Gwalior fort is one of the beautiful and famous forts of India. Writer Taj-Ul-Maseer writes about this fort. “Fast Wind cannot touch its climax and fast clouds cannot cast their shadow in its PARKOTAS. On its Vakshsthal there are written stories of life/death, Sanyog-Viyog, bravery and cowardice. This is situated 110 Km. south of Agra. This stony hillock where this stands is made of peculiar strong stone. This fort is more than 300 ft. high. This is 3 K. M. long from North to South and, 600 to 3000 ft broad from east to west.
On the eastern side of the historic fort Raja Man Singh got constructed a beautiful palace. Outside the palace there are 6 beautiful high gates. Almost all have praised its architect 6 places have been built on this fort and Gujri Mahal is one of the spots worth seeing. There are two routes to climb up this fort. First Gwalior gate is in the east and second in the west is Urvai gate. Apart from them there were 3 more gates which led inside of them Thotha por and Radha Gargaj gates and third is in the south which have been closed now.
5 gates have to be crossed to reach the fort from the eastern side. First gate is ALAMGIR DARWAZA which is now commonly known as Gwalior Gate. Second is BADALGARH or HINDOLA gate, Third is Ganesh Dwar, fourth is LAXMAN Dwar and 5th is Hathiapore. Alamgir Darwaza was got constructed in 1660 by Motimid Khan Governor of this fort in the regime of Aurangzeb. Badalgarh gate is a beautiful example of stone craft which was constructed in 15th Century which is known in the name of Badal Singh brother of Raja Kalyan Mal Tomar.
Buildings At The Fort
About half a dozen palaces exist on this historic fort of them some were constructed by Raja Man Singh and some by Muslim rulers. Manmandir which exhibits good craftmanship was got constructed by Raja Mansingh in 1516. The eastern front portion is 300feet long and 80 feet wide. Over this building are six big tombs. This is an example of great craftsman ship of stone carving. Southern portion of Man Mandir is 150feet long and 50-60 feet high; over this 3 BURJIYAN though over 500 years old still shine. Idols of Animals-Birds, Trees and Human beings are made in the alls of the building which add to its beauty.
The second palace is Gujri Mahal. Raja Mansingh got it constructed for his wife MRIGNAYANI whom he loved very much. This palace too was constructed when Man Mandir was constructed i. e. around 1515-17. On all the four sides rooms are constructed in Gujri Mahal. There is no such room which does not exhibit example of high art. In this palace water was brought by earthen pipe for Rani “MRIGNAYANI”. Other 2 palaces are Karan Mahal and second Vikram Mahal. On seeing them common man is led to appreciate SANSKRAT VABHAV of this area. There are two more palaces Jahangir Mahal and Shah Jahan Mahal. There were many a mandir. Of them a few are still safe and are examples of beautiful craftmanship. Of them SAS BAHU KA MANDIR, TELE KA MANDIR, JAIN IDOLS and Chaturbhuj Mandir are worth seeing. In this great fort there are many a tank which have been carved from the stones. Of them Johar Talab, Apart from this in this historic big fort of Gwalior there are many a BETHAK and building of European style where there is Scindia School now a days.
Jain Idols have been carved in the stone walls of the fort. Of them some idols from their carving reveal that they came into being from the year 1440 to 1472. Of them many are religious idols some are in standing and some are in sitting posture. GHOS SAHIB’s TOMB On the east of the town at Hajira, there is the tomb of GOS SAHIB. This is an example of infancy art of Mughal art. It is square in construction and on all the four sides there are Burj; on their ends are small Gumbad. On all the four sides there are thick and fine JALEES and on the top of the building there is a big Gumbad which was once decorates with Shining blue stones. Badayun in his book MUNTKHABUL-TAWAREEKH has written about Gos Sahib that he was a great sant and also Guru of Mughal Emperor Akbar and Tansen.
Tomb Of Tansen
Near the Tomb of Mohd. Gos there is the tomb of famous singer TANSEN. On the roof of the building there is encarved Gumbad which has carving in it. Every year “Tansen Samaroh” is held here. This tomb is very simple but there is handicraft work of beautiful jalis.
