After visiting the charming city of Gwalior, there are many wonderful places to visit that will take your travel experience to another level.
1. BATESHWAR GROUP OF TEMPLES
The Bateshwar Group of Temples are located 40km via Malanpur towards north of Gwalior. An architectural wonder, these temples comprise of a cluster in various states of preservation. The main temple here is known as the Bhuteshwar Mahadev temple, the largest Shiva temple at the site. There are more than 200 temples and are truly a hidden gem which have been excavated and restored by the ASI. Most of these are single cell shrines with shikharas, surmounted by amlakhas. Built in yellow sandstone by the Gurjara- Pratiharas across the sloping hills of Bateshwar, most of the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu or Shakti- representing the three major traditions within Hinduism.
Padavali, is located just 1 km away from the Bateshwar group of Temples. This temple is believed to be a 10th century Shiva temple owing to the grand statues of Nandi at the entrance. The fortress of the Padavali was built by Jat Ranas of Gohad. Among the most conspicuous architecture at this site is the temple inside the fortress. The Shiva temple consists of a Mandapa with intricately carved ceiling and sturdy pillars.
Mitawali is located near to Padavali, just 4 kms away from it. Mitawali is a village where the popular Chausath Yogini Temple is present, which is perched atop a hill surrounded by lush greenery. A climb of approximately 100 steps will take you to the beauty of this round temple. The temple stands on a circular platform in an open court enclosed by a circular wall with small cells and colonnade inside with a Shiva image in each cell. It is dated to the 14th century AD. On the basis of this inscription and engravings dated to V.S. 1380, this ancient shrine is said to have been built by Maharaja Devapala. This type of circular architecture is unique to the Gwalior region. In fact, the Parliament House in New Delhi is believed to be inspired from the circular design and architecture of the Mitawali temple. These three destinations situated in the Morena district can be undertaken in one trip itself.
4. TIGHRA DAM
The Tighra dam plays a crucial role in supplying water to the city. Located about 24 kms away from Gwalior on the Sank River, this scenic dam is one of the best spots for one to relax and unwind. An hour’s drive from Gwalior, part of which is through narrow village roads, this oasis of tranquility also offers a range of boating options and water sports facilities.
5. KAKANMATH TEMPLE, SIHONIYA
The Kakanmath Temple is a ruined 11th century Shiva temple located in Sihoniya district of Madhya Pradesh. This temple is located 60 kms away from Gwalior City. It was built by a Kachchapaghata ruler, Kirttiraja. This can be inferred from the Kachchapaghata inscription found at the Saasbahu Temple in Gwalior. The inscription states that Krittiraja built an extraordinary temple devoted to Parvati’s Lord, Shiva at Sihoniya. According to legend, the temple was named ‘Kakanmadh’ after Kakanavati our Kakanade, who was the queen of one Surajpala, although the truth of this legend remains doubtful. This Shiva temple is built on a spacious platform which on plan consists of a sanctum, a pillared hall and porch. The lofty spire is now partly in ruins was covered with sculptures and artistic designs. Only a part of the original temple complex now survives.
6. PADMAVATI, PAWAYA
Padmavati identified with modern Pawaya, Madhya Pradsh was an ancient city that’s mentioned in several classical Sanskrit texts. This ancient site with the ruins of the magnificent capital city of the Nagas is one of the lesser known places to visit near Gwalior. These ruins are located around 65 kms from Gwalior. This ancient city takes you down memory lanes with huge gates and prolifically built temples of the bygone era. Many of the terracotta and stone artifacts are displayed in the Gurjari Mahal in Gwalior. The Dhumeshwar temple which is located 5 kms from here can also be visited which is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
7. BIR SINGH PALACE, DATIA
An astonishing confluence of Mughal & Rajput architecture, the 7 storyed Datia Palace stands tall in the historic city of Datia. Datia Palace or Bir Singh Palace is situated nearly 75 km from Gwalior. The founder of the Datia state in Bundelkhand- Maharaja Birsingh Deo built as many as 52 monuments all around the country. This palace is the biggest and most famous of all the 52 palaces and can be seen easily from a long distance. This ancient town, Datia finds its mention in the Mahabharata by the name of ‘Daityavakra’.
8. CHAMBAL GHARIYAL NATIONAL PARK
The Chambal Ghariyal National Park is located nearly 125 km away from Gwalior. It is located on the banks of the river Chambal, at the confluence of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. There’s a story revolving around the Chambal river. They say that this river was originated from the blood of cows that were sacrificed by a king striving for power. His lunacy prompted the priestly class to curse the water of the river and label it unholy. Due to this reason, no industrial town was established here. On the flip side, due to the absence of polluting units in the vicinity has contributed to the river being one of North India’s cleanest rivers. Thus, it is home to a vast array of fauna. The Chambal today is home to nasty predators like the freshwater crocodiles and ghariyals.
9. NARWAR FORT
Narwar Fort is situated atop a hill, at Narwar in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh about 500 feet above ground level spread over an area of 8 square km on a steep scarp on the Vindhya Mountain range. Kachwaha Rajputs are said to have rebuilt the fort when they occupied Narwar in the 10th century. Kachwaha, Parihara and Tomara Rajputs held Narwar successively from 12th century onwards, until its capture by the Mughals in the 16th century. It was conquered by the Maratha chief Scindia in the early 19th century.
10. TOMB OF ABUL FAZL
Antri, or Antakpuri near Gwalior is an ancient township which was established around 1500 years ago. One of the gems in Mughal Emperor Akbar’s court, Abul Fazl the writer of book Ain-e-Akbari was murdered here on 19th August 1602 by Bundela ruler of Orchha by the order of Salim, the rebel and son of Akbar. Committal of Abul Fazl’s beheaded body was done here. Abul Fazl’s tomb was situated at the same place.
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