Updated: Sep 24, 2018
I arrived in Gwalior at 0800 hours. The mighty Gwalior Fort was in sight, it is popularly know as the 'Gibraltar of India', often also called 'the pearl among Indian fortresses'. I was excited about Gwalior because a friend from Delhi whose hometown was Gwalior had agreed to come to Gwalior stay with me for a night and also take me around the city. He had already reached the night before arranged for a bike from his local friends. Since we were going to split the hotel bill we decided to go a bit extravagant and we booked a room in a little fortress for ourselves.
We were staying at the Taj Usha Kiran Palace. This was my first time in any Taj Hotel. I remember arriving at the hotel and feeling mesmerized with the petite yet grandeur structure of the hotel. We were a little too early before check-in time and my friend wanted to take me to a near by restaurant which was his favourite place for a Khasta Kachori, Bhutte Ka Kees and Jalebi. So we dropped our bags and headed for this restaurant.
After a good breakfast and catching up on our lives, we were back at the reception around 1100 hours. While our room was being prepared we were given a short tour of the hotel. The aromas in the dining hall were tantalizing, despite of being full on the breakfast. Our room was ready and we freshened up, made sure we enjoyed the pool for a while and then headed out for the afternoon.
Our first destination was the mighty Gwalior Fort
The fort is known as the Gibraltar of India and various rulers at different points of time has praised the architectural design and its resilience. It is situated on a hillock with the city surrounding it on all sides , the fort is a very lively one with many of the routines of the city's residents tied to it.
The fort has existed at least since the 10th century, and the inscriptions and monuments found within what is now the fort campus indicate that it may have existed as early as the beginning of the 6th century. The fort has been controlled by a number of different rulers in its history.
The present-day fort consists of a defensive structure and two main palaces, Gujari Mahal and Man Mandir, built by Man Singh Tomar. The fort and its structures exhibit a mix of architectural design since it was ruled by many different rulers in its history. The Man Singh Palace displays some vibrant tile work on the exterior, while the Gujari Mahal built for the wife of King Man Singh Tomar is now an archaeological museum. We spent about 2 hours exploring the monuments and structures in this fort and then headed of to the nearby,
Tomb of Ghaus
Origninally the Tomb of Ghaus Mohammed, one of the noted sufis of his times and the Guru of Tansen, one of the nine jewels of Akbar's court. The Samadhi of Tansen is also housed in this enclave. This tomb doubles up as the venue to host the Tansen Music Festival.
After a short lunch at a nearby restaurant we were contemplating on where to go next.
After a while we decided to visit the Jai Vilas Palace
Jai Vilas Palace, is the residential palace turned museum of the Maratha rulers of Gwalior - the Scindias. It is in the heart of the city. The palace has notable collections of antiques and also some of the old time gadgets and collections that can't be easily seen. The museum is one of the largest in Madhya Pradesh and has the world's largest chandelier and the complex is a mixture of British as well as Hindu architecture. The layout of the Jai Vilas Palace is reflective of the colonial period portraying the strong British influence on India.
After a stroll in the Maharaja Bada, the main shopping district for the city of Gwalior as well as nearby towns we were back on our way to our hotel for swim in the pool before it gets dark.
How to reach Gwalior?
If you're in a rush, you can get in at the Gwalior Airport. The city is well connected to major cities by direct link trains. By road, there are national highways that connect Gwalior over a smooth ride.
Where to stay in Gwalior?
Gwalior is a city known for its rich history, so if you want to live the life of the erstwhile Kings and Queens you can live in a 5 star hotel like Usha Kiran Palace or Neemrana's - Deo Bagh, properties like these provide exceptional service and exhibit the architectural style of Forts and Palaces. Alternatively, there are budget and mid-range hotels available in plenty.
How many nights in Gwalior?
1 night in Gwalior is enough, if you want to experience the grandeur of your hotel, you could perhaps stay another night.
Delhi Via-Agra | You're in Gwalior
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