How do you fix a travel destination when inside you know you have to and you get a off over a long weekend?
The answer is simple – by hunger to move out, to see more, to experience the vast. It is cliche, yet true – “where there is a will, there is a way”. This time I knew I won’t have a long time in my hand and hence my circle of probable destinations became smaller to a 1 night travel. Being on a stringent budget at the end time of a year, I found out visiting MP would be the best solution. Gwalior is a city that is yet left for me to explore and suffices all my requirements this time.
One can visit Orccha and Khajuraho too with Gwalior. Since I had no extra days, a better luck next time for me. J
I will keep this blog more on budget oriented as Gwalior can be visited on a short time with a stringent budget by everyone.
How to Reach:
I took a flight from Mumbai to Indore, and then overnight bus to Gwalior. It took me 1 + 7-8 hrs of travel.
Gwalior is also well-connected with trains.
Where to Stay:
Budget to Mid-budget to Luxury Stays are available. We stayed at Hotel V-Square near Lashkar, and their service was quite well for a 1-night stay.
What to see:
1. Jai Vilas Palace:
A Symbol of Maratha Scindia dynasty’s royalty and opulence, this 75 acre ground of a gallant structure is worth a visit if you want to know more about the Gwalior history.
You will read mostly anywhere if you search about the three-tonne Belgian crystal chandeliers hanging in the main Durbar Hall at Jai Vilas. Looking at the magnanimous decorations and the amount of gold, you will understand why eight elephants were made to climb on the roof to test its strength before the chandeliers were hung. It is the 3rd largest chandelier in the world.
In the dining room, there is a miniature silver train to carry decanters of spirits between diners which would stop each time a guest lifted the decanter to pour a drink.
There is a ladies-only swimming pool, a collection of swords that date back to the times of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, the original Dhal (shield) that belonged to freedom fighter Rani Laxmibai and many more examples to show the by-gone era and the royalty among Scindia family.
N.B.: Even Mobile Phones are treated as cameras and you need to pay the camera fee to take them inside. Else, there are locker facilities to deposit them.
Here are few snaps taken inside the Palace:
2. Gwalior Fort:
Emphatically it is one of the best pre-Mughal era Forts still intact for this era. Getting to this fort is possible through 2 gates – Turvai gate and Fort Gate.
We checked into the fort through the Turvai Gate in the evening of Day 1. You will need to take a local cab (available at this gate) to explore all of the Gwalior Fort as most are located at distances beyond walking. Even the Scindia School is located at this side, inside the Fort complex.
At first the cab will take you to the main Gwalior Fort, i.e., the Man Mandir Palace area and few other Palaces. From there you will get the ticket at Rs. 25 for the Man Mandir Palace, Teli ka Mandir and the Saas Bahu Temple.
To explore the other structures adjacent, you need to take another ticket (Rs. 10). Here you will find the Jahangir Palace, Vikram Palace and many other structures. We visited this part only for day 1 and then our cab took us to the Saas Bahu Temple and Teli ka Mandir. While returning to the Turvai Gate, the driver even showed us the Jain Temples and the huge Mahavir statue carved out of the walls of the hills.
On Day 2, we reached the Man Mandir Palace through the Fort Gate. On the way, there is the Gujari Mahal and the ZERO temple. Gujari Mahal is a museum now. We could not enter it as it was closed on Monday.
Tomb of Muhammed Ghaus and Tansen:
The famous venue for ‘Tansen Samaroh’ every December of the year, this is another epic architectural and historical extravaganza left unnoticed by many travellers. The Tansen Music Festival is held to admire this great musician. Many renowned classical singers from all across the country come and deliver their performances to commemorate the excellence of Tansen.
Muhammed Ghaus – the Sufi saint belongs to 16th century and occupied an important position in the history of Mughal India. He had a great influence over Mughal emperors like Babur and Humayun. The tomb walls are made of ‘Jaalis’ – pierced stone screens allowing light and air to filter into the interior chamber. This creates a cool, meditative atmosphere.
Time – 9a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry - Free
- Flight from Mumbai to Indore and Return – Rs. 8000
- Bus from Indore to Gwalior and Return – Rs. 1200
- Hotel for 1 night – Rs. 2500
- Local auto fare for 2 day Transportation – Rs. 500 + Rs. 450 (inside fort). Ola Auto service is also pretty good in the city, where you would not require to bargain at all.
- Ticket charges – Rs. 35 at Gwalior Fort and Rs. 250 for Jai Vilas Palace Museum
The whole trip was done within Rs. 11000 per pax. (From Mumbai) without the food and beverages
What to Eat:
POHA POHA POHA…I am so much in love with the poha (beaten rice) of MP, sprinkled with some soft Indian spice and Sev. Actually I had the poha in breakfasts for 3 days at a stretch.
Next big thing to try is the ‘Morena ka Gud ka Gajak’ – available at most of the places in Gwalior during the winters. It even tastes not too sweet being a dessert. Since I am not much into sweet tooth, I packed only 250 gm Gajak. Later got heart broken when I was out of it in not more than 5 days.
I hope you liked the short blog on the Gwalior city. Kindly let me know if you want to share any more information or suggestion for others who also want to visit Gwalior.