Samadhi Of Rani Laxmi Bai
In the first Independence movement Virangana Laxmi Bai who shaked the British Empire, her Samadhi is in the campus of Phool Bagh. eight metalled / tall statue of Rani Laxmi Bai is situated here which is a source of inspiration to our youth. This SAMADHI reminds us of the martyors of freedom. In the honor and memory of the Rani every year a Fair is held here on 18th of June.
At a short distance from Railway Station there exists Garden in Phool Bagh. In the Phool Bagh campus there exist Residential palace, Museum, and other buildings. This Garden was constructed by late Madho Rao Scindia. In 1922 Princess of Wales inaugurated it on his arrival at Gwalior. The only zoo of Gwalior city is situated in this campus. One temple, one Mosque, one Gurudwara, Theosophical Lodge and prayer place of Both religion exist here. Constructions were done by the then government as an example of religious equality.
JAIVILAS PALACE was constructed for the residence of Maharaja Scindia at the cost of about Rs. 19 lac during 1861 to 1874. This is made in a big garden decorated by shady trees and beautiful roads. On all the four sides there are lakes and lawns and flower beds which make the sight very attractive. The area of the Palace is 12, 04, 771 square feet. Michael Filoz was its designer and constructor who intelligently prepared its design on the basis of PILAZEZ of Italy.
Moti Mahal is one of the worth seeing palaces which was once Secretariat of Madhya Bharat Govt. At present there are many offices of the present Govt. colored glass work has been done very beautifully in some of its rooms and there are many wall paintings which exhibit Hindu Purans, RAG RAGNYON, Maharaja’s sittings as Darbar and various rally etc. of Maharaja Jiwaji Rao.
Of the main museums of this place are Municipal Corporation Museum, Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum, and Gujri Mahal Museum situated on the ground floor of the fort are the chief ones. Museum of Nagar Nigam was got constructed by EX Maharaj Madhorao Scindia in 1902. This Museum contains Pashan Pratimayen, china clay, glass ivory, instruments of warfare, old coins, animals, birds, artistic pictures, samples of prastar shilp handicraft and apart from the there are AVSHESH of India’s first Independence Movement. PURVA SAMACHAR KAKHSH VATHIKA, and PRASTAR KOSHAL VITHIKA, etc. are assembled in this museum. The Maharaja Jiwaji Rao musium was established in 1964 in one of the wing of Jaivilas Palace. PASHAN PRATIMAYAI, Metal Idols, coins, LAGHO CHITRAS, art of ivory, cut glass work are displayed in this Museum. The Most talked things are big FANOOS JHAAD, Napoleon table, SILVER TRAIN and Persian carpets.
N.C.C. Women Training School
NCC Women officer training school is one training sansthan of its kind in India which exists in Gwalior as a place of martyrdom of Rani Jhansi. Women from various states of India and islands come here for training of N. C. C. Its establishment is a pride of India. Its establishment took place in 1964 in historic building Ex Grand HOTEL. Till now Ten Thousand trainees have passed out in different various courses. There has been important contribution of State Government. In its establishment in Gwalior. The commanding Officer of this establishment is a Brigadier and there are LT. COL., Major and four other Women Officers.
Laxmibai Physical Education Deemed University
The fame of this establishment in Gwalior is as far and wide as that of sports establishment of Patiala. This establishment imparts physical training to men and women not only of India but also to the foreingners. For continuous training facilities this establishment is progressing continuously. Apart form the routine training National or International sports in this university accord a special status. Such institution impart importance to Gwalior.
Sas-bahu Ka Mandir
This temple is 32 meters long and 22 meters wide. There is Vishal Vedi caltar in the centre of this temple. In the 3 directions there are Mandaps and Devalayai is in 4th direction. There is hardly a place where the work of carving does not exist. At the gate of the temple idols of Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, etc. have been displayed in the stones. Mandir of SAS-BAHU is small in size and is beautiful are example of Mid India VASTUKALA. There is Vishnu Mandir. The front portion of stone is protruded in the front from where the sight seeing of three sides is possible.
