The pristine Bateshwar valley is known for the ruins of beautiful temples within verdant woods. The panoramic lush surroundings add a charm to the ruined temples drawing both nature lovers and pilgrims to this site. For its exquisite stonework and excellent architecture, the Ghaus Mohammed mausoleum is an absolute must see. The sandstone mausoleum of the 16th century Afghan prince turned Sufi saint is built in typical Mughal style, with hexagonal pillars and delicate screens using pierced stone technique.
Strictly from a historical perspective, Ghaus Mohammed’s major contribution was that he helped Babar to win the Gwalior fort. Particularly exquisite are the delicate lacy screens, using the pierced stone technique. The skilled artisans of Gwalior were famed and their artistic brilliance is apparent in the huge panels of lacy screen work, combined with the interesting architectural style that gives it an absolutely ethereal feel. It is amazing to see that the tomb is a famous pilgrimage center of both Muslims and Hindus.
The historically significant Gujari Mahal is part of the magnificent Gwalior fort complex and is worth a visit. This beautiful 15th century palace is a lