Gwalior, located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, is probably one of the most colourful destinations in India. Popular all over the world for its rich culture and history, Gwalior has played some significant roles in shaping Indian history right from the ancient times. According to historians, Gwalior was known as Gopalkash and may have been the place where Bhima, a Pandava from the epic Mahabharata, accomplished a major victory. The excavations conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in Gwalior have revealed that the origin of the city dates back to the Stone and the Iron ages. But what attracts tourist from all over the world are the palaces, forts and other heritage monuments. The most important structure in Gwalior is its medieval hilltop fort which was described by Emperor Babur as ‘the pearl amongst the fortresses’.

The Gwalior fort has passed through many dynasties, the Hunas, the Gurjar Pariharas, the Kachwaha Rajputs, the Tomars, the Mughal, the Marathas, the Scindias and finally the British. Gwalior’s name is etched deep in to the history books. Playing a key role in India’s freedom struggle, Gwalior was one of the main centers during the 1857 uprising. Names like Tantiya Tope and Rani Jhansi, who died while fighting a valiant battle against the British, belonged to Gwalior. The Gwalior Fort, the Man Mandir Palace and the Jai Vilas Palace are some of the main tourist attractions and heritage treasure troves of the city. Gwalior is also famous for its many pools known as kunds. The Mansarovar Tal, Gangola Tal, Katora Tal, Ek Khambha Tal, Rani Tal and Chedi Tal are some of the pools found in Gwalior. Jauhar Kund was the place where Sati was committed by the queens and royal women when their husbands died. Gwalior has a sub tropical climate with the summers being quite hot, the monsoon months humid and the cold season very dry. Winters are the best time to visit the city. Gwalior is also famous for its spicy savouries like Samosas, Chaats and Kachories. Morena Gajak, a sweet dish made up of jaggery and sesame is also a favourite. Gwalior is the hometown of the famous musician, Tansen, who was one of the navaratnas in the court of Emperor Akbar. Gwalior is also famous for its gharana of music and the unique vocal rendition form of dhrupad. Gwalior is very well connected to most of the other major stations. The Gwalior airport, Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia Vimantal, is 8 km away from the city centre. Private and state owned buses run frequently from most of the major towns to Gwalior. The Golden Quadrilateral passes through Gwalior city and the city is also on the Agra-Mumbai route.

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