Gurudwara Data Bandi Chod
In the memory of Sixth Guru of Sikhs Sant Har Govind Singh ji Bhavya Gurdwara has been constructed at Gwalior fort. When Jahangir was throned at Delhi in 1605, Shahzada Khusro had revolted against Jahangir. In Taran Taran Khusro sought blessings from the 5th Guru of Sikhs Guru Arjun Dev Ji. Data Bandi chod Gurdwara has been fully constructed of marble. This is a grand and huge Gurdwara. colored Glasses decorate the main building. The kalashs at the gumbads are made of gold. There are also 2 tanks in it. Recital of Guru Granth Sahub makes the surroundings atmosphere peaceful and sacred. Peace is here. On Amavasya there are 4 special prayers, religious songs and keertan; in which many a follower participate. This occasion is transformed into afair. Food is always distributed here in form of Langer. Baba Uttam singh and Baba Amar Singh started its construction in 1970 with great zeal and enthusiasm. Tourists visiting Gwalior visit this Gurdwara positively.
On 30th July 1993 Sant Bawa Amar singh Ji passed away for heavenly abode while serving the humanity. Such Sants have rarely been observed by me on this planet. Bawa Amar singh ji had served the humanity in the past 2 decades and was popular in all classes of Society.
The Scindia School Fort
Scindia School was established at the historic fort. Indias famous public School was established by Late Madho Rao Scindia in 1879 in the name of “SARDAR SCHOOL” in the nature’s lap. This is now known as SCINDIA SCHOOL in place of SARDAR-SCHOOL. At present students from various states and foreigners are being educated. The school is Continuously progressing and now this is one of the special schools of India.
Tele Ka Mandir
This temple was constructed by pratihar Rajas. This is known as Teli Ka Mandir. Of the various old historic worth seeing temples of Gwalior, Teli ka Mandir ranks highest. This is said to have been constructed in 9th century. This temple is constructed in southern Indian style and is the combination of Dravian and Aryan style. The real name of this temple has been Telang Mandir. Its height is about 100 feet. The main gate of Teli Ka Mandir was brought in 1881 from else where and fixed here.
In the east of Suraj Kund there is Mata Devi Ka Mandir at the Gwalior Fort. From the point of view of construction, it seems to be of 12th Century. This Satapathya art is alike Sas Bahu ka Mandir which is very attractive. Here many people come to see it.
A square Kund constructed at the fort is known as Suraj Kund. It was constructed in 6th Century. It is said that Ashram of Galib Rishi was here. The Founder of Gwalior Durg (fort) Suraj Sen got this temple constructed.
In 1527 when Babar came to Gwalior Durg he was very keen to see the beauty of Urvai Ghati, he was full of joy. In his Baburnama he has mentioned “This unique Ghati which is situate in the west of Durg. There are two big tanks in between this. On all the four sides of these tanks which are within ADVA, here 20-25 wells have been dug made from where water for irrigation is taken. They have planted quite a few trees and plants of flowers. This is a beautiful place. ”
Dargah Khwaja Kanoon Sahib
Khwaja kanoon Sahib Nagauri was resident of Marwad. He came to Gwalior in 1481. Later he started living here. His full name as carved on his tomb was Saiyed Saiyeeduddin Kanoon Rehmat Ullah Aleh chishtiya. But he was popular here with name as Khwaja kanoon. Hazrat Khwaja kanoon Sahib left for heavenly abode in 940 Hijri i. e. in between 121 -25. One of the carvings on the inner parts of the tombs reveals”Have belief that in 940 Hijri Khwaja kanoon Sahib attained aternar sprit. Visiters with full faith and avichal Shradha & firm confidence visit for 40 days and you will fulfil your aim/desire. ” The then historians have written much about khwaja Sahib. He was a sufi Sant of the highest order. Even today people of various religious faiths daily often their prayers & AKIDAT.
Veer Sawarkar Sarovar
Near Achleshwar Mahadev and Maharani Laxmi Bai Arts and Commerce college there is a sarowar which is previously known as Katora Tal, which is now a days known as veer Sawarkar Sarovar. There stands an idol of veer Sawarkar of human size which is surrounded by water and shady trees. This Sarovar is a visiting place for tourists.
