Tourist Places to visit in Gwalior (2022)

  • Post last modified:12 April 2022
  • Reading time:21 mins read

Out of several popular cities in Northern India, Gwalior is a front runner when it comes to tourism. Located 414 kilometres from the state capital of Bhopal, travellers who visit Madhya Pradesh are certain to include Gwalior among their places to visit in Madhya Pradesh. Gwalior has been historically significant for India and was ruled by Mughals and then the Marathas.

Hindustani classical music has its deep roots in this city. People from all over the world visit Gwalior to witness the legendary Gwalior Gharana. The Tansen Music Festival during the month of December sees the peak of tourism in Gwalior. Visit this historic yet modern city to see the soul of India’s culture and its future. To make your planning easy, in this article we bring you top places to visit in Gwalior.


10 Places to Visit in Gwalior

  1. Gwalior Fort
  2. Jai Vilas Palace
  3. Gujari Mahal
  4. Sun Temple Gwalior
  5. Saas Bahu Temple
  6. Gopachal Parvat
  7. Gurudwara Data Bandi Chor Sahib
  8. Tansen Memorial
  9. Tighra Dam
  10. Samadhi of Rani Laxmi Bai

Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort
Gwalior Fort

Popularly known as the ‘pearl amongst fortresses in India’, Gwalior Fort stood as one of the most impenetrable fortresses in India. The mammoth structure is perched atop a rocky mountain. Sprawled across the entire city, one can see the Gwalior Fort from any part of the city. Some archaeological studies date this gigantic fort back to the 6th century.

Proudly reflecting the cultural heritage of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior Fort has witnessed numerous historic events. Home to various dynasties over centuries, the Gwalior Fort houses temples and palaces like Man Mandir, the Shah Jahan among others. Gwalior Fort tops the list of places to visit in Gwalior.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 06:00 AM to 05:30 PM

Major Attractions: Man Mandir Palace, Shah Jahan Palace

Ideal duration to explore: 3-4 hours

Things to do: Learn about various dynasties that ruled Gwalior

Jai Vilas Palace

Jai Vilas Palace
Jai Vilas Palace

The ruler of the princely state of Gwalior, Jayajirao Scindia, established the Jai Vilas Mahal aka the Jai Vilas Palace in 1874. Spread over 75 acres, the Jai Vilas Palace houses memorabilia from the Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb to the Rani Laxmi Bai era. The palace is currently home to Maharaja Jayajirao’s descendants and is also a popular museum that is spread over 35 rooms.

The palace houses the famous Chitrangada Raje Art Gallery and a renowned library that comprises more than 5,000 books. Each of the 35 rooms here exhibits rare collections. The museum acts as a gateway to the Maratha Empire where you can learn about the dynasty in depth.

One of the carpets in the Jai Vilas Palace took nearly 12 years to view. This striking palace is a popular tourist spot in Gwalior among history buffs and is equally popular among tourists and the locals.

Opening hours: Monday to Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM; Thursday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Major Attractions: Chitrangada Raje Art Gallery, Library

Ideal duration to explore: 2-3 hours

Things to do: Explore ancient artefacts from the Mughal era to the Rani Laxmi Bai era

Gujari Mahal

Gujari Mahal
Gujari Mahal

Gujari Mahal is a massive structure that was constructed in the 15th century. Nestled within the famous Gwalior Fort, Gujari Mahal was built by Raja Man Singh Tomar. It is one of the six marvellous palaces on the fort premises. Having seen many centuries pass by, the Gujari Mahal is now an archaeological museum. Gujari Mahal is in its ruins and is mostly known as the State Archaeological Museum.

Its rare collections include antiques and artefacts related to Jainism and Hinduism from the first and second centuries. Make sure you include Gujari Mahal in your itinerary while making a list of places to visit in Gwalior. As per popular folklore, Raja Mansingh Tomar married a milkman’s daughter as none of his eight queens was able to give him an heir to the throne. He named her Mrignayani and built this palace for her.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Major Attractions: Antiques and artefacts related to Jainism and Hinduism from the first and second centuries

Ideal duration to explore: 30mins -1 hour

Things to do: Photography, Learn in-depth about Rajputs and Raja Man Singh Tomar’s contribution towards Dhrupad (a genre of Hindustani Music)

Sun Temple Gwalior

Sun Temple Gwalior
Sun Temple Gwalior

Inspired by the world-famous Sun Temple in Konark, the Sun Temple in Gwalior was built in 1988 by well-known industrialist Ghanshyam Das Birla. Be prepared to be in awe while you witness this meticulously carved temple. Made out of marbles and Red sandstone, the temple grabs all the attention amidst the surrounding greenery. It is one of the most visited religious attractions in Gwalior.

