Visiting Places

 

This fort is situated at Gopachal, nearly 100m above the town of

Gwalior. It’s width ranges from nearly 1km, to less than 200m. The walls, which encircle the fort, are solid and nearly 10m high. In places the cliff overhangs and elsewhere it has been clipped to make it steep and hence unscalable. It earned the reputation of being North and Central India’s most impregnable fort. Babur described the fort as, "The pearl amongst fortresses in India".

The fort also enjoys the advantage of an unlimited water supply, as there are many water tanks on the plateau.

The fort can be approached from the south or the northeast. The latter approach starts from the archaeological museums and leads to the doors of the Man Singh Palace. The southern entrance is via the URBAI GATE and goes past the cliff face with Jain Sculptures on it.

LOCATION

This fort is located in Gwalior, which is in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, near its border with the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located on a hill to the north of LASHKAR, the new town of Gwalior.

HISTORY

The fort has a long history, which goes back to over 1000years. According to a legend, on the hilltop where the fort stands, lived a hermit GWALIPA. He cured SURAJ SEN of leprosy, by giving him a drink of water from the Suraj kund, which is still there in the fort. He also renamed him SURAJ PAL and said that as long as he and his descendents kept the name PAL, they would remain in power. His 84th descendent however, changed his name and lost his kingdom.

In 1938, the Tomar dynasty came to power in Gwalior. Man Singh, who ascended the throne in 1486 incidentally, was the greatest of the Tomar rulers. He repelled an attack on the fort by SIKANDAR LODI of Delhi. In 1516, Ibrahim Lodi laid siege on the fort. Man Singh died but his son held on to the fort for one year before surrendering. After the Lodis, the fort passed into the hands of the Mughals who held onto it till 1754, when the Marathas captured it.

The next 50 years saw the fort change hands several times before passing into the hands of the Scindias. In 1857, the troops revolted against the British in defiance of the ruler who remained loyal to the British. It was near this fort that TANTIA TOPE was defeated and the Rani of Jhansi killed in battle.

CLIMATE

It is hot during the summers (April to June), with temperatures touching 40oC . Monsoon lasts from July to Sept. The winters are mild. However, the nights can be cold.

ACCESSIBILITY

BY AIR Indian Airlines operates a flight to Gwalior from Delhi.

BY BUS  There are regular bus services from Gwalior to Agra, Jhansi, Shivpuri, Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur.

BY TRAIN  Gwalior is on the main Delhi to Mumbai railway line. The superfast SHATABDI EXPRESS links it with Delhi.

ACCOMODATION

Gwalior offers accommodation to suit all pockets. If you have budgetary constraints, then look around the railway station. Some of the hotels offering accommodation at reasonable prices are: -

HOTEL DM (near the bus stand)

HOTEL BHAGWATI (on NAI SARAK)

REGAL HOTEL (close to the fort)

HOTEL SAFARI (station road)

Following are some of the more expensive hotels.

Hotel Tansen (GANDHI RD): This hotel is under the management of M.P Tourism.

Hotel Surya (Lashkar- NEWTOWN)

USHA KIRAN PALACE (Tayendra Ganj Lashkar). This is Gwalior's best hotel. It was formerly the Maharajah’s palace. The hotel can be described in one word – OPULENT and the prices too are fit for only an opulent pocket.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM: This museum is located in the Gujri Mahal. There is a large collection of Hindu and Jain sculptures and copies of the BAGH CAVE frescoes. (Open: TUE-SUN, timing: 10am to 5pm.)

There is a small museum next to the MAN SINGH palace. It has on display sculptures and carvings from around the fort. (open: SAT.-THUR, Timing : 10 am to 5pm)

Temples

Chaturbhuj Mandir, OR THE TEMPLE OF THE four-armed, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and was built in 876A.D. It is located on the northeast entrance to the fort.

Near the fourth gate of the north east entrance to the fort is a small four pillared Hindu temple dedicated to the hermit GWALIPA, after whom the fort and the town is named.

TELI KA MANDIR: This temple was built in the 9th century. The roof of the temple is built in the DRAVIDIAN style with Indo- Aryan decorations. The doorway to the temple is 10m high and is topped with a sculpture of the Garuda. The whole temple is covered with sculptures.

SAASBAHU TEMPLES: These two temples were built between the 9th and 12th century. They are located near the eastern wall. The  Mother- in –law and Daughter- in –law temples are similar in style. There are figures of Lord Vishnu over the entrance of the temple. Four huge pillars support the large roof.

JAIN SCULPTURES

Along the path leading to the fort from the Southern side are many Jain sculptures along the rock faces. These sculptures were originally cut in the mid-15th century but were defaced by the marauding armies of Babur in 1527. However, they were later restored.

The sculptures can be divided into 5 groups. Image 20, belonging to the ARWAHI group is a sculpture of the first JAIN THIRTHANKAR. The figure is 17m high. Image 22, is a sculpture figure representing, the 22nd TIRTHANKAR NEMNATH. It is 10m high. The most important group is the southeastern group in which there are nearly 20 images spread over a distance of 1km.

