Explore Places to visit in Gwalior
Gwalior is a city which is steeped in history and culture. Founded by King Suraj Sen, the city, which gets its name from the sage Gwalipa, was once a small town which has expanded and developed to become a major tourist destination and an important educational centre. Though Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior is regarded as the cultural and historical capital of the state besides being the administrative capital of Gwalior district. Jhansi city is closest to Gwalior(100kms).
There are a number of Places to visit in Gwalior. From historical sites to cultural attractions, explore the exhaustive list of all other local attractions in Gwalior. Discover new places to see and unique things to do nearby Gwalior. Don’t miss out on these amazing sights at Gwalior.
List of Places to visit in Gwalior
The Jai Vilas Palace is one of the Best Places to visit in Gwalior, It was a contribution of Maharaja Jayaji Rao Scindia. It stands as an example of the luxury and modern thinking of the king even in the 19th century who went beyond the traditional designs and made the whole palace in European styles of architecture. The main architect was Micheal Filose who was rewarded with a title of a knight.
The main attraction here is the durbar hall. The first story of the palace is of Tuscan, the second floor is of Italian Doric and the third of Corinthian style of architecture. There are even gold furnishings inside the durbar hall. There are also huge carpets and chandeliers. The palace was later turned into a museum in the honor Maharaja Jivaji Rao Scindia by Rajmata Shrimant Vijayaraje Scindia.
The Sas Bahu Temple or Sahastra Bahu Temple is situated in the east of Gwalior City and was built by King Mahipala of Kachhapaghata in the 11th century. This is a part of the Gwalior Fort and is considered as one of the famous Places to visit in Gwalior.
The whole temple has three openings mainly whereas the fourth one is closed currently. Every part of the temple is adorned with exquisite carvings and sculptures of various gods and goddesses. The most remarkable are four idols of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Goddess Saraswati. The original temple was completely built of limestone which eroded over time giving rise to a controversy on whether the temple was a Hindu or a Jain one. Later the limestone was completely taken off and the temple was renovated.
The name Sas-Bahu is not literally what it sounds like. It has no natural relation with a Mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law but the name is the short form of the word ‘Sahastrabahu’ which is referred to Lord Vishnu with thousand hands. This is basically a combination of two temples. There is a tale behind this. It is said that the wife of the King Kachhapaghata was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and later when her daughter-in-law came to the family she was a worshipper of Lord Shiva, so another temple beside the former one was built to worship Lord Shiva so the temples together are called as ‘Sas-Bahu’.
The Gwalior Fort is one of the Places to visit in Gwalior, and situated in the eastern part of the city. This whole Fort is divided into two main parts- The Gujari Mahal and the Man Mandir. These two parts are further divided into subparts. The fort is built on a hillock which is a part of the Vindhyachal Range and is known as the Gopachal Hill. A beautiful small river flows near the fort which is called the Swarnarekha.
According to the legends, there lived a chief of the Silhonia village known as Suraj Sen Kachhawa who went on a hunting trip one day and came across the hermit Gwalipa or Galava. This saint is said to have given him water from the Surajkund reservoir that healed leprosy. As a token of gratitude Suraj Sen built a city and named it Gwalior after the Saint Gwalipa.
The longest ruling dynasty of Gwalior was the Pal Dynasty who ruled for almost a 1000 years and was immediately followed by the Pratihara Dynasty. The rule then changed hands from the Pratiharas to the Turks, Tomar, Suri, Mughals, Rana Jats and the Marathas.
The Sun Temple or Surya Mandir is one of the most important Places to visit in Gwalior. This place is visited by numerous tourists every year. The temple was constructed by G.D. Birla in 1988. He was a famous industrialist of India. It is also inspired by the Konark Sun Temple.
The Surya Mandir is a newcomer in the list of the grand historical buildings and monuments of Gwalior and it does not even have any historical significance compared to the formers. The only thing that makes it such an important attraction is its eye-catching architecture and beauty.
The temple has one of the best statues of the Sun God which is the highlight here. The contrasting color combination of the exteriors with the interiors of the temple is another fantastic feature. The exterior is built of red sandstone whereas the interiors are made of marble. This gives a more exotic look to the temple.
The Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhod is situated on the hilltop where the Gwalior Fort is located and one of the Places to visit in Gwalior. After the news of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Baba Budha Ji declared Guru Har Gobind Singh Ji as the 6th Guru. He started raising the Sant army to fight against cruelty. This is when he built the Fort of Lohgarh which is now known as the Gurudwara Shri Lohgarh Sahib.
The Guru also gave justice that was quick and cheap in the Akal Takhat Sahib and this alarmed Emperor Jahangir. He called Guru Har Gobind Singh Ji in his court. He met the Guru several times who used to live in a camp called Gurudwara Shri Manju Ka Tilla Sahib and also went for hunting together. Guru also saved the emperor’s life by killing a tiger and the Gurudwara there is known as the Gurudwara Shri Sher Shikar Sahib.
Once it so happened that the emperor was taken sick and was in a very serious state. The doctors who came to attend him were all bribed to suggest him the remedy of seeking blessings from some holy man to cure his illness. After this the emperor requested Guru Har Gobind to stay in the palace. He agreed and during his stay he found out that 52 Rajput rulers were taken as prisoners by Jahangir and lived in a miserable condition. He was touched and promised to take them along with him when he left the palace.
