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Explore The Gwalior Fort – An Historic Epitome In Madhya Pradesh

gwalior-fort

The Gwalior Fort is a historic landmark in the city of Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, in India. Gwalior Fort was built by Suraj Sen in 3 CE. Check brief history of Gwalior History, Gwalior Fort Architectural Style and more about its heritage.

Gwalior Fort is one of the largest hill forts in India and a spectacular example of Rajput military architecture. The fort has been occupied at different points by different empires, and the fortunes of its rulers waxed and waned along with those empires’ rises and falls.

Gwalior Fort is a massive structure, standing on the top of a hill that was shaped by relentless winds and tormented by the city below. The most dramatic view of Gwalior Fort is mentioned in the review blog. Continue to unveil the history and interesting facts. 

Brief History Of Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort, situated near the city of Gwalior in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the best places to visit in March. The fort was built by Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana and his successors in 1726 AD with materials from demolitions of various fortresses within Gwalior and elsewhere. The British East India Company captured it on 22 October 1858 during their conquest for control over India. After India’s independence, the building was converted into a museum in 1956.

The fort is located in the center of the city of Gwalior. The city is at an elevation of 211 m above sea level. The fort rises to an additional 1033 m  above the ground level. 

Gwalior Fort- Structure 

The fort sits on three sides overlooking the city: Two flights of steps descend from each side. The moat sits on the third side. The fort is rectangular, covering an area of 3 square kilometres. It is accessed by ten gates that connect it with the city. 

Gates and Walls

There are ten gates known as Darwazas that provide entry into the fort and eight wells inside for water supply. A wall encloses a garden. The walls of the fort are built of red sandstone, devoid of mortar. This material was quarried from the nearby town of Kannauj, and was used in the construction of Khajuraho temple. 

The fort’s walls are thick; to support them, stone pillars were erected at intervals along the wall and filled with earth and rubble.

Canals and Wells

There are eight wells inside for water supply and connected by underground channels which bring brackish water from the moat. The moat surrounds the fort. The canal has since been filled with concrete and asphalt and now serves as a playground for children.

Additional Details

A garden occupies the interior of the fort, and there are several temples. A royal mansion is situated in the middle of the fort. It is called Raja Mahal as it was built for royal residences and as a place to rest. The palace contains a Diwan-i-Khas, which was the throne room with a gold throne studded with jewels. The throne was later moved to Gwalior Museum. 

There were two small black stone statues of elephants located there, which were supposedly the emissaries of Lord Ganesh to visit the village of Nagnath and distribute gifts to all four castes. A stepwell occupies a space inside the palace, which serves as a source of water for royalty. An elephant was kept in a cage outside the fort’s main gate and served as an attraction for tourists.

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Gwalior Fort- Famous Attractions

The fort is approached by a stone pathway that leads to the courtyard of the main gate. A small water tank and a gardener’s cottage are other components of this compound.

The fort has four enclosures:

  • The main fortress
  • An enclosure is known as “the breach” on its southwest corner
  • Two watchtowers on its northwest corner

Gwalior Fort is one of India’s most popular and visited forts. As a result, it attracts a large number of tourists and visitors from all over the world. The fort and its grounds are well-kept to preserve them in good shape.

Teli Ka Mandir

Teli ka mandir

Teli ka Mandir is a Hindu temple built by the Pratihara emperor Mihira Bhoja. This temple is very popular, and one of the most visited during the annual Ganesha festival. The Teli ka Mandir is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The temple was constructed in the Pratihara style of architecture and design.

It is believed that Mihira Bhoja was an ardent devotee of Ganesha and built this temple in his name.

The temple is built with red sandstone with elements of stone carving in the Pratihara style of architecture. The deities in the temple are made of white marble. It is a two-storeyed building, and there are three entrances to the temple; one has been blocked off. To the western side of the temple, there are two small temples. The temple has an unroofed vestibule in front of it. 

The entrance has two-door jambs decorated with carvings and two pillars on either side. The upper storey consists of a garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum), square and made of stone. The walls of the garbhagriha are decorated with carvings, and a giant dome crowns the roof.

