Do you have interest in exploring historical aspect of India? You should visit Gwalior city, lie in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh. The city housing many historical monument like; Jai Vila Palace, Fort and rock cut Jain sculptures at Gopachal Parvat.
Being on the strategic location, many dynasty were after to rule from Gwalior. The city have seen rule, from Turk to Mughal and Rajput to British, all of them left some influence on the art and culture of the region.
Gwalior was the center of Indian rebellion of 1857, and the most prominent figure of this movement ‘Rani Lakshmibai‘ sacrifice her life here.
Jai Vila Palace, residence of Gwalior’s royal family
Jai Vila Palace was the residence of Royal family of Scindia dynasty, this white palace was built in 1874 during the period of then Maharaja of Gwalior Jayajirao Scindia.
It is one of the finest example of European architecture in India, and design credit goes to Sir Michael Filose. Palace is famous for a large Durbar Hall (100 x 50 feet in size) having beautiful interior furnished with gilt and gold. The huge carpet and two gigantic chandeliers amplify the royalty of the court.
These chandeliers are the main attraction of Jai Vila palace, that may be the World’s largest with 12 meter high and 3.5 ton in weight. The museum within the palace have some of the unique and rare items.
Timing of the Jai Vila Palace is from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, while closed on Monday.
Gwalior Fort and monuments
Fort of Gwalior possibly in existence from 5th century AD. There are many historical monument including palaces and ancient temples within the fort complex. Many dynasty rules this region from the Gwalior fort and remain a power seat for more than 1000 year.
Emperor Babur described it as “the pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind” because of great architecture and robustness. There are several rock cut sculptures of Jain Thirthankara, within the fort premises.
Man Singh Palace, Sas Bahu temple and Teli ka Mandir are the most notable monument within the Gwalior Fort.
Jain sculptures of Gopachal Parvat
Gwalior fort is on the top of Gopachal hill, which lie in the mid of city. On the foot hill of Gopachal Parvat, there are more than 100 rock cut sculptures and small caves related to Jain Thirthankara.
Most of these sculptures carved out in the 15th century during the period of Dungar Singh, Tomar King. These sculptures varies from 5 feet to 40 feet in seating or in standing pose.
The design over & around the sculptures is so beautiful that it look like, the sculptures are placed in a temple. There are many other beautiful figures around the sculptures like elephant, horse or lions.
There is a Jain temples also on the foot hill and open to visitor till 11:00 AM only. While on Gwalior trip, you must spare time for Gopachal parvat and its rock cut sculptures .
Samadhi of Rani Lakshmibai
Situated around 400 meter from the Phool Bag. Rani Lakshmi Bai ( Jhansi ki Rani ) been shot dead by British soldiers at this very place. Here you will see a 3D image of Jhansi ki Rani, fighting with British soldiers.
The statue of Laxmi Bai at this place is about eight-meter tall with a continuous flame in respect of this brave figure. A must visit for all patriotic Indians to see and pay respects for the great Rani Lakshmi Bai.
Tomb of Tansen & Ghaus Mohammad
Tansen was great musician and one of the nine gems in the Akbar court while Ghaus Mohammad was a Sufi saint and religious teacher of Mughal emperor Humayun and Tansen. Both the tombs lies in the same part and approx 1 km from Gwalior fort.
Situated in the mid of city, this garden accommodate a mosque and a Gurudwara and Zoo. This garden was inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 1922 on his visit to Gwalior.
Located in the front of Jai Vila palace which was build in Italian style. Beautiful fountains, cascading waters make this more beautiful. The lush green gardens make the place even more beautiful.
Offbeat sites near Gwalior
There are more place you can explore during your Gwalior trip like; 64 Yogini temple and Bateshwar group of temples that are around 35 Km from Gwalior, located at Mitavali and Padhavali village respectively.
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