The Sun Temple is visited by devotees and tourists alike. This shrine provides a peaceful environment for devotees to perform worship rituals. However, it also attracts visitors who appreciate architectural marvels. Despite its lack of ancient roots, Sun Temple in Gwalior boasts impressive footfall every year. The holy shrine houses a beautiful idol of the Sun God.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 06:30 AM to 12:00 PM, Monday to Sunday from 01:00 PM to 06:00 PM

Major Attractions: Idol of the Sun god, neatly carved red sandstone sculptures

Ideal duration to explore: 1 hour

Things to do: Worship, Meditate

Saas Bahu Temple

Saas Bahu Temple
Saas Bahu Temple

Do not get mistaken by the name of this 9th-century temple. Many mistakes the name Saas Bahu as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. However, Saas Bahu is an acronym for Sahastrabahu Bahu, a moniker of mighty Lord Vishnu. It is a twin temple with Saas being the larger and older temple than Bahu.

Walk around the temple while treating yourself to the sight of marvellous rock carvings and statues that seem like-like. The temple was constructed by Kacchapaghata king Mahipala. Standing the test of time, the temple has witnessed numerous invasions and religious wars in the region.

Like many, the Saas Bahu Temple is mostly in ruins. The three-storeyed temple sits on a 100 feet long square platform. Upon entry, one cannot miss the carvings of idols of Brahma, Vishnu and Saraswati. Make sure you include Saas Bahu Temple in your places to visit in Gwalior.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Major Attractions: idols of Brahma, Vishnu and Saraswati

Ideal duration to explore: 1 hour

Gopachal Parvat

Gopachal Parvat
Gopachal Parvat

While taking a stroll around the Gwalior Fort, you are certain to stumble upon eye-catching rock-cut sculptures. Those sculptures go by the name of Gopachal Parvat. Located on the south side of the fort, visiting Gopachal Parvat is among the things to do in Gwalior. The rock carvings date back to the 7th and 15th centuries.

The rock sculptures represent the Jain Tirthankaras — Adinatha, Mahavir, Neminatha and Rishanabhanatha in a meditative posture. This spot is visited by all sorts of tourists, especially the ones who follow Jainism. Gopachal Parvat along with the architectural prowess of ancient India also reflects the country’s multi-religious aspects.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 06:00 AM to 05:30 PM

Major Attractions: Rock carvings of Adinatha, Mahavir, Neminatha and Rishanabhanatha.

Ideal duration to explore: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Things to do: Learn about Jainism in India

Gurudwara Data Bandi Chor Sahib

Gurudwara Data Bandi Chor Sahib
Gurudwara Data Bandi Chor Sahib

Your search for serenity ends at Gurudwara Data Bandi Chor. Constructed in the memory of the sixth Guru Sant Hargobind Singh, the gurudwara stands tall amidst a peaceful oasis. Built-in pristine white marble and ornate in gold, Gurudwara Data Bandi Chor is worth a sight.

The holy and calm environment here can be accredited to the chants and hymns from the holy book of Guru Granth Sahib. As per history, Guru Hargobind Sahib was detained by Mughal King Jahangir in the Gwalior fort for almost two years. Upon being released, Guru Hargobind requested the release of 52 fellow prisoners who were Rajput kings.

Jahangir gave the order that whoever holds Guru Hargobind’s robe will be released as he knew Rajput kings never hold anyone’s robe. However, the next day, all 52 kings held Guru’s robe and walked out of the prison. Thus, Guru earned the name Data Bandi Chor. Gurudwara Data Bandi Chor is one of the most-visited religious attractions in Gwalior.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 05:00 AM to 07:00 PM

Major Attractions: The Oasis around the Gurudwara

Ideal duration to explore: 1-2 hours

Things to do: Meditation, Worshipping

Tansen Memorial

Tansen Memorial
Tansen Memorial

Nobody visits Gwalior without planning a trip to the tomb of Tansen. Popularly known as the Tansen Memorial, the tomb of Tansen is the resting place of the legendary singer Tansen. Gwalior’s significance as the capital of Hindustani Sangeet amplifies the importance of the Tansen Memorial.

