Madhav National Park
The Madhav National Park was originally the shooting reserve of the Scindia royal family of Gwalior and came into existence in the year 1958. The forest comprises of a majestic blend of lush grasslands, deciduous trees and small stony hills. It presents an ample scope for the animals of different varieties to flourish. Originally, the park had an area of 165 square kilometer but in present the total area of the park is 375.22 square kilometer.
The park offers amazing views of lush greenery and architectural wonders, edified by the erstwhile rulers of Gwalior. This park has witnessed a lot of royal movement’s right from the time of Akbar, who is believed to have captured elephants from here in 1564.
Madhav National Park is a combination of dry deciduous & dry thorn forests that make home for different variety of antelopes like the graceful little chinkara or Indian gazelle and the chital. Other species that inhabit the park are nilgai, sambar, chausingha or four-horned antelope, black buck, sloth bear, leopard and the hanuman langur.
The artificial lake Chandpata is the winter home of many migratory birds and a scintillating destination for the bird enthusiasts. Chandpata was actually a dam built by the Scindia rulers as their summer capital. The lake is the winter abode of migratory bar-headed geese, pochard, pintail, mallard and gadwall.
Inside the Madhav National Park, at its highest point, stands the exquisite George Castle at a height of almost 484 m. Interestingly the castle was built by Jivaji Rao Scindia of the Gwalior royal family for an overnight halt for tiger shooting by the British King George V, when he was to pass that way during his visit to India in 1911.
The Sakhya and Madhav Sagar Lake, located in the center of the forest, support a rich variety of migratory birds including geese, pochard, pintail, teal, mallard, and gadwall. On can also see marsh crocodile or muggar basking on the edge of the lake.
Set in a formal Mugal garden, with quite nooks under flowering trees, intersected by pathways with ornamental balustrades and illuminated by Victorian lamps, is the complex in this the cenotaphs of the Scindias are set. Facing each other across a water tank are the chhatris of Madho Rao Scindia and the dowager queen Maharani Sakhya Raje Scindia, synthesizing the architectural idioms of Hindu and Islamic styles with their shikhara-types spires and Rajput and Mughal pavilions.
Best time to visit
October - April