Last Updated: November 21, 2019 Abhishek Gurung
During your holiday in this authentic destination of Gwalior, exuberant attractions one can traverse are all turfed in its ground. Here, the eyes can’t help but look at the grand Gwalior Fort, which is beautifully decorated with turquoise fortifying walls. That’s not all, in this tourist destination, all the places you can visit are well-maintained with a collection that is of historic significance. Also, if time permits, a short drive off Gwalior, visiting the Tighra Dam couldn’t get any better and a refreshing change of scenario. Nonetheless, to make your tour in Gwalior simply stupendous, we have mentioned a few not to miss attractions in our blog here.
Gwalior Fort (of course!)
The fort can be massive with many attractions inside the complex, so we thought of selecting a few interesting must see.
The star attraction in Gwalior is the fort itself, so massive, you can see it from all corners of the city. This hilltop fort is a must-see place, and if you are planning to visit here, better plan a whole day tour because inside you can find a series of attractions. Ideally, tourists enter from the Qila Gate (Gwalior Gate) heading straight towards the fort, and for better exploration you can head north-east and visit the mahals like Karan, Vikram, Jahangir and Gujari (Gujari Mahal also has an archaeological museum). Here, another classy place to see is Bheem Singh Rana Ki Chhatri. Other interesting must see are Chaturbhuj Temple, Man Singh Palace, Assi Khambon Ki Baori and most importantly Gwalior Fort Viewpoint, from where on a clear day, expect to get panoramic view of the city. As you exit from the Urvai Gate located on the south-west, you can stop and explore cave temples of Siddhachal Jain Temple and Shree Mata Trishala Atishay Kshetra.
Gujari Mahal Archaeological Museum
An archaeological museum located inside the fort complex is one of the must visit places, especially if you are a history buff. This 15th-century Gujari Mahal, though in ruins, offers an interesting insight into the history of the kingdom in Gwalior, and thus is an ideal place for educational tours. The primal things to see in this museum are the sculptures dating back to 1st or 2nd century B.C, archeological discoveries like Terracotta items and Bagh cave frescoes as well as the statue of Salabhanjika. During your exploration in Gujari Mahal, you can also come across a large collection of popular images of Bagh Cave paintings and also photographs of nearly 75 years old Mandu and Dhar areas.
Teli Ka Mandir
An impressive element about this pilgrimage site is perhaps its attractive and classy architecture and the detailed artwork of the temple; you can see all that when you visit the Gwalior Fort complex. This Hindu temple is the tallest in the fort with an architecture amalgamation of the northern and southern styles. It is said to be as tall as about 100 feet and it resembles the temple of Pratihara Vishnu, as a matter of fact, Teli Ka Mandir is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. However, the temple is also adorned with structures of river goddesses, amorous couples, coiled serpents and the famed vehicle of Lord Vishnu making it an important place for religious tourism in Gwalior.
As a budget traveller, we wish to find attractions closeby, so we can see everything without spending much in transportation, right? Well, here are a few best places you can visit and make a day of it.
From your hotel, you can make your first pitstop at the Gwalior Zoo
For those who like wildlife tours, do make a quick stop at the Gwalior Zoo or Gandhi Zoological Park for you can find some exotic species of animals here. This zoo is one of the best places to visit in Gwalior to see white tigers. These beautiful but rather ferocious big cats are the main crowd pullers but also other animals here that can quickly catch the attention of the visitors are the golden pheasants, black bucks, various serpents, hyena, sambhar, bisons and deer. A time spent in this protected site for animals will offer immense pleasure and perhaps it can be an ideal destination to visit for kids during family holiday.
After wildlife exploration, make the next door located Moti Mahal your second pitstop
A 900 metre walk pass Italian Gardens can take you to another famous and grand attraction, Moti Mahal. A 19th-century palace which was once the secretariat of Madhya Bharat Government, Moti garden flaunts colourful flowers and an extensive work of fountains. Though in a dilapidated condition, it is one of the tourism places that still beautifully displays its tempera coloured walls graced by mosaic mythological paintings of darbars and processions. In fact, Moti Mahal has close similarities to that of Pune’s Peshwa Palaces.
At a leisure walking distance, visit the third pitstop at Jai Vilas Palace
The next place to visit is located at a mere 650 metre walking distance from Moti Mahal. Jai Vilas Palace is one of the must visit places in Gwalior and it is here, you can explore its few in-house attractions. As you reach your destination, en route stop and admire the Rani Mahal Palace. This palace Jai Vilas Palace also houses H.H. Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum, which treasures the personal belongings of Scindia family. Perhaps, this museum is perfect for educational purposes to study the art, history and culture of the Maratha Dynasty. Besides, the palace’s European style architecture adorned with the largest chandeliers found in Asia is worth given time to witness.
Lastly, you can make you fourth pitstop at Amma Maharaj Ki Chathri
About a kilometre walk from Jai Vilas Palace, you will reach Amma Maharaj Ki Chathri. It is a pleasant and lovely lush garden with acres of planted trees and floral ambience, and here you can find a Chhatri (Cenotaph) of the late Madhavrao Scindia. It is a calm place to for afternoon exploration. It has to be noted that it was at Amma Maharaj Ki Chhatri where the people of Gwalior visited to attend late Maharaja’s funeral, also, Congress president, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, and later the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee has attended the funeral on October 1st, 2001)
Other interesting places in Gwalior that you can visit in a two days tour are listed below.
