Location: Madhya Pradesh
Built In: 15th century
Built By: Raja Man Singh Tomar
Tags (if any): UNESCO World Heritage Site
Other names (if any): Red Fort
Fort of Gwalior
Gwalior Fort was built during the 15th century on a hilltop by Raja Man Sigh Tomar with sandstone and is situated at a height of 100 m from the plain. Steep slopes and a winding path lead the visitors to the fort which is one of the wonders of the medieval architecture. Inside this citadel lie some of the majestic buildings like the palaces, temples and several other structures. Though, many of the antiquities within the fort were spoiled, there are some who have survived the ravages of time. This fort was under the possession of different rulers starting from the Tomars, Mughals, Marathas and finally the British. Here, in this article you will find all the necessary information regarding this magnificent architectural landmark. Scroll further and get more details about the mighty Gwalior Fort.
Gwalior Fort Madhya Pradesh
History of the Fort
Gwalior Fort was considered to be the north and central India’s one of the most powerful forts and was built by Raja Man Singh Tomar during the 15th century. With an indelible historical background, the Gwalior Fort had been under the possession of numerous Rajput rulers. About 1000 years ago, as per the advice of Sage Gwalipa, Raja Suraj Sen laid the foundation of this fort. In 1519, Ibrahim Lodi won the control of the fort and after his death, the fort was captured by Babar, the Mughal Emperor. Later, when Babar’s son Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah Suri, the fort came under the control of the Suri dynasty. In 1540, when Sher Shah Suri passed away, his son Islam Shah shifted his capital from Delhi to Gwalior. Following Sher Shah Suri’s death, his incumbent, Adil Shah Suri declared Hemu (Hem Chandra Vikramaditya) the Prime Minister – cum the Chief of the Army and moved to Chunar for his own safety. From this fort Hemu launched various attacks to suppress rebellion in various parts of northern India. During the period from 1553-56, the fort witnessed Hemu winning 22 important battles. In 1556, when he defeated Akbar’s forces in Agra and Delhi, Hemu set up ‘Hindu Raj’ and was proclaimed ‘King Vikramaditya’ of north India. Once again, the capital was relocated from Gwalior to Delhi. However, later, Akbar captured the fort and used it as a special prison.
Gwalior Fort is considered to be the place where ‘zero was used for the first time, which is evident from an inscription on a tablet found within the premises of the fort.
Architecture/ Layout of the Fort
The Fort consists of intricate carvings of the Jain tirthankars. The majestic palaces lying within the perimeters of the fort include the Man Singh Palace which was built by Man Singh by the end of the 15th century. This impressive structure situated at the fort’s end has been one of the major tourist attractions. Within the fort premises also lies the Scindia School which was set up by the Maharja of Gwalior about hundred years ago. Apart from this, the twin Saas-Bahu temple, dedicated to mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, lying here are great works of medieval architecture. The Karan Palace, Jahangir Palace and the Shahjahan Mahal are some of the other important attraction of the fort. The Fort is surrounded by walls of sandstone and extends up to an area of 3 sq. km. Within the Gwalior Fort there are three temples, six palaces and also plenty of water tanks.
Major Battles or Events
- The battle against Sinde’s which was won by the Jhansi Ki Rani and her supporters on 1 June 1858, was fought here. After this Nana Saheb became the Prime Minister of the Maratha Empire.
- The British Empire frequently attacked the Gwalior Fort. Here, the troops of Lakshmi Bai and Gwalior stood against the British forces on 16 and 17 June, 1858 to defend the mountain passage to the fort.
- In 1857, fort witnessed some of the most dramatic events of the Indian uprising. The British finally succeeded to defeat Tantia Topi in a battle that took place near this fort.
Current Scenario of Gwalior Fort
The Gwalior Fort today is well maintained by the Madhya Pradesh Government and is open to the public. The fort is just 2 miles away from the city of Gwalior and is a popular tourist destination.
Best Time to Visit
Autumn season is considered to be the best time to visit Gwalior Fort which starts in October and lasts till the end of March. The monsoon season can also be considered to be a good time as you can enjoy the greenery of the surroundings and the fresh breeze. You may visit the fort anytime between 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
How to Reach
By Air: Airline services are available to Gwalior from some of the important cities in the country such as Indore, Delhi and Bhopal etc.
By Road: Agra-Mumbai National highway passes through Gwalior which connects it to many important cities in northern India.
By Train: Gwalior is well connected through railway to most of the important Indian cities including Mumbai, Kolkata, Indore, Trivandrum, Bhopal, Jaipur, Lucknow, Jammu, Pune, Chennai, Delhi and Ahmedabad.
Around the Fort
Besides the majestic Gwalior Fort, here you can visit Gujari Mahal and Archeological Museum, Man Mandir Palace, Suraj Khand, Tomb of Mohammed Ghaus, Teli-Ka-Mandir, Surya Mandir, Scindia Museum, Kala Vithika, Memorial of Tansen, Tighra Dam, Shivpuri, Sonagiri and Pawaya.
All the necessary information which will make your trip to Gwalior convenient has been encompassed in the lines above. Hope this article comes to your assistance.