Gwalior Fort, Gwalior
Gwalior Fort - An Unconquered Legend
Not only Gwalior, but this fort also is the pride of entire Madhya Pradesh. Built by Raja Man Singh Tomar, Gwalior Fort has dominated the skyline of Gwalior since 15th century. Intricately designed, this was virtually an unconquerable structure, probably the safest in entire India. The beauty of its might fascinated many rulers and the fort became the subject of many poetic works. Babar, the famous Mughal ruler, once tabbed Gwalior Fort as 'the pearl amongst the fortresses in India. The overall area covered is around 3sq. km. and the longest length is 2.4 km from north-east to south west. The walls of the fort are built of solid sandstone, which rise to a height of 35 feet.
History of Gwalior Fort
Gwalior Fort is a possessor of very unsettled history. The location of the fort was very strategic and many rulers tried to take control of this beauty. It has stood witness to numerous bloody battles that have taken the lives of many heroes. The fort has come under the rule of many dynasties after Tomars built it. Tomars were succeeded by Mughals, Marathas and British. The plains around the fort were the center of turbulence during the first war of independence in 1857. It was here legendary soldiers like Tantia Tope and Rani Lakshmi Bai were defeated by the British. The British later gave the hold of the fort to Scindias.
Attractions of Gwalior Fort
Inside the high walls of the fort, you will find few of the most stunning temples and palaces. The entrance to the fort itself will set the ball rolling. Gates to the fort are huge, majestic and highly impressive. There are three magnificent temples bounded by the walls of the fort. The most important of them all is Teli Ka Mandir. This 9th century temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple towers to a height of 100 feet making it the highest building in the fort. The roof of the temple displays Dravidian architecture, whereas the walls show strong resemblance to Indo-Aryan architecture style. 9th century Chaturbhuj Temple which is also dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and Saas Bahu Ka Mandir are the other two temples in the fort. There are many palaces as well inside the fort like Karan Palace and Jehangir Mahal. But the best of them all is the Man Singh Palace that has walls and floors decorated with brilliant collection of tiles and colors. The palace is divided into four levels. The several old age water tanks are also something to look out for.
Gwalior Fort is the biggest attraction in the city and many buses have a route to the fort. Once you get into Gwalior, you can also hire a taxi to the fort. The fort is open daylong but the palaces inside are open to public from 9.30 AM till 5PM. The fort encloses many attractions so it will take time for you to explore every corner of it. Keep at least half a day to roam inside this splendid fort. Although you can visit the fort through out the year, but winter months are the best as the climate is extremely pleasant and the environment is less dusty.
Gwalior Fort has made an indestructible mark on the face of Indian history and now, with its charm and majestic outlook, is all ready to etch a special place in your heart. Sitting high on the hill, the fort gives you unmatched and picturesque view of the Gwalior City nestling beneath. Walk along the walls of the most dominant building and feel the rich heritage brush past you.