Tansen was a pioneer of the famous Gwalior Gharana and was very much respected in the courts of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was one of the nine gems of Akbar’s court. Legends indicate that Tansen’s divine voice could enchant animals and even make the clouds rain.

He is buried next to his guru Mohammad Ghaus and the burial site was converted to a simple yet beautiful monument in the Mughal archetype. The annual Tansen music festival is every year at this location in November. Prominent musicians from all over the country come here to perform during this time. Tansen Memorial is one of the must-visit places in Gwalior.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM

Major Attractions: Tansen Tomb and Mohammad Ghaus Tomb

Ideal duration to explore: 1 hour

Tighra Dam

Tighra Dam
Tighra Dam

Constructed in 1916 on the river Sankh, Tigra Dam was constructed with the purpose of providing fresh water to the city dwellers. The freshwater reservoir also serves as a major picnic spot and is one of the most popular places to visit in Gwalior with family. Tigra Dam is a boating lover’s paradise and offers an array of boats for visitors.

While here, one can enjoy Jalpari boating, paddle boating, speed boating, and also water scooters rides. Tighra Dam is also a prime source of irrigation and fishing. This scenic location is also a haven for birdwatchers. Do not forget to carry your camera lenses as Tighra Dam is an absolutely photogenic location.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 09:30 AM to 06:30 PM

Major Attractions: Jalpari boating, paddle boating, speed boating, water scooters

Ideal duration to explore: 2-3 hours

Things to do: Photography, Boating, Bird watching

Samadhi of Rani Laxmi Bai

Samadhi of Rani Laxmi Bai
Samadhi of Rani Laxmi Bai

The Samadhi of Rani Laxmi Bai commemorates arguably the most famous woman warrior of India, Rani Bai Laxmi. The samadhi nestles right at the heart of Phool Bagh and right next to it, stands the 26-feet tall Rani Laxmi Bai statue. The inspiring statue is of the warrior queen Rani Laxmi Bai on a prancing horse with an unsheathed sword.

The queen of Jhansi died in the war of 1857 against British rule. The striking statue and the samadhi are symbolic of the fact that Rani Laxmi Bai’s valour and courage is remembered even today. The samadhi is one of the historically important destinations in Gwalior.

Opening hours: 24 hours

Major Attractions: 26-feet tall statue of Rani Laxmi Bai

Ideal duration to explore: 30 minutes

In Conclusion, Gwalior with its rich historic and cultural facets attracts visitors from all parts of the world. Located in central India, Gwalior is visited alongside the popular cities of Ujjain and Indore. Bask in the rich past of the mighty country that India was and during many invasions while in Gwalior.

It is the city brimming with melodic music and one of the favourite destinations of history buffs. Comprising plain and hilly landscapes, your trip to Gwalior is sure to be adventurous. Even in the 21st century, one can say Gwalior has successfully retained the medieval feel.

You might not want to miss out on a place that checks every box for travellers to quench their wanderlust. Seek help in this article while preparing your itinerary and embark on a well-planned trip to the tourist capital of Madhya Pradesh.


FAQ

Is Gwalior worth visiting?

Gwalior is a city with rich culture and a decorated past that reflects the glory of ancient India. Home to various dynasties, Gwalior houses mesmerising palaces, mammoth forts and peaceful parks and gardens. For all the aforementioned reasons, Gwalior is certainly worth visiting.

What is famous in Gwalior?

Gwalior is famous for its formidable forts, beautiful palaces and historically important temples and temple ruins. The city is also famous for being the birthplace of divine singer Tansen and for being the hub of Hindustani classical music in India.

How many days are enough for Gwalior?

If rushed, Gwalior can be finished within a day or two. However, the richness of the city is worth enjoying at one’s own pace. Ranging from 2-4 days, one can plan their trip accordingly to make the most of this city.

Is Gwalior a safe city?

Yes, Gwalior is a safe city.

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