The Gujari Mahal was a gift of love from Maharaja Man Singh Tomar to his 9th consort, Mrignayani after he won her hand for marriage. The palace is within the Gwalior Fort premises but away from the main palace. Some say that the reason behind the separate palace was the Gujar Queen’s wish to have a palace with 24 hours water facility from the River Rai whereas some say that Mrignayani’s palace was built away from the main palace as she belonged to a lower caste and so was not allowed to stay under the same roof with the people of the royal blood.
This museum was later converted into a well maintained museum. Though the palace is not among one of the most important attractions here but is definitely a worthy visit. The architecture of the stone monument is just beautiful and the museum collection includes- devotional statues, weapons, stone work art objects, bronze antiques, etc. The most attractive work here is the depiction of the birth of Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu’s head. These expert pieces are really above all explanations. The two remarkable attractions here are the Indian Mona Lisa and the Gyraspur Shalabhanjika Structure. This Museum is one of the Places to visit in Gwalior.
The Gopachal Parvat is one of the Places to visit in Gwalior and is the abode of a fantastic collection of statues of Jain Digambara Tirthankaras. It is situated just around the part of the Gwalior Fort which is also one of the Best Places to visit in Gwalior. All the statues were established here between 1398 and 1536. Kings of the Tomar dynasty including Veermadev, Dungar Singh and Kirti Singh are the people behind the construction of the whole place. The mountain is said to spread the message of love and peace along with equality that was seen decreasing slowly in those days with all types of social evils and caste systems.
The most remarkable statues here are those of the standing Adinath and Parshvanath in a cross legged sitting position. These statues are all facing the Gwalior Fort as it is known to be a Jain Fort and is also known as Jain Garh. Legends say that King Dungar Singh was an ardent Jainism follower and made the statues with lot of dedication. On the other hand Sher Shah Suri was on a destruction spree where he and his men were randomly vandalizing Hindu Temples.
It once happened that Sher Shah himself took out his sword to break down the statue of Parshvanathji but in a supernatural way he found his arms had no strength left in them. He got scared and ran away from there. Later, Akbar removed the same statue to bury the Sufi Saint who was his father’s mentor, named Ghaus Muhammad and is now known as the Tomb of Muhammad Ghaus.
Muhammad Ghaus Gwaliyari was a 16th century Sufi saint and is known for his mesmerizing compositions such as the Jawahir-i-Khamsa and the Bahr-al-Hayat. His fame and brilliance made him a famous mentor and two of his best students were Humayun and Tansen..
Humayun was the 2nd Mughal Emperor and Tansen was the musician of Akbar’s court and a gem among his ‘Navaratnas’. He is said to be the ultimate legend of Indian classical music and his invocating tunes are said to have been invited rains as well.
Tansen and Muhammad Ghaus Gwaliyari are now said to be buried in the same tomb complex being the teacher and his favorite student. The monument is made in the traditional Mughal architecture with the domes and the fantastic lattice work on the windows. It is a perfect place especially for people who love serenity and look for peace. It is one of the famous Places to visit in Gwalior.
The queen of Jhansi, Lakshmibai was the brave heart who shook the British Empire in their 1st battle with India. She and her women army fought like there was no tomorrow. They have been an example for all the youths and martyrs of India. The Samadhi or cupola is built in the campus of Phool Bagh in Gwalior. There stands a tall 8-metalled statue of the queen.It is one of the Best Places to visit in Gwalior
Rani Lakshmibai while running from Jhansi on her horse fell here and killed herself to escape the disgrace that could be caused to her if she fell into the trap of the British. It is said that she had a new horse which refused to run across a river. She was cremated here in the same ground where now stands her statue. It is said that she escaped from Jhansi and rode her horse a 100 kilometers in 24 hours till she reached the Fort of Kalpi. She was a very influential figure and so according to her instructions many armies of different places who had gathered there.
Though she died fighting the very second day and the Fortress of Jhansi was taken away by the British, she got an honourable cremation by her subordinates and also lot of respect from the British Chiefs.
The Sarod Ghar is the other name for the Sarod Museum.It is one of the famous Places to visit in Gwalior and a kind of institution which promote Indian classical music, heritage and culture. Under the supervision of Haafiz Ali Khan Memorial trust, the music lovers and other enthusiasts look into the window of the past and understand the evolution of the north Indian classical music better.
The city of Gwalior is historically very significant and due to its location in the heart of India has always been the melting point of music and culture. The musical tradition reached its peak during the reign of Maharaja man Singh Tomar and then was born the Famous Tansen who adorned the court of Mughal Emperor Jalal-ud-din-Akbar.
The aim of setting up this institution was to increase the respect of classical music in the eyes of people and also to let the people understand the significance of musical instruments and a variety of them that were used by the ancient musicians during their practice sessions.
The museum organizes regular concerts and functions to awaken awareness in the minds of people. The central courtyard is made in the form of an open-air auditorium where concerts and musical gatherings are held. Data support is also provided to its visitors in the form of booklets and magazines.