Tomb of Mohammad Ghaus
Amongst the many points of tourist interest to visit, the tomb of the 16th-century Sufi saint, Mohammad Ghaus is another enchanting place to explore. Mohammad Ghaus was an advisor of King Babur and a music teacher of Tansen. The tomb reveals an elegant style of Mughal architecture with hexagonal pavilions and stone carvings which provide an exquisite and rusty appeal.
Located just a few countable footsteps from the resplendent tomb of Mohammad Ghaus, you can visit another smaller yet charming memorial of Tansen. He was a renowned Mughal singer and a musician much loved by Akbar, the Mughal emperor. Here, its serene and quiet ambience is much appreciated by nature lovers, and the best time to visit is during sunrise and sunsets, ideally during sundays.
Sun Temple or Surya Mandir is definitely one of the top tourist destinations to visit in the whole of Madhya Pradesh. Constructed in the year 1988, this structure possesses the style of the famous Sun Temple of Konark in Odisha. Amongst the many heritage attractions in Gwalior, this very site is thronged by several pilgrims and tourists. The temple’s captivating red sandstone exterior adds charm, offering a picture-perfect image especially during sunrise and sunsets. Here, Lord Surya’s sculpture can also be seen with white marble interiors and marvelous work of art. People are often seen admiring its structure and simply strolling through the temple, certainly a must visit attraction while in Gwalior.
Besides fort & palaces, travellers who are music enthusiasts can visit the Sarod Ghar which is a museum of music, and it treasures all sorts of musical instruments. However, the best part about the museum is that, it is set up in the ancestral house of Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan, the legendary musician. While here, you can see the collection of age-old photographs as well as ancient musical instruments. Basically, Sarod Ghar’s main aim is to conserve the classical music and culture and a visit here will definitely take you back to those soulful times.
Patankar and Sarafa Bazaar
Perhaps the best things to do after sightseeing tour around the city is street shopping or exploring hanging out with friends, and for this, Patankar and Sarafa Bazaar are the places to be at. This market offers a collection of chic and varieties of locally made products. Here you can find a collection of exquisite handicraft products, beautiful stone carvings, traditional handloom products and artifacts. In this high-arched market structure, you can also come across a mixture of products such as traditional clothes and shoes, luggage, cloth bags and a plethora of colourful textiles. Also, when hunger strikes, Patankar and Sarafa Bazaar has a number of mouthwatering eateries- sweet Imarti anyone?
For a rather offbeat vacation feel…take a short drive to nearby attraction of Gwalior
There are a melange places to travel to near Gwalior, and one such pilgrimage destination is Padmavati Pawaya. This historically rich place is filled with tall mansions and temples filled with several Sanskrit texts. Also while here, you can see rare antiquities, and among the many found here, the image of Yaksha Manibhadra is a popular one. Besides that, another must see thing here is the collection of their terracotta. It beautifully symbolizes the art of Naga and Gupta, and in order to see different kinds of terracotta, you can visit the Gujari Mahal in Padmavati Pawaya, which is located around 60 km from Gwalior and it is open all day from 7:00am to 6:00pm.
Amongst the top places to visit, Tighra Dam is one riveting site that offers visitors a sense of freedom and the best place to indulge in a boating activity. This dam is located 23 km from the city of Gwalior and it has gained a lot of popularity. While the surrounding of the dam also offers an excellent place for family picnic trips it also has a boating club here. You can partake in adventure activities like speed boating, paddle boating, jalpari boat and water scooty rides. Besides, how can one resist the serenity and the picturesque sight of the dam and surrounding area, truly a worth-visiting place off-route Gwalior.
Madhav National Park
Although the city of Gwalior has an inhouse animal refuge called the Gwalior Zoo, you can visit Madhav National Park, if you are looking for a more realistic and wildlife holiday experience. This is amongst the best holiday places in Gwalior located in Shivpuri district, here, you can come find serenity and peace amid wild species and their dense forested home. The animals you can encounter while here are blackbuck, nilgai, leopard, chausingha, chinkara and several others animals. Also, the domestic and migratory birds you can see flocking are geese pintail, mallard, gadwall, Indian pond heron, kingfisher and red wattled lapwing. Another interesting feature of this national park are its stunning monuments that are associated with Gwalior’s history.
Madhya Pradesh tourism offers one of its enchanting destinations, Gwalior, which is amongst the top travel destinations in India. During your visit here, make sure to follow our sought after travel guide as we will take you around the city without burning a hole in your pocket. If you enjoyed reading the list of Gwalior attractions do like and share the blog and if you are considering to book your vacation through a travel agent, choose us. We offer best travel packages for all sorts of travellers – honeymooners, solo travellers, corporate and even family holidays. Give us a call us at +91-9212553106 or drop us an email at email@example.com for our best holiday packages.
Published: 11 Oct, 2017
Abhishek Gurung is a writer whose passion for food and travel is an unending affair. He likes going on treks and camping in the woods, loves exploring forts and architecture, he is a cycle enthusiast who likes to contribute something to the environment, travel photography and videography is another interest as he sees life in a cinematic point of view. He likes the idea of living in offbeat destination where the mode of communication is to interact with each other. Coming from Nagaland, he has visited some beautiful valleys and remote villages and appreciates nature as it is and as it should be.