Gwalior happens to be a magnificent city that is located in the heart of India, i.e. the state of Madhya Pradesh. Housing a dramatic hilltop fort, imperial palaces, and impeccable temples, the city offers the ideal amalgamation of history, art, and architecture. A great thing about visiting the tourist places of Gwalior is that the city can be easily reached from any part of India. Having said that, it is sensible to choose a tour package to explore Gwalior in its entirety.
If you plan to visit the city and are wondering about the things to do in Gwalior on your trip, here is an exhaustive list that you can refer to:
1. Gwalior Fort
Gwalior Fort makes for a fascinating sight and is one of the best places to visit in Gwalior. Housing different temples, palaces, museums, and other structures, the fort also has a school inside its premises called Scindia School. Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia established the school in the year 1897 to educate the Indian nobility.
If you trek to the fort, you get to thoroughly enjoy the stunning views that surround the fort. You can also visit it with the help of a vehicle from the west side through the Urvai Gate. Once you reach the fort, you get a bird’s eye view of the city of Gwalior which makes for an unforgettable sight.
Also, down the western end of the fort are the iconic rock sculptures that are not worth giving a miss and must be visited during your trip to the fort to fully explore the area.
2. Man Singh Palace
Constructed by Man Singh, a Tomar ruler, Man Singh Palace is a sight for sore eyes. Its breathtakingly beautiful design will leave you enchanted. The multi-hued tile work on the exterior includes captivating mosaics of tigers, crocodiles, and elephants in green, yellow, and blue. The pre- Mughal palace which was built between 1486 and 1516 finds its name among the list of famous places in Gwalior.
After you explore the palace, you can head to the Vikram Mahal and Karan Mahal, both of which are State Protected Monuments. Looking majestic even in ruins, you can visit both the mahals when you go out on your sightseeing expedition in Gwalior.
3. State Archaeological Museum
North of the Man Singh Palace lies the Archaeological Survey of India museum that houses an interesting collection of antiquities of Gwalior.
The State Archeological Museum is actually inside the Gujari Mahal palace. Dating back to the 15th-century, the palace was constructed by Man Singh for his beloved Queen. Upon entering it, you find a wide collection of Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu sculptures. One of the best pieces among the collection is a brilliantly-carved female figure from Gyaraspur that dates back to the 10th century. Another remarkable thing that you must check out here is the late-Gupta sculpture of Vishnu’s boar avatar called Varaha, which is positioned at the left corner of the courtyard. A visit to this museum is one of the most fulfilling things to do in Gwalior to check out some iconic pieces of history.
4. Sas Bahu Temples
Belonging to the 9th to 11th centuries, the Sas Bahu temples have pillar-covered roofs, and look more like mini-cities. In fact, these temples are among the most famous tourist places of Gwalior. The Mother-in-Law temple contains four massive and several tiny pillars that offer support to the hefty roof. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the intricate carvings here attract a lot of interest from people across the country. The relatively smaller Daughter-in-Law temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, houses various sculptures that one can check out.
5. Rani Lakshmibai Memorial
It is believed that the Rani of Jhansi, also called Rani Lakshmibai, got shot by a British soldier on this very spot on 18 June 1858. That is why the Rani Lakshmibai Memorial stands here in the present day. She was an iconic figure in the First War of Independence of India and the memorial is the resting place of her ashes. It also has a monument of Rani of Jhansi.
6. Jai Vilas Palace
Spanning over an area of 12,40,771 square feet, the Jai Vilas Palace is popular for its massive durbar hall. On reaching the durbar hall, you find gold furnishing and huge chandeliers, enough to take your breath away. Being one of the best places to visit in Gwalior, the Jai Vilas palace exhibits opulence that permeates all across. The palace houses a museum called Scindia Museum that occupies a total of 35 rooms of the plush palace – it houses a collection of sculptures, manuscripts, paintings, coins, etc. for you to check out.
7. Tomb of Tansen
Tansen was a singer who was greatly admired by Akbar, the famous Mughal emperor. The tomb of Tansen is located in a compound in the south-west corner of the tomb of Mohammed Ghaus, a Sufi saint. It is believed that if you chew the leaves of the tamarind tree here, it will enhance your voice. This is one place that must find a place on your list of things to do in Gwalior.
If you wish to elongate your Gwalior trip and explore tourist places near Gwalior, you can head out on a 3-hour drive to the beautiful town of Orchha. As soon as you reach here, you start to notice different palaces, temples, famous cenotaphs, and forts.
The town has 14 chhatris amidst the banks of the serene Betwa River that makes for a remarkable sight. These chhatris or cenotaphs are dedicated to the rulers of Orchha and are intricate pieces of architecture that should not be given a miss. After you visit the cenotaphs, you can head to the Laxmi Narayan Temple that showcases a fascinating architectural style – a mix of a temple and a fort.
After you are done exploring Orchha, you can visit Jhansi, one of the best places to visit near Gwalior. The first attraction to stop at is the Jhansi Fort that once witnessed the intense battle between the British Army and Rani of Jhansi. Apart from exploring the fort, you can attend the light and sound show in the evening as well.
After exploring the fort, it is time to turn your attention to the scenic Parichha dam that allows you to have a much-needed tryst with nature and gives you some time to relax and unwind.
Gwalior is a haven for history buffs, photographers, travellers, and cultural enthusiasts. So, if you wish to go on an expedition where you get to discover unique architectural marvels, sightseeing in Gwalior sounds like a great plan!