Yes, you are reading about one of the most significant forts in Indian history. It is a fort with its glorious history and magnificent architecture that still holds this beauty high in the sky. Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh is a real piece of art. This fort has evidence from the 1st and 2nd centuries BC. Gwalior Fort is approximately in the area of 3 sq. km. There are numerous histories related to this fort. A fort that fought countless wars in history and seen every kind of possible ruler in history.
A fort is made up of sandstone and lime mortar. And it is said that the fort existed at least more from the 10th century. On the other hand, the monuments and inscriptions found within the fort tell us that this fort existed from the 6th century or maybe before that.
So, still thinking what make this fort so interesting?
Let’s add some more feathers to the cap of Gwalior Fort!! You heard about “0” right? And I hope you know about its first orientation too. Yes, you are right i.e., the “Bakhshali manuscript” “the oldest extant manuscript in Indian mathematics”. So, here in this fort, the second oldest record of “zero” in the world was found in a small temple, known as Zero temple (the stone inscription has the oldest record of the numeric zero symbols having a place value as in the modern decimal notation), which is located on the way to the top. The inscription is around 1500 years old.
Co-ordinate of Gwalior fort: 26.2303°N 78.1689°E
In case, you want to visit this historical piece of art.
The present-day fort consists of a defensive structure and two main palaces, Gujari Mahal and Man Mandir, built by Man Singh Tomar. The Gujari Mahal palace was built for Queen Mrigyani. It is now an archaeological museum.
Note: You cannot enter the fort with the vehicle from the side of Gujari Mahal which leads to Man Mandir i.e., northeast end of the for known as Badalgarh Gate, for entering the fort you have to go through another direction that is southwest. This is the main entrance of the fort known as Elephant Gate (Hathi Pul).
When you live in a city, you mostly know about every possible thing about the place where are you living. So, this curiosity of knowing things led me to know about this city. My mind was like What is the history of this city? Going in very brief, let’s know what our etymology says about this place?
The word Gwalior is derived from one of the names for Gwalipa. According to the legend, Gwalipa cured the GADARIYA chieftain Suraj Sen Pal of leprosy and in gratitude, Suraj Sen founded the city of Gwalior in his name.
It is said that he gave Suraj Sen water from the pond. And that pond is in the compound of Gwalior Fort and is named Suraj Kund.
Monuments inside the Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh.
Temples inside the Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh
- Siddhachal Jain Temple Caves: When you enter the fort from the southwest site you will find these caves built in 7th to 15th century. There are eleven Jain temples inside Gwalior fort, dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras.
- Urvahi: The entire area of Gwalior fort is divided into five groups, namely Urvahi, North West, North East, South West and the South East areas. In the Urvahi area 24 idols of Tirthankar in the padmasana posture. 40 in the kayotsarga posture and around 840 idols carved on the walls and pillars are present.
- Gopachal: Gopachal is also a name of the hill in the area near Gwalior fort. All the idols present in this hill are carved by cutting the hilly rocks and they are literally very artistic.
- Teli ka Mandir: It is the oldest part of the fort and has a blend of south and north India architectural styles. Teli ka Mandir is a Hindu Temple, built by the Pratihara emperor Mihira Bhoja.
- Garudra Monument: Close to the Teli ka Mandir temple is the Garuda monument, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is the highest in the fort.
All these are the temples inside the fort and possibily they are older from the fort.
- Sahastrabahu (Sas–Bahu) Temple: Sahastrabahu temple commonly known as the Sas-Bahu temple. This temple is dedicated to lord Vishnu. It was built in 1092-93 by the Kachchhapaghata Dynasty. From here you will get one of the best view of the fort. It is built of red sandstone with several stories of beams and pillars but no arches.
- Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor: Inside the compound of the fort there is gurudwara, built during 1970s and 1980s at the place where 6th Sikh Guru Hargobind Sahib was arrested and held captive by Mughal emperor Jahangir in 1609.
- Zero Temple: In this fort, the second oldest record of “zero” in the world was found in a small temple, known as Zero temple. The stone inscription has the oldest record of the numeric zero symbol having a place value as in the modern decimal notation, which is located on the way to the top. The inscription is around 1500 years old. A.S.I has put lock on this temple.
Palaces inside the Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh
- Karn Mahal: The Karn Mahal is another significant monument at Gwalior fort. It was built by the king of Tomar dynasty, Kriti Singh. Also known as Karn Singh.
- Vikram Mahal: Vikram Mahal is just opposite to Karn Mahal, also known as Vikram Mandir as it once hosted a temple of Lord Shiva. Vikram Singh was the elder son of Man Singh. The temple destroyed during Mughal period. But now this temple re established in the front open space of the Vikram Mahal.
- Chhatri of Bhim Singh Rana: This chhatri built in a memorial of Bhim Singh Rana (1707–1756). A ruler of Gohad state. It was built by his successor Chhatra Singh, Bhim Singh. Occupied Gwalior fort in 1740.
- Gujari Mahal: Man Singh built this mahal for his wife Mrignayani, a Gujar princess. She demanded a separate palace for herself with a regular water supply through an aqueduct from nearby Rai River. This place is now an archaeological museum.
Other monuments inside the fort.
The other major monument inside the Gwalior Fort is Scindia School this school on top of the fort. It was formed by Madho Rao Scindia in 1897.
Note: There is an entry fee for the Man Mandir, Karn Mahal, Vikram Mahal (all these are in the same direction i.e., northeast. Sahastrabahu Temple, and Teli ka Mandir (in the direction of the southwest).
- Rs. 75 for adult.
- Rs. 25 for children.
- Rs. 250 for foreigners.
Once you purchase the tickets they will be valid in all places of the fort.
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