Maharani Laxmi Bai College
Rulers of Gwalior State took great interest in education of this place. As a result 100 years ago a beautiful building named as Victoria School was constructed which is now known as MALBA MAHAVIDYALAI. This college is the biggest college of Jiwaji University of M. P. from where well known personalities received their education. Well known writer Dr. Vrindavan Lal Verma, famous poet Jaanisar Akhtar, EX. Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Bajpai etc. have been its students.
Sanatan Dharam Mandir
One of famous temples of Gwalior Sanatan Dharam Mandir is on the top. This occupies huge complex. Lord Shri Krishan and beautiful idols of other gods are there in it. This is situated in front of Chamber of Commerce.
Krishan Mandir In Chhatri
Chhatri Mandir is situated opposite to Jaivilas Palace and nearby Savarkar Sarovar. This temple is managed by the scindia trust. In its garden there exist Chhataris of Late Jiwaji Rao Scindia and his Mother Gajra Raja Scindia made of marble which are the source of attraction for tourists.
Jiyaji Chowk (bada)
The busiest place of Gwalior city is Maharaj Bada. In its center there is a garden. In its center there is a huge statue of Jiyaji Rao Scindia made of marble. This idol is fixed in a high Marble Plateform. On all the four sides shopping centres are situated. General post office, 2 huge Buildings of State Bank of India. Town Hall and Victoria Markets etc. in Baada Campus are worth seeing special feature examples of beautiful establishments. Special feature of this market is that there are 7 entries to it.
Chhatris Of Scindia Dynasty
There is a big Collection of Chatris of Scindia Dynasty in Chatri Bazar. These Chatris are very imporant from the point of view of art. House Constructed on all the four sides of these chatris has minimised their beauty. Chatris have been constructed with pink and white stones. Chatris of Jiwaji Rao Scindia, Daulat Rao Scindia and Janko ji Rao Scindia are worth seeing these chatris. Here carved Elephant , Horses and Tigers construction are beautiful. For want of their proper care, these chatris are being damaged. Responsible civilians and Government must pay attention in this direction.
From the time immemorial worshiping god sun has special place in Gwalior. Mono/of Scindia dynasty rulers has been the Surya and Sheshnaag. From this it is established that its dynasty is Naag-Kul Bhushan. Birla on 23rd January 1988 gifted Surya Mandir(the sun temple)to the people of Gwalior Pink stone has been used in its constructions. In the center on a chabutra is the very beautiful idol of SURYA Bhagwan. In the center (GARBHGREH) a special device has been adopted for reaching the sun -rays on idol of Surya Bhagwan.
This place is situated about 16KMs away from Gwalior on Lashkar Tigra road. The natural beauty of this place is undescribeable. Because of thick forest various beautiful birds and wild animals can be seen here. DEVKHO is surrounded with natural atmosphere which is amiable. On hillock there is beautiful temple of Lord Shiva. Late MadhoRao Scindia used to visit this place and think over important problems of the state. The lovely note of Jharna is very much pleasant which on hearing a person starts singing. In the whole area full of natural beauty leke Deo Kho is rarely found. Dev Kho is quite near to Gwalior city where Govt. have constructed good approach roads which have been laid after cutting the hillocks with KIRINAS. ON both the sides beautiful trees and plants have been planted.
Tighra Dam is situated 18 Kms away south-west of Lashkar. This a beautiful place. Hilly stones slopes have sufficient strength to hold water in it. Gwalior gets its drinking water from Tigra water works. This has becomea beautiful picnic spot during rainy season.
Of many tourist spots Name of PAWAYA is illustrious. Sometimes back there must have been a beautiful Royal city here. On the basis of arachaeolgical evidence available so far this is the old city of PADMAVATI. There is mention of padmavati in Vishnupuran where in it is mentioned that this was the Capital of Nagas which is 30 KM away from Dabra & 80 KM far from Gwalior.
