Erstwhile summer capital of Scindia rulers of Gwalior, Shivpuri’s royal ambience lives on in its exquisite palaces, cenotaphs and hunting lodges. Shivpuri, earlier known as Sipri, is situated in northern Madhya Pradesh, about 112 km from Gwalior.
The town of Shivpuri is named after Lord Shiva, the God of Destruction. It received its current name after independence.
The hills along with the pleasant weather make Shivpuri an ideal weekend getaway. History, natural splendour and pleasant climate attracts lots of tourists. Shivpuri is a recommended for those who find the pull of history irresistible and like to spend their leisure time in the lap of nature.
Forests near Shivpuri were once the hunting grounds of the royals starting from Mughals. Great herds of elephants are said to have been were captured by Emperor Akbar. Later, Shivpuri became the favourite hunting grounds of the British hoping to kill a tiger. Many a magnificent beast was 'bagged' by royal shikaris.
The forest has now been converted into national park and is a treasure house of rich flora and fauna. Trekking trails through the jungle, offers sneak peeks of ruined fort and Hindu temples besides the resident population of birds and animals.
Scindhia Chhatris or cenotaphs of the erstwhile rulers are the biggest attraction in Shivpuri. Intricately carved and graceful, the marble chhatries are set in an elaborate Mughal Garden. The cenotaphs are an interesting blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles.
Shivpuri has other brushes with history too. Tantya Tope was hanged to death by the British in Shivpuri. Tantya Tope played a big role along with the Rani of Jhansi in the First War of Independence.
Colonel Gurubaksh Singh Dhillon, an associate of Subhas Chandra Bose, spent his last days at village Hatod in Shivpuri. Dhillon, along with of Col Prem Sahgal and Maj Gen Shah Nawaz Khan were tried by the British for raising the banner of revolt.
The town was captured in 1564 by Mughals who used to it as a hunting preserve. The oldest historic record of the town is in 1564 when the Mughal emperor Akbar is said to have halted in the region.
Shivpuri was ruled by Kachhawaha Rajputs till 1804 before it came under Scindias. The British captured the town in 1817 but it was returned to the Scindias in 1818. Shivpuri has been a part of Gwalior since then.
Where to stay
There are few budget hotels on Circular Road that offer decent facilities. The mid-range hotels are mostly on Chhatri Road. The mid-range hotels are located in the centre of Shivpuri and offer good facilities. There are no luxury hotels in Shivpuri but you can get a lot of options for accommodation in Gwalior which is about 115 km away.
If you want to save time commuting, opt for a hotel along Naya Bazaar which is in the heart of Gwalior. Gwalior also boasts of several luxury hotels which offer facilities like discotheques, health clubs and 24 hour coffee shops.
Where to eat
The best places to eat in Shivpuri are on Jhansi Road and Circular Road. You can get both vegetarian non-vegetarian foods on Circular Road.
The Chinese food stalls are famous on Jhansi Road. There are a few places that serve Punjabi and North Indian dishes here as well.
The must-haves when in Shivpuri are kebabs, Kopra Pak (Coconut Barfi), Malpua (a kind of sweet pancake) and Bhutte ki Kees (a kind of grated corn snack).
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Shivpuri is between November to April.