Weekend Getaway at Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India
Gwalior city is known for its royal landmarks and temples. It’s yet another historical city I visited this year as a weekend getaway from Delhi.
Gwalior is part of Madhya Pradesh (MP) State, in the central India. It is one of the royal destinations to visit. Its famous for its fort which is situated on top of a hillock. The hillock is called as Gopachal.
WHAT I WENT FOR
As per saying in Hindi in the incredible India advertisement run by the government of India, “MP Alag hai”, meaning “MP is different” and it is absolutely correct. I have visited Orchha and Khajuraho two of famous destination from MP in past and I was amazed at the beauty of this Indian state. Magnificent light yellow stone temples of Khajuraho and beauty of Orchha were just calling me back. The charm has stuck me badly and I wanted to revisit MP and witness the beauty again.
As a traveler, I prefer visiting unseen destinations and hence I decided to visit Gwalior City this time.
WHAT I DISCOVERED
India has such an amazing history and various destinations are a great reminder of the same. If one needs to explore India properly it is important to read a bit about the history of that place.
I discovered that the city has royal history attached to it. The Hindu Maratha Dynasty called as “Scindia” ruled the city in the past. The members of the royal family have till today kept the royal charm alive in the city. Memories of royal past still get alive in the forts and palaces of this city. The Scindiyas have opened few of their palaces for tourists in the form of museums and palace hotels and this becomes an opportunity for any traveler to witness the regal landmarks of the city like a true royal person.
The moment I reached this city I realized that city is quaint and small but it has a major charm to it. As a traveler, the city has a lot to offer you. This is a destination where you must choose luxurious stay options to feel the magnificence and royalness, book your royal hotels or havelis in advance. We stayed at the Taj Hotel Usha Kiran five star hotel which is one of the famous luxurious chains in India. it turned out to be one of the best stays ever.
We saw beautiful fort and some unexpected unseen temples which have also now become unforgettable for me. Below is the unique offering one must look forward to.
Royalness – The royal family has converted certain private palaces into museums. If you like to visit royal destinations like Rajasthan then this is the destination for you.
Fort – There’s so much to explore in Gwalior. The main reason for any tourist is to visit the beautiful Gwalior ‘fort’. Fort was right from the fairytale. The blue color carvings on the front of the fort gives an idea of how beautiful it must have been in the historical times
Gwalior Fort reflecting the aesthetic and royal spirit of this place!
Here is a photo I clicked while entering the fort. Notice the word zero in the Hindi language on a plaque on the bottom right side of the picture. According to a legend that zero was used here in ancient times because there is the inscription on a temple inside this fort. There’s a lot to be seen, a few moments are shared on our YouTube Channel.
MUSEUM- Though I’m not a museum person this destination has one of the best museums. The grand entrance reminded me of Europe. The collection is much beyond the imagination. Highly recommend this visit here. It is also famous for a small toy train which was used by the royal family for serving food on dining table. One can feel the history coming alive when visiting the “Jai Vilas Palace” museum which is as royal as one can imagine
TEMPLES – Gwalior has one of the best temples to visit. The temples are a must visit as they are made up of yellow stone and reminded me of my visit to Khajuraho.
MUST TO DO
Though above are unique offering if you have more time you must do as follow
Hike up the Fort via Gopachal Caves
Shop for local Chanderi fabric ( Silk Cotton mix )
Explore the Museums
Visit Local markets
Visit the fort (with a guide)
Visit the temples
A unique culinary adventure awaits you in the fort city of Gwalior. You are likely to not ever have heard about it since very few places have these dishes on the menu. Try the royal Thaali at Taj Usha Kiran Hotel. Street food is typical North Indian food but with a twist to it.
I visited all of the below destinations like a local explorer and enjoyed experiencing the remains of royal history. Numbering them below
Taj Hotel Usha Kiran
Jai Vilas Palace Museum
Sahastra Bahu Temple
Gurudwara Data Bandi
Yes, there’s so much to explore in Gwalior, the only thing you need to make sure is that weather in on your side. I planned my trip in the rainy season, the winter season is a good option too.
MY NEXT VISIT
I wanted to see a lot but some things are to be kept for future to ensure revisit. I plan to visit the Sarod museum next time and understand the music and history behind it. if I can hear some live music here it will be awesome. Tansen was one of the biggest classical musicians in India known in the history, he was born here and next time I revisiting this place to explore the Tansen memorial and get some music classes.
Do you enjoy visiting such destinations too? Share about your last such destination.