About one-hour drive away from the Gwalior city is this freshwater reservoir on the river Sank – Tighra Dam. It is surrounded by a number of small villages and specifically falls in the Ghati Gaon region. If you wish to spend some leisure time at a quiet and serene place while you’re in Gwalior, a short trip to this dam would be a great choice.
Boating is best enjoyed here during the monsoon and winter season. Visit the dam along with your gang to experience a small wave of adventure and witness the picturesque beauty. Don’t forget to pack some food for your trip as there are no food outlets around.
Tighra Dam, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India 088399 36039
This is a very famous Jain pilgrim center situated about 60 kilometers away from the city of Gwalior. There are about 103 Jain temples dating back to the 9th and 10th century. The place was once believed to be ‘a mountain of gold’ (‘Sona’ means gold and ‘Giri’ means mountain), hence the name.
Set in a rural area in the Datia district of Madhya Pradesh, Sonagiri should be on your list if you wish to spend some lone time away from the bustle of the city. Also, if you visit during the monsoon season, then you can even spot peacocks dancing around in the nearby forest areas.
Datia is a rural district famous for its Bundela palaces and murals. It is situated 74 kilometers from Gwalior and can be easily reached via rail or road. A major attraction here is the palace of Raja Bir Singh Deo, which is a seven storey high palace built on top of a hill. As you enter the city, you’ll also find Tantric Peeth of Pitambara Devi, that attracts a number of tourists.
You can also explore the Rajgarh Palace and Museum, Gopeshwar Temple, Pancham Kavi Ki Toriya, Badoni and Govind Palace.
The temples of Mitawali, Padawali and Bateshwar
If you love exploring history, then you’re surely going to love this place too. After visiting the city of Gwalior, you can head to the Morena district, which is about one-and-a-half-hour drive away. Near this district lies Garhi Padawali, an ancient Vishnu temple built during the reign of Pratihara dynasty. Moving ahead on the rocky path, you will come across the large Chausath Yogini Temple in Mitawali which is a circular structure with pillars all around. It is said that the Sansad Bhawan (Parliament House) of India is built taking inspiration from this temple.
A few kilometers away is the Bateshwar group of Hindu temples, also built in Pratihara style. There are about 200 of these small Hindu temples which are now in ruins.
Located about 68 kilometers from Gwalior, is the city of Pawaya which was earlier known as ‘Padmavati’. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations near Gwalior and can be easily reached via road. This ancient city of India has a life-size statue of Chaksha Manibhadra from 1st century A.D. Ruins of the ancient fort built by Parmars also deserve attention.
If you’re visiting Gwalior, then a one-day trip to Pawaya is a must-visit. Dhoomeshwar Mahadev Temple is another popular site here. Pawaya also has some sanctuaries for those who love flora and fauna, like Ghatigaon Sanctuary and Kuno Palpur Sanctuary.
Though Dholpur lies in the state of Rajasthan, it is surrounded by Uttar Pradesh to the north and Madhya Pradesh to the south, and is therefore situated very close to Gwalior – just 60 kilometers away. The city is located along the banks of river Chambal and can be easily reached in an hour or so. Dholpur is famous for Damoye waterfalls in Sarmathura. Another popular attraction here is the Machkund Temple.
You may also like to visit other tourist places in Dholpur like Talab-e-Shahi, Shergarh Fort and the National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary.
Madhav National Park
Love wildlife? Then Madhav National Park is the perfect place for you. About two-and-a-half-hour drive away from Gwalior is this national park situated near Shivpuri district. It lies right on the northern border of the Central Highlands of India and forms a part of the Vindhyan Hills. This is a great blend of both forest and lake ecosystems with two major lakes called the Madhav Sagar and Sakhya Sagar.
Sakhya Sagar has a large number of Marsh Crocodiles, and looks more like a Crocodile Safari. You can find varieties of other wildlife here too, plenty of antelopes and deer, along with jackals, leopards, porcupines and pythons. All in all, Madhav National Park can be an ideal destination for a short adventure trip.
Jhansi is world famous for the legendary queen Rani Lakshmi Bai, who bravely fought against the British in the rebellion of 1857. The city has seen much of the Maratha rule, and is a great tourist destination because of its rich history. A major attraction here is the Jhansi Fort, which was built by Raja Bir Singh. Apart from the ancient architecture, the fort also has a museum consisting of a rare collection of sculptures from Bundelkhand.
Rani Mahal, the palace of Rani Lakshmi Bai is also a must visit. It has some other attractions as well like Gangadhar Rao Ki Chhatri, Jari Ka Math, St. Jude Church and St. Antony’s Cathedral. Jhansi is situated at a distance of 103 kilometers from Gwalior, and can be reached easily via rail or road. So if you want more history from central India, then do visit Jhansi at least once.
Another historical city that you can visit on a short day trip from Gwalior is Orchha. It is famous for ancient architectural monuments, historical palaces and beautiful temples. Orchha Fort Complex is a must visit here; it comprises of the Jehangir Mahal, Raja Mahal, Ram Raja Temple, Rai Praveen Mahal, Laxminayaran Temple and Phool Bagh, which are well-known for their rich history.
You can also pay a visit to the Chaturbhuj Temple and the Chhatris of Orchha, which are Cenotaphs situated on the banks of river Betwa. Those who love wildlife and boating, will really enjoy their time at the Orchha Nature Reserve too.