Peetambra Peeth (datia)
On the way to Jhansi, Datia town is 75 KM away from Gwalior. Datia is an important historic place. The immage of palaces etc. Have been mitigated. Datia has become prominent town because of peetambarapeeth. This is a place of Buglamukhi Devi. Peace has always been in this state. The courtyard of this temple is made of marble. Darshans of Devi in her various forms can be had here. The temple of Bhagvati is also here.
Baba Kapoor Sahib
In continuation of Madaria important Sufi Sant Shah Abdul Gafoor who is popularly known as Baba Kapur in Masses, amongst Sufis of mid Gwalior has a special status amongst sufis. Baba Kapur was sant of the down poor, laboures and professionals. Even today Dhobis (washerman) Labourers, bullocks -carters, cultivators when they start their daily work they call “OH BABA KAPUR”. His tomb is living combination of National unity.
Saturn Temple At Sanichara
The Saturn temple is situated at Sanichara, a railway station in Gwalior -Bhind Narrou gauge railway line. It is about 27 miles away from Gwalior. The history of this place is traced long back in the Ramayana and puran period. It is said that Hanuman after burning the lanka saw the Saturn standing before him with foded hands. He asked him what he wanted. On request of Saturn Hanuman provided him a place at Sanichara where he could be worshipped. Now people from all over country come to this place to worship and satisfy the Saturn to pacify the evil effects of the planet. as well as to seek his kindness to be healthy, wealthy and powerfull. On Every Somvati Amavasya a fair is held here. The present Saturn temple at sanichra was built by daulat Rao Scindia in 1825.
Other Tourist Spots
Nearby Gwalior in Morena District of Chambal Division there are many tourist spots of them Rani Kunti’s birth place KUNTALPURI Shiv temple of 10th Century, Kakanmath, from these Scindia Chatris, National park of Shivpuri, temples of Chanderi, tombs of Sultans, Shahi Masjid, Hava Mahal, Fort, Seven storeyed palace of Datia, Jahangir Mahal of Orcha nerar Jhansi, Ram Raja temple, Laxman temple, etc. are other tourist spots which are bound to influence you.
Gwalior has its own cultural tradition. Music, idolcarving, and picture painting have a special status. Raja Jiyaji Rao Scindia of Scindia dynasty under “NAGPURWALA”picture painter got many beautiful paintings painted in Motimahal, Gorkhi Mandir and other palaces. In this work help of many picture painters was taken who were residing in Chitera oli Lashkar, who were from Bundelkhand and had come from Jhansi and settled here. The credit of starting picture painting in Gwalior goes to Shabihkar Daud Mian and Mukand Sakharam Bhaand. In Tiger caves of Gujri Mahal by seeing the wall paintings the live leness of art of chitrakala is revealed. Late shri L. S. Rajput, Rudrahnji, Umeshkumar and Shubakrishanrao have also been important. Pictur painting was contributed by them a great role in Gwalior. Shri Devlalikar the first Principal of Govt. Lalil Kakla University played an important role in evoking the art of Gwalior.
Late Shri L. S. Rajput was a good Picture painter and a teacher of arts; his paintings in exhibitions gained popularity in the whole country. In the same manner the name of Rudarhanji hardly needs any introduction. He too was a well known picture painter and idolmaker. In Padmavidyalaya of Gwalior his idols are worth seeing.
Shri Vimal Kumar, who was incharge of Kalavathika situated at padav for quite a long period did a great deal in the field of art. He by going ahead from traditional painting, established a special status. Similarly Madan Bhatnagar and Vishvaitra Vasvani established a special status in the field of art. Pictures of vasvani Hi gained popularity in the whole of country, Late D. P. Sharma also contributed a lot of to Gwalior. Fountains made by him can be seen at Akash Vani Tiraha, and Baradari crossing at Morar . In the field of latest picture painting and idol carving Gwalior youth has been infused by VIMALKUMAR. With the efforts of Vimal Kumar first National idol art camp organised in 1974 inspired the young idol makers and picture makers of Gwalior / prevailed like Dhumketu who in the field of national and international art in the whole of India. Of them the drawing of Shri. Usaf were rewarded in National and inter – national exhibitions. Anil Kumar is a signatory as a young picture painter. He is the youngest artist who made known by awards in the national exhibitions. Chandarsen Jadhav has been awarded a National award in the field of idol making. Vijay Shindhe is one of the identity in National and international exhibitions by his work of art. Shri Robin David, Sambhaji Rao Shindhe, AnwarKhan, Madhu Sudan Sharma, Santosh Jadiya, On prakash Jadiya, etc. are the product of art of Gwalior.
