Travelstick Gwalior Madhya Pradesh India

Gwalior

Gwalior is non-touristy town centered around the towering Gopachal hill and Gwalior Fort. There are a number of budget hotels scattered around the town, particularly in the area around the train station. Be aware that a number of hotels are not able to accept foreign guests. In these cases it seems they prefer to tell you that the hotel is full. Just accept this and move on to the next one.

The train station is near the center of town on the southeastern side of the fort. Most of the main attractions in town are within walking distance.

The train ticket reservation office is on the eastern side of the station, to the right as you exit the main building. Tickets for foreigners are sold at window 1.

Travelstick Madhya Pradesh in India


One of many hill forts in India, Gwalior Fort stands on a vast rocky hill named Gopachal. Evidence suggests that it has been around since the 6th Century, although there are few historical records to prove the fort’s real age. The fort has been controlled by a number of different rulers throughout its history and at one point in time was considered to be India's most impenetrable fortress.

Gwalior fort stretches over an area of 3 square km, surrounded by sandstone walls. The fort encloses numerous temples, built at various times, and two main palaces, both cunstructed in the 15th century by Raja Man Singh Tomar. The Man Mandir Palace is one of the most iconic buildings of the fort from the bright turquoise tiles used to decorate the exterior. The Gujari Mahal, built for Man Singh Tomar's wife, is now a museum housing a selction of artefacts and sculptures of Hindu and Jain deities dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries BC. There is a second small arcaeological museum within the fort.

The fort is located high on a ridge in the center of Gwalior. There are two main roads leading up to the fort, one on the west side and one on the norteastern side. The western road takes you past some interesting rock-cut Jain statues (see separate box).

Entrance to the fort complex is free but various buildings inside require separate entrance tickets (prices in 2020)
Gurari Mahal 250INR (3USD)
Man Mandir Palace plus two of the main temples 300INR (4USD)
Small Archaeological Museum 5INR

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Gopachal hill houses more than 1500 idols. These rock-cut Jain sculptures are unique in Northern India in terms of their gigantic size and number. The sculptures depict Jain Tirthankaras and were carved out of the face of the cliff during the 15th century. Many of the statues were defaced and destroyed by the Mughal emperors when they captured the fort in the 16th century.

The sculptures are divided into five groups at different locations around the hill. The Urvai group, also known as Siddhanchal, is the easiest to find, being located right beside the western approach road to the fort. There are two separate groups of carvings, the first is on your left as you head up the hill, and the other is further up on the right. The largest figure, not only of this group, but of all the Gwalior rock sculptures, is 17 meters high.

Entrance free

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Gwalior Zoo, also known as the Gandhi Zoo, was established in 1922 and is a nice place to spend a morning or afternoon. It has a good selection of species, mostly housed in suitably spacious and well maintained enclosures. Their most famous attraction is a rare white tiger called Jamuna.

Entrance 100INR (1.3USD in 2020)
photo camera 20INR

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