MAN SINGH PALACE

Raja Man Singh between 1786 and 1516 built this palace. It is also known as the CHIT Mandir or Painted Palace, because of the tiled and painted decorations of ducks, elephants and peacocks. Bright colors were used, which look very attractive even today. The palace has 4 levels. The two under ground level were used as prisons during the Mughal period. Aurangzeb imprisoned and executed his brother MURAD here.

KARAN PALACE or the KIRTI MANDIR is situated on the western side of the fort. It is a long two- storied building.

JEHANGIR MAHAL & SHAHJAHAN MAHAL They both are located at the northern end of the fort.

JAUHAR KUND is located in the Shah Jahan Mahal. It is a very deep tank where the women of the harem committed Sati after the defeat of the Raja in 1232.

GATES ON THE NORTHEAST ENTRANCE Hathiya Paun or elephant’s foot is on the entrance to the palace. Besides there is the Badalgarh gate named after Raja Man Singh's Uncle Badal Singh. The first gate is the Alamgiri gate and was built in 1660 A.D. The fourth gate was built in the 15th century and is named after Lord Ganesha.

GUJRI MAHAL

Raja Man Singh built this palace for his favorite queen MRIGNAYNI .It was built in the 15th century. Today the Archaeological museum is housed within this palace.

TRAVEL AGENTS

MP TOURISM, Motel Tansen, 6A Gandhi Marg.

Ambika Travels (near Ramakrishna Ashram)

SS Travel (Usha Kiran palace)

Travel Bureau (Lashkar)

SHOPPING

MRIGNAYNI (PATANKAR BAZAR). This is an outlet of the MP Handicrafts Corporation.

MP KHADI SANGH (SARAFA BAZAR) deals in handlooms

MP Emporium (SARAFA BAZAR). This too deals in handlooms.

KOTHARI (SARAFA BAZAR) You can shop here for Silk sari's, Chanderi and Brocades.

KRISHNA LAL (SARAFA BAZAR) This shop deals in jewellary and antiques.

SHIVPURI

The Scindias had their summer capital at Shivpuri. It is located 117km south west of Gwalior and 94km west of Jhansi.

The main attractions here are the CHHATRIS (TOMBS). Set in formal gardens, these exquisitely decorated memorials to the Scindia rulers are inlaid in pietradurd like the Taj Mahal.

Near Shivpuri, is the Madhav National Park and the Sakhya Sagar Lake (boating on the lake is not advisable as there are crocodiles in it.)

ACCESSIBILITY

There is a regular bus service to and from Gwalior.

ACCOMODATION

There are lodges run by the MP Tourism.

TOURIST VILLAGE  is near BHADAIYA KUND near Madhav National Park. The cottages are attractive and reasonably priced.

CHINKARA HOTEL M.P Tourism manages this hotel in Shivpuri.

SIDDHANATH TEMPLE

The Siddhanath temple is located on the OMKARESHWAR Island. This island is at the confluence of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers. It is near famous SHRI OMKAR NANDHATA TEMPLE dedicated to Lord Shiva which houses the revered Jyotir Lingam – one of the temples found in India.

(The Siddhanath temple was built in the early medieval Brahminic style.)

ACCOMODATION-DHARAMSHALAS They cater mainly to Hindu pilgrims.

YATRIKA GUESTHOUSE – (near the bus stand) reasonably priced.

HOLKAR GUESTHOUSE.-HOTEL AISHWARYA (This is the most comfortable hotel in the village).

ACCESSIBILITY

BY ROAD There are regular bus services to and from OMKARESHWAR to Indore. You can hire a car from MP Tourism office at Indore.

BY RAIL Local trains run from Indore to OMKARESHWAR road station, but the station is 12km from OMKARESHWAR.

The Siddhanath Temple is an example of early medieval temple architecture. Its main feature is a frieze of elephants carved on a stone slab at its outer perimeter. The frieze is 15m high. Besides there are elaborate carved figures on the upper portion of the temple and on its roof. The temple is encircled by verandahs with columns carved with circles, polygons and squares.

The temple along with other temples was severely damaged after the Muslim invasion of Muhammad Gazni .The temples were later repaired by the Marathas.

PLACES OF INTEREST

SHRI OMKARESHWAR MAHADEO TEMPLE Located on the "OM" shaped sacred island near the Siddhnath temple it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is highly revered as it houses one of the 12 sacred "Jyotir Lingas".

24 Avatars – this is a group of 24 Hindu and Jain temples.

SATMATRIKA TEMPLES are located at a distance of 6km from OMKARESHWAR, it dates back to the 10th century.

KAJAL RANI CAVE  It is at a distance of 9 km. The site offers a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside.

Visiting Places Around the school within 100Km

1.       Gwalior:- Fort, Museum, Palace, Sun temple, ZOO, Industrial area malanpur, KVS Zonal training centre, University, IITTM,  IHM, LNIPE Gwalior, IIITM, Medical college, MITS,

2.       Agra:- Taj mahal, Masque, Dayal bag,  Fatepurshikry, University

3.       Jhanshi:- Fort of Laxmibai, Temple of Orchha on the bank of Betwa River , Budelkhand University

4.       Shivpuri :- National Park