The part of the temple which is within the walls of the temple is a rectangular structure. It consists of an entrance hall with two pillars, in front of which there are three doorways, each topped by a small lamp. 

On either side of the entrance, there are four pillars and two more doorways. The upper floor of the temple consists of an antechamber, a hall, and a sanctuary. The sanctuary is centered on the lingam (male principle), symbolizing the essence of Brahma.

Gopachal Temple

Gopachal temple

Gopachal temple is the most well-known monument of Gwalior Fort. It is a temple built high on a rock, with marble steps leading to its main gates.

The temple’s architecture is primarily Nagara style, containing variables such as small balconies, niches, and other carved decorations. The large square frame of the sanctum sanctorum has a “V” shaped arched roof, which is topped by a cupola (a small, usually dome-shaped structure).

The temple’s main deity is the stone statue of Mahavira, who was 24th Tirthankar in Jainism, flanked by his two acolytes. The other two idols in the sanctum sanctorum are Parshvanatha and Neminatha, with their acolytes Jinasena and Gunanand, respectively.

Garuda Monument

Garuda Monument

Garuda monument of Gwalior is the last in the series of monuments built by Maharana Jai Singh for his son. It is located just below the entrance gate of Gwalior Fort. It was constructed as a sign of the nawab’s loyalty to the successor of Maharana Jai Singh II. 

The largest of the mythical three-headed eagle is supposed to symbolize the king’s supremacy in all directions. The remaining two heads represent other enemies that the Maharana defeated in his earlier battles, including Mughal Emperor Akbar and Ahmednagar. 

Daata Bandi Chhor Gurudwara

Daata Bandi Chhor Gurudwara

Daata Bandi Chhor Gurudwara is the most ancient Gurudwara of Gwalior Fort. It is situated in a beautiful but worn condition. The ruinous state is the outcome of untold assault through time by various rulers and persons. The Gurudwara had been built on a hillock near Dabra Khatika, which now stands as ruins and was an old fort used by Rajputs as their residence when they were besieged in Gwalior Fort.

Man Mandir

Man Mandir

Located on the south eastern side of the fort, its architecture is influenced by the Mughal style. It is also known as Rampuri Mahal or the Palace of Mirrors. Built by Man Singh Tomar, it has four minarets. The “Jahapanah” (literally meaning stable) was originally a storehouse for royal horses and elephants and may have been built by Akbar or Jahangir. The palace is a double-storied structure. It faces the breach near the southeastern corner of the fort.

Sahastrabahu Temple

Sahastrabahu Temple

Also known as the ‘1000 arms’ temple – is an ancient Hindu temple discovered in the Gwalior Fort. It is one of five such temples in India. Its importance lies in its antiquity and the architectural motifs that it borrows from other architectural styles.

The Sahastrabahu Temple is a part of a larger complex that includes a stepwell, two Jain temples, and an image gallery. It is located in the eastern corner of the Gwalior Fort, and this position and its architectural design give it great prominence. The temple is said to have been rebuilt by the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great, but remnants of a nearby structure link the building to the reign of Raja Man Singh Tomar. Still, it is arguably the most striking feature of Gwalior Fort.

The temple is square-shaped and preceded by a platform with “four gateways on each side, each gateway with double towers.” Four stone pillars support the main structure, the central one being four times the height of the other three. The walls are covered with two stories of megaliths, reinforced by extensive use of marble and sandstone. The ceiling of this central chamber has been embellished with carved images depicting deities.

The temple complex also features several other structures known as ‘Kalyan Mandap’ (‘Hall for offerings’), a stepwell, two Jain temples, and an image gallery.

Bottom Line

The Gwalior Fort, one of India’s many hill forts, is located atop Gopachal, a large rocky hill. The fort, which was originally constructed of sandstone and lime mortar, is one of Gwalior’s most famous structures. There are numerous palaces within the fort that were erected by various rulers at various times. Within the grounds of the Gwalior Fort, there are a number of additional significant structures. 

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