Referred to as 'the pearl amongst fortresses in India' by Mughal emperor Babur, the Gwalior Fort is one of the most impenetrable fortresses located in the entire northern and southern India and is a place you definitely must visit. Visiting the fort is one of the prime things to do in Gwalior. Situated on the top of a vast rocky mountain near Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh in central India, this imposing structure dominates the entire city of Gwalior. An inseparable part of the identity and architecture of the city, evidence suggests that it has been around since 6th Century.
The Jai Vilas Palace, also known as the Jai Vilas Mahal is situated in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh and is a symbol of age-old Indian culture and opulence, preserved in the modern day. The Maharaja of Gwalior, Jayaji Rao Scindia, had this magnificent edifice built to ensure a grand welcome for King Edward VII, the then Prince of Wales in 1874. Today, it serves as a residence for the descendants of the royal Maratha Scindia family. The palace also serves as a museum stretched over 35 rooms, houses the Chitrangada Raje Art Gallery and a library that comprises more than 5,000 books. Visiting here is one of the topmost things to do in Gwalior.
Built by Man Singh in the 15th century for his favorite wife Mrignayani, Gujari Mahal is now in ruins and also an archaeological museum as it showcases various sculptures, statues and other remains dating back to 1st and 2nd century BC. If you are a archaeology enthusiast, you should definitely include visiting here in your bucket list of things to do in Gwalior.
Built in the 9th century, the Saas Bahu temple attracts tourists and devotees alike. Contrary to what the name suggests, the Saas Bahu Temple does not mean Saas( mother-in-law) and bahu(daughter-in-law) but is rather a short form of Shastra Bahu, another name of Lord Vishnu. These are two temples situated adjacent to each other and are decorated with impeccable carvings and sculptures.
One of the greatest musicians of India and en eminent vocalist in the courts of Akbar in the medieval period, Tansen was also among one of the nine gems of the Mughal court. Tansen was believed to create magic with his music and cause rains and even enchant animals by his music. He was a student of Mohammad Ghaus who taught him Hindustani classical music. He was a proponent of Dhrupad style and he developed the Gwalior Gharana style of music.
Located in the Gwalior Fort, this temple also dates back to the 9th century and is the highest building in Gwalior (100 ft.). This temple was used to process oil before the Britishers occupied the Gwalior Fort. This temple is famous for its unique architecture as the temple holds a Dravidian look, but the sculptures are typically North Indian.
Tighara dam is located just outside the main city and provides a nice getaway from the city. Besides the natural beauty and picturesque setting, there are also a number of recreational activities available near the dam. You can either picnic by the dam or enjoy a boat ride. Boating at the dam is one of the most popular things to do in Gwalior.
The Surya Mandir or Sun Temple is one of the most spectacular shrines as well as an architectural wonder that adorns the city of Gwalior. Built on the lines of legendary Sun Temple at Konark, Orissa, the Sun Temple of Gwalior is a magnificent amalgam of exquisite architecture in red sandstone and pearly white marble. The temple sits in the midst of a lush green garden that stands in a beautiful contrast to the meticulous architecture. Be sure to include visiting here in your list of top things to do in Gwalior.
Gopachal Parvat is a famous for the 7th and 15th century rock-cut Jain monuments. The monuments are dedicated to Jain Teerthankaras - Adinatha, Mahavir, Neminatha and Rishanabhanatha - whose idols can be seen in a meditative posture. They are a part of 100 monuments located in and around the city.
Suraj kund in Gwalior is a tank located in Gwalior fort. It is believed to have magical powers. Water from the tank act as a medicinal water that assumed to cure chronic diseases. Atmosphere around the Suraj Kund is quite attractive and well maintained which encourage the tourist to spend plenty of time. It was constructed in 15th centuary. Noticable thing of the Suraj kund is the sunset and sunrise. The historical significance of suraj kund attract large number of tourist. The place is full of peace.
Dedicated to Jivaji Rao Scindia, this is one of the most prominent museums of Madhya Pradesh. It occupies around 35 rooms of Jai Villas Palace and was established in the year 1964. The museum is famous for its collection of manuscripts, sculptures, coins, paintings, weapons, etc. The museum is a great place to connect with the history of Gwalior, especially the Scindia dynasty. Visiting here is one of the top touristy things to do in Gwalior.
Roop Singh Stadium is a famous International cricket stadium which has hosted many international cricket matches. It was here where the first double century in the history of ODI cricket was scored by Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar in a match against South Africa.
The tomb of a 16th century prince-turned-sufi is now situated in the town of Hazira. This mausoleum exhibits astonishing Mughal architecture and has proven to be a famous pilgrimage for hindus and muslims alike. The beautiful tombstone and the stunning architecture of the mausoleum gives this place a sense of serenity and peace.
Gwalior is an exciting city with a rich heritage, and the Gwalior Zoo is just another feather in the cap. Established by the royal family Madhao Rao Scindia back in 1922, the Gandhi zoo (as it is also known) is actually a section of a larger garden known as Phool Bagh and houses various rare species of animals. Golden peasants, sambhars, bison, hyena, spotted deer, black bucks and a white tiger forms the variety of wild animals that can be found here. Several smaller populations of crocodiles, snakes, monkeys, and birds have also made the zoo their home.
