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Gwalior

Known for its rich cultural heritage, the city of Gwalior has played an integral role in Indian history from ancient times, through the medieval era, and later during the Moghul and British colonial rule. The bustling city atop a hill, is dominated by the Gwalior fort which has been the battleground for many struggles for power.

The fort is spread over 3 kms of 100m sandstone and basalt hill. Its bastioned walls enclose temples and palaces. Built between 1486 and 1516by Raja Man Singh of the Tomar dynasty this double-storeyed palace is regarded as one of the finest examples of the Rajput secular architecture, embellished with the superb store carving and latticework.

The other attraction of visitor in Gwalior is Jai Vilas Palace, built for the Scindia royal family by Colonel Sir Michael Filose in late 19th century. Still the residence of the former Scindia rulers, part of the palace has been turned into a museum. The most significant room is Durbar Hall. Hanging from its ceiling are the two of the world’s largest chandeliers, 13m (43-ft) high and weighing 3 tonnes each.

North of the fort is the Gwalior’s old town, which has interesting Islamic monuments – the 16th century Tomb of Mohammed Ghuas, a mogul nobleman, which has outstanding stone latticework screens; and the Tom of Tansen, the most famous singer who was one of the ‘nine jewels’ of the Mughal emperor Akbar’s court