Shilp Koushal Of Gwalior
Shilp Koushal of Gwalior is famous for its beauty, historic development adorance and its liveliness. Big Jain idols, Sas Bahu Ka Mandir, Man Mandir, at the fort and other important idols and buidings are peculiar examples of Shilp koushal. Jalis of tomb of Ghos Sahib are fascinating. Availability of stone for the development of Shilp Koushal of Gwalior is of great significance. Different type of stones are available in different querries situated from the point of view of vastushilp. Banmor, Kuleth, Niravali, Shankarpur, Lanka, and Gangamalanpur querries situated in the north of Lashkar have been providing useful stone from shilp kala point of view from the time immerorial. In the field of art, cultural relations and in their development of Govt. and administration play a vital role. It has been an attribute to Gwalior that most rulers had been lovers and supporter of art. Under their supervision the art gained prominence. Artists were accorded desired results the Shilpis for attaining the highest aims presented desired results of Shilp Koushal in the form of Huge buildings parasads, and pashaan idols.
With their soft hands metalled cheni and hammer could carve the desired imaginations of the breast of hard stone. “Didaru Mistri””Shambhu”etc. well known Stone carvers and mistris of Gwalior gained sufficient fame. Motimahal and Jaivilas Palace have been constructed by these mistris. Stone obtained from Ganga Malanpur was carved by “Aladhin Mistri” into Paanch Batti Jhaad with Handi and four fanoos with rose flowers coming out which were presented by Gwalior to Late Rular Edward of Britain who expressed his happiness for their beauty. This fanoos tree is there even today in the archeological museum of London . Similerly gate constructed at Dafran Sarai Padav is also examplary. Shilpis of Gwalior not only in Gwalior they have presented beautiful examples of their are in great cities of India. The famous “Gateway of India”in Bombay and High Court Buildings in Lahore are the living examples.
A Few Known Stone Carvers Of Gwalior
1. Didaru Mistri Jaivilas Parasad
2. Saluru Mistri MotiMahal
3. Shambhu Mistri Victoria College
4. Gafoor Mistri Jal Vihar
5. Aladin Mistri Panch Patti Stone trees and Fanoos
Fairs Of Gwalior
There have been fairs in Gwalior which have promoted our Cultural Unity. On occasion of Raksha Bandhan there is a fair of Chakri in front of tomb of Ghos Sahib. In the end of monsoons in Sharad season there is festival of NAVRATRI which is celebrated with great pomp and show in various temples of Goddess Durga.
Gwalior Exhibition which starts in December is famous in the whole of country. This fair starts on 20th December for a period of one month. This is the biggest Exhibition of northern India. In the campus of fair there are about one thousand paccashops which are decorated in artistic manner by commercial sector and Govt. departments. Almost all states participate in this comercial fair in establishing their stalls. Businessmen from Jammu Kashmir to Madras – Kerala sell their goods. In this exhibition there are Kavi Sammelans and Mushayaras of India level. There are also wrestling and fire work features.
There is an elaborate fair at fort in Databandi Chod Gurdwara. In similar manner there is a fair of people of Jain Dharam religion at the fort. There is 3days Urs Shariff of Hazrat Mohd. Ghos Sahib in the month of Ramzan on 12, 13and 14. Similar Urs take place on the Tombs of Khwaja kanoon Sahib and Baba kapur Sahib. Urs of Mansoot Shah Sahib at tomb Situated at Bada and at tomb of Mir Badshah also are celebrated with great pomp and show. Jhule Lal fair of Sindhi society for one week is also very attractive. Similarly there is a three day Tansen Samaroh at tomb of Tansen. There are Nav-Ratri fairs at Mandre ki mata and Karoli wali Mata . At Achleshwar and Gupteshwar temples fairs are celebrated on Shivratri.