Situated around 40 km from the main town of Gwalior, Padavali is an fortress comprising many ancient temples. The temples have intricate carvings and one of the temples also have erotic carvings and hence famous as mini Khajuraho. Overall, it's a good excursion from Gwalior to witness the grandeur of Indian architecture. These temples were discovered in 2005 as a result of excavation by the ASI and the archeological work is still going on. Most of the temples here are dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu.
Music enthusiasts must visit the Sarod Ghar, which is a museum of music and has been set up in the ancestral house of the legendary Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan. This museum houses ancient musical instruments which were used by legendary Indian musicians of the past. It also exhibits a great collection of documents and photographs and the aim of this museum is to promote Indian classical culture and music.
Other than its historical monuments, the city of Gwalior composes of a plethora of rustic market areas and modern malls; which consist of traditional handicrafts and artifacts, handlooms and other attractive items. Delicate and light cotton along with Maheshwari and Chanderi silk saris symbolize the handloom industry of Gwalior. Kothari shop in Sarafa Bazaar is famous for the sale of these saris. If you are looking for handicrafts, handloom products and jewellery, this is the perfect place to go. Market Browsing is one of the topmost things to do in Gwalior.
Centrally located on Maharani Laxmi Bai Road, Gwalior, the Dindayal City Mall is for that group of people who absolutely love high-end luxury malls. The mall symbolizes the city's progress, where one can find a plethora of international brands. The Dindayal City Mall is great mélange of modern architecture along with the latest technology of rainwater harvesting for fountains and a waterfall, thus giving the mall a distinct identity. Now considered as a landmark in the city, this mall is developed by ARG group, Jaipur and promoted by the Dindayal Group.
Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhod is associated with Guru Har Gobind Saheb, his imprisonment in the Gwalior Fort and his release along with the 52 kings who were held captive. The Gurudwara has immense religious importance and is visited by the followers to pay homage to the great man.
Located at the North-east end of the fort, Man mandir palace was built between 1486 and 1516 by the Tomar ruler, Man Singh Tomar. The palace couldn't survive with time, however the remains of the palace still showcases the beautiful carvings and designs of that era. The palace has two open courts in between with apartments on two levels. There are underground prison cells as well, built later by Mughals. This was the place where Aurangzeb prisoned his brother Murad and poisoned him slowly to death by using opium.
A good place to buy handicrafts and clothes including famous Chanderi and Maheshwari Saris, Mrignayani Emporium is named after the Queen Mrignayani and is a chain outlet owned by the government. Visiting here is one of the top touristy things to do in Gwalior.
Another crowded market in Gwalior, you will find all kinds of handicrafts, handloom products, stone carvings, artifacts, etc. You can find beautiful knick knacks here with elaborate carvings on stone and glass which can be used as home decor products or as amazing gifts for your kith and kin. And while you are here, you can also relish the mouth-watering amerti being served on the stalls.
Constructed in 1880 by the Scindia rulers, Usha Kiran Palace Hotel is a heritage hotel in Gwalior. The property now belongs to the Taj group of hotels in India and occupies over 9 acres of land. The stunning traditional architecture and the regal decor still maintain the aesthetic appeal of the palace. The hotel has a multi-cuisine restaurant and provides all the facilities to make their guests feel like royalty.
Built in the honour of the Warrior Queen of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmi Bai, her Samadhi is a famous attraction. Other than the Samadhi, the attraction has a stunning 8 metre tall metal statue of Rani Lakshmi Bai. A fair is conducted every year in June at the location in the honour of the Queen. It is a perfect attraction for history buffs.
Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary is a hidden gem hiding amidst Vindhyan Hills in the state of Madhya Pradesh. This wildlife sanctuary is a well kept secret and is a safe haven for a large number of flora and fauna. The tranquil wilderness and the serene rivers makes this place look magical. The dense lush green trees hid many treasures amidst them that will surely beckon you to explore. This wildlife sanctuary being an offbeat destination is not visited by a lot of people and hence is quite peaceful. A few hours spent with trees, flowers, animals and birds is surely going to force you to appreciate the beauties of nature. And, once in you would not want to leave this wildlife sanctuary.
Chhatris of Scindia Dynasty are the memorials built in the memory and honour of the rulers of the Scindia Dynasty. The first one was constructed in the memory of Jayaji Rao Scindia in 1817 CE. The attraction is famous for its architectural beauty. The elegant domes and the beautiful pavilions made of pink and yellow sandstone amidst the lush green lawns is a must-see for tourists.
Set in the humble village of Behat in Gwalior, the Tansen Music Festival or the Tansen Sangeet Sammelan/ Tansen Utsav is an alluring display of the art of music. The Tansen Music Festival, is a unique four-five day festival, dedicated to the pillar of Indian music, the great Tansen, and it is held at his tomb in Gwalior every year. Celebrated musicians come together and perform for sessions that go on all night. The prestigious festival was started by the Academy of Department of Culture and the Government of Madhya Pradesh to pay tribute to one of the biggest legends of Indian classical music, Mian Tansen.
Situated in Gole ka Mandir in Gwalior, Splash The Sun City is one of the most popular water parks in the city and is a perfect way to spend time with friends and family. With a number of water rides, slides and roller coasters, the park is equally popular among kids and adults alike.
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