. It covers area falling in between a line one km parallel to the centre of the Chambal river. Crocodile, dolphin & masher are the main attraction of the sanctuary besides several migratory birds & other animals found in the ravenous area.
Kuno Palpur Sanctuary: It is in west of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh state and remains in news due to Cheetah re-introduction project and Asiatic-lion re-introduction. Both the mighty projects are delayed due to some hurdles but soon they will be implemented and gain popularity among tourists. Its success will make Gwalior as hot city for wildlife tours being surrounded by wildlife reserves like Chambal Sanctuary, Madhav National Park, Karera Wildlife Sanctuary. Orchha wildlife Sanctuary and Kuno Palpur Sanctuary.

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