A city brimming with great history and melodic music, Gwalior holds an important place in the heart of incredible India. Gwalior is best known for its imposing hilltop fort, which was famously described as 'The pearl amongst fortresses in India'. Gwalior has many aces up its sleeve viz. magnificent rock-cut temples, palaces, and museums. Legendary musicians like Tansen and Baiju Bawara belonged to Gwalior and sang for the royal court of Gwalior.
Places of interest-
Gwalior Fort- Rightly called the pearl of fortresses in India by Babur. The majestic Gwalior fort is perched on an isolated rock outcrop towering over the old city. The turquoise tessellations on the facade make it stand out even from a distance. The riveting light and sound show every evening takes you through the fort’s history.
Bateshwar temple- Bateshwar complex is home to about 200 sandstone temples constructed during 8th to 11th century CE by the Kings of Gurjara - Pratihara dynasty. Most temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva while some are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Bateshwar Temple Complex is wonderful with its stone architectures, intricate sculptures and overall design shows their passion towards art.
Padhavali temple- Situated about 2 km from famous Bateshwar temple complex. Located inside an old fort, this magnificent temple is known purely for its classic architecture and exquisite stonework. The temple, particularly its roof, depicts ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Ram Leela, Krishna Leela, marriage of Lord Shiva, samudra manthan and episodes from epic Mahabharata. Another major attraction in this ancient temple is the figure of Shiva dancing in the cremation ground.
Sun Temple- Dedicated to Sun God, this Surya Mandir was constructed in 1988 by G.D Birla. The temple is the replica of the famous Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. The temple is one of the architectural wonders and has a beautiful sculpture of Lord Surya in the temple premises.
Jai Vilas Palace Museum- This grand palace built by Jayajirao Scindia (Shinde) offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the royal family. It serves as a residence for the descendants of the royal family. The palace also serves as a museum stretched over 35 rooms. The durbar hall has some of the grandest chandeliers in the world. Each room in the regal palace contains curios of historical importance, including a collection of swords that date back to the times of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, and the original Dhal (shield) that belonged to freedom fighter Rani Laxmibai.
Gopachal Parvat Rock-cut Sculptures- Located along the slopes near the Gwalior fort and nestled amidst lush foliage is the Gopachal parvat with stunning rock-cut sculptures of the 24 Jain Tirthankars (spiritual teachers). These 26 caves have more than 1500 idols. The largest one is of Lord Parshwanathji, it is 42 feet tall and 30 feet broad. It is largest sitting posture idol in the world.
Shop & Dine at Patankar & Sarafa Bazaars- At the end of local sightseeing around the city, one of the most satisfying things to do in Gwalior is to stroll through the local markets. The Patankar and Sarafa bazaars offer a range of local handicrafts, traditional handlooms, and exquisite stone carved artefacts to take back home with you. The bazaars also offer some yummy soul food like sweet imartis and crunchy kachoris to satiate the foodie within.