Gwalior was not only the capital of the Scindias, but is also famous for its magnificent palaces, old temples and the impressive fort. Around 122 km south of Agra and 423 km north of the state capital Bhopal, Gwalior occupied strategic importance throughout history. Often called the Fort City, the massive hill fort of Gwalior served as the seat of several north Indian kingdoms. Mughal emperor Babur is believed to have described the fort as the pearl among fortresses in the empire.
Gwalior was among the five princely states which enjoyed a 21 gun salute during the British rule. Along with Hyderabad, Mysore, Jammu and Kashmir and Baroda, Gwalior held important stature within British India.
It is the headquarters of Chambal region and a major industrial and commercial region. Often referred to as the tourist capital of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior is the fourth largest city of the state along with being an education hub. The city is also famous for Scindia School located inside the Gwalior fort. Established in 1897, it is among the prominent boarding schools of India. It was originally started exclusively for the nobles and the princes and housed in the erstwhile barracks of the British soldiers.
Gwalior is known to be a city of music. It is one of the oldest gharanas or schools of Hindustani classical music. The city is the final resting place of Tansen, the musical genius and one of the nine gems of Emperor Akbar’s court. Sarod Ghar, the first ever museum dedicated to Indian musical instruments, is based in Gwalior.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN GWALIOR
If you want to save time commuting, opt for a hotel along Naya Bazaar which is in the heart of Gwalior, since most of the budget hotels are located here. A decent air-conditioned room in a budget hotel would cost between Rs 800-Rs 1500 per night. A deluxe hotel room with a bar, pool and internet access could cost between Rs 1500 and Rs 2500.
Gwalior also boasts of several luxury hotels which offer facilities like discotheques, health clubs and 24 hour coffee shops. The luxury hotels would cost anything from Rs 5,000 onwards. If you plan on splurging on your stay, there would be nothing like a suite in the Usha Kiran Palace.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN GWALIOR
People of Gwalior like to have kachoris, samosas and other fried snacks served with potato curries and chutneys. Jalebis, rabdi, kebabs, bhutte ki kees (curry made of grated corn), mawa-bati, khoprapak and malpua are popular. Also try out morena gajak, a delicacy prepared from jaggery and sesame.
Almost all hotels have in-house restaurants and cafés, but street food is what you must head towards. You will find some delicious food at Chhatri Bazaar and Ratnakar Bhawan. The famous City Mall has several eateries and some international fast food joints like Domino’s Pizza and McDonald’s. Apart from Indian food, some restaurants also serve Continental and Nepali dishes.
Indian Coffee House located on the station road serves some scrumptious vegetarian food. Breakfast favorites include dosas, scrambled eggs, etc. They also serves proper main-course menu, including thalis. Don’t forget to try their coffee.+
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Gwalior is as given below. The best time to visit Gwalior is also specified.