# Historic Northern Indian kingdom : Gwalior

April 5, 2018

Gwalior is a major and the northern-most city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and one of the Counter-magnet cities. Located 319 kilometres south of Delhi, the capital city of India, Gwalior occupies a strategic location in the Gird region of India. The city and its fortress have been ruled by several historic northern Indian kingdoms. From the Kachwaha in 6th century, Tomars in the 13th century, it was passed on to the Mughal Empire, then to the Maratha in 1754, followed by the Scindia in the 18th century.

### Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort is a hill fort near Gwalior. 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.

### Gujari Mahal

The Gujari Mahal Archeological Museum, sometimes called the “Gwalior Fort Museum”, is a state museum in Gwalior, located in the fortress of Gujari Mahal, also orthographed Gujari Mahal. It displays numerous artifacts of the region, including a fragment of the Garuda capital of the Heliodorus pillar from Vidisha. The palace of Gujari Mahal was built by Raja Man Singh Tomar for his wife Mrignayani, a Gujar princess. She demanded a separate palace for herself with a regular water supply through an aqueduct from the nearby Rai River.

### Jai Vilas Mahal

The Jai Vilas Mahal, also known as the Jai Vilas Palace, is a nineteenth century palace in Gwalior, India. It was established in 1874 by Jayajirao Scindia, the Maharaja of Gwalior and is still the residence of his descendants the former royal Maratha Scindia dynasty. It is a fine example of European architecture, designed and built by Sir Michael Filose. A combination of architectural styles, the first storey is Tuscan, the second Italian-Doric and the third Corinthian. The area of the Jai Vilas palace is 1,240,771 square feet and it is particularly famous for its large Durbar Hall. The interior of the Durbar Hall is decorated with gilt and gold furnishings and adorned with a huge carpet and gigantic chandeliers. It is 100 feet long, 50 feet wide and 41 feet in height.

### H.H. Maharaja Jiwajirao Scindia Museum

Jaivilas Palace was built in 1874 by Maharaja Jayajirao Scindia. It is an architectural marvel combining Italian, Corinthian and Tuscan styles. A wing of Jaivilas Palace was converted into a museum in memory of Srimant Jiwajirao Scindia by the late Rajmata Shrimant Vijayaraje Scindia. Then president of India H.E. Dr. Sarvapally Radhakrishnan opened the HH Maharaja Sir Jiwajirao Scindia Museum to the public on December 12th, 1964. Museum offers to the public a unique view of the palace created in the 19th and 20th century and focuses on various arts and crafts that grew and reached their zenith under the patronage of the royal family. Museum aims to provide a viable space for the expansion of knowledge through research and sharing.

### Teli Ka Mandir

Teli ka Mandir, also known as Telika Temple, is a Hindu temple located within the Gwalior Fort. It is dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Matrikas, it has been variously dated between the early 8th and early 9th century CE. It is an unusual Hindu temple, as it has a rectangular sanctum instead of the typical square. It integrates the architectural elements of the Nagara style and the Valabhi prasada that looks like the Dravidian wagon-vault topped gopuram superstructure. The temple is based on a Pratihara-Gopagiri style North Indian architecture. The temple is a classic example of a design based on “musical harmonics” in architecture, one that Hermann Goetz called as a masterpiece of late Gupta era Indian art.

### Gopachal Parvat

Gopachal rock-cut Jain monuments, also called Gopachal Parvat Jaina monuments. This is a group of Jain carvings dated to between 7th and 15th century. They are located on the south side of Gwalior Fort. They depict Tirthankaras in seated Padmasana posture as well as standing Kayotsarga posture, in the typical naked form of Jain iconography. This group of Jain monuments is related to numerous others found in the north side of the fort including the Siddhachal Caves.

### Man Singh Palace

Man Singh Palace is imperial-style palace. It is built by Tomar ruler Man Singh between 1486 and 1516. It is definitely one of India’s more quirkily decorated monuments: its colourful exterior tilework includes a frieze of yellow ducks and mosaics of elephants, crocodiles and tigers in blue, yellow and green! Hence its alternative identity of Chit Mandir (Painted Palace). Man Singh, a connoisseur of the arts, would surely be delighted to know that his creation is now considered the only intact pre-Mughal palace in India.

### Sas Bahu Temple

Sasbahu Temple, also called Sas-Bahu Mandir, Sas-Bahu Temples, Sahastrabahu Temple or Harisadanam temple. It is an 11th-century twin temple in Gwalior. It is located near the Gwalior Fort and dedicated to Vishnu. It is mostly in ruins and was badly damaged from numerous invasions and Hindu-Muslim wars. It was built in 1093 by King Mahipala of the Kachchhapaghata dynasty.

### How to reach Gwalior

By Flight: There are regular flights from other major cities of the country to Gwalior.

By Bus: You can easily get regular buses to Gwalior from other major cities of the country.

By Train: Gwalior is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular trains.

### References

$${}$$