Known for its historic past and great architectural monuments, the city of Gwalior in the central region of India is a place you shouldn’t miss. But if you don’t have much time on your hands, you can still take a short trip to the city. Here’s how you can tour Gwalior in 48 hours.
Gopachal Parvat is an intriguing monument and an archaeologically important place to visit in Gwalior. Here is where you get to see rock-cut Jain sculptures that are carvings of Tirthankars (Jain deities). Gopachal Parvat has approximately 100 sculptures, although most of them were defaced by Mughal Emperor, Babur. This famous Jain pilgrim centre opens its doors as early as 7 am, which is the best time to visit, as temperatures are lower early in the morning. And the best part? The entrance is free.
Gopachal Parvat, Phulbagh Rd, Gopachal Marg, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India, +91 0751 243 3400
After spending some time at Gopachal Parvat, head to S. S. Kachori Wala for a hearty Indian breakfast. This Indian snack shop by the road is very popular for its deliciously made kachoris and samosas. Also, the food here is moderately priced, so you can enjoy your breakfast without burning a hole in your wallet. However, if you’re looking for a luxurious place to feast, head to The Prabha International Sweets, a three-star restaurant.
After a hearty breakfast, visit the Tansen Tomb. It is the tomb of the great Indian singer, Tansen, who was one of the nine jewels in the court of Emperor Akbar. Tansen Sangeet Samaroh (the Tansen Music Festival) is organized every December to commemorate the singer. Next to the Tansen Tomb is the Tomb of Mohammad Ghaus, Tansen’s teacher. He was also a renowned singer from north India. There are beautiful gardens around the two tombs, so you can spend some time here in a peaceful setting.
After visiting the tombs, head towards the Dindayal City Mall for some shopping. The mall has a number of multinational brands that offer a wide variety of clothing and accessories. Shops and stores from the local market of Gwalior can also be found there. For fun with family and friends, visit the Games Arena as well. For lunch, you have a number of options available inside the Dindayal City Mall. Hotel Mansingh and The City Food Court are good options for a north Indian meal. However, if you’re craving some fast food, then you can go to McDonald’s, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Café Coffee Day and the like.
Post lunch, visit the Gwalior Fort, the most popular architectural landmark in Gwalior. The Gwalior Fort is believed to be the most impenetrable fortresses of India. Here you’ll get to see a number of ancient monuments like the Man Singh Palace, built by Maharaja Man Singh Tomar, Sahastra Bahu Ka Mandir (Sas-Bahu Temple) and Teli Ka Mandir (Oilman’s Temple). The Gujari Mahal, built by Raja Man Singh Tomar for his wife Mrignayani, is a great archaeological museum here. Entry fee is INR 75 for adults, INR 40 for children and INR 250 for foreigners. Don’t forget to watch the light and sound show here that tells the love story of Raja Man Singh and Mrignayani.
Gwalior Fort, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India, +91 0751 223 4557
By the time you come down from the Gwalior Fort, it will be late evening. You can opt for exploring the city’s local streets or head to dinner. You can enjoy a wholesome meal at Volga Restaurant, a family eatery with a lot of options on their menu to choose from. The restaurant is well-known for its prompt service and good food. A must-try here is the pineapple raita.
The Italian Garden is the perfect spot for an early morning stroll in Gwalior. As its name suggests, this garden is built in an Italian style, with beautiful fountains and lush green surroundings. Many people come here for a morning walk or to jog. This place is connected to Moti Mahal, which was one of the palaces of the Scindia dynasty, but has now been converted into a government office. However, the palace’s old Mughal style architecture is worth the visit.
Moti Mahal, Moti Mahal Rd, Lashkar, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India, +91 0751 242 4125
Very close to Moti Mahal is the Baija Taal Cultural Complex. It is an oval-shaped tank with a central bridge connected to the stone steps around and was built by Baija Bai from the Scindia family. The place now serves as an open-air theatre for various cultural programs. If you feel hungry by the time you end your visit, go to the Indian Coffee House for some freshly brewed coffee and snacks. A famous dish here is the masala dosa, so make sure you try it.
Up next is the Jai Vilas Palace or the Scindia Museum. This great palace is a mix of three architectural styles – Italian, Tuscan and Corinthian. A popular story behind its construction is that eight elephants were suspended from the ceiling of the Durbar room to test its strength. The museum has two of the largest chandeliers in the world, weighing almost 3.5 tons. It is also famous for its mini sliver train, which was used by the royal family for serving food on their dining table. Other things to see here include ancient paintings, decorative art pieces and other royal halls and rooms. The museum remains open until 4:30 pm and is closed on Mondays. Entry fee for Indian visitors is INR 120 and INR 800 for foreign visitors. Additional charges for cameras/mobiles and videocams are INR 100 and INR 150, respectively.
After exploring the museum, visit the Mrignayanee Emporium. This state government-owned store has a huge collection of jewellery, handwoven carpets, leatherware and metal crafts. A great variety of Chanderi and Maheshwari sarees are available too. You can also explore other nearby markets like Maharaja Bada, Patankar Bazar and Sarafa Bazar for some exclusive Gwalior shopping.
Your visit to Gwalior would remain incomplete without seeing the Tighra Dam. It is approximately 23 kilometres from Gwalior and it is a wonderful place to spend your time in a fun yet relaxing way. The picturesque view of the place will make you fall in love with the area. Boating on Tighra Dam is a popular activity that you can also enjoy.
Tighra Dam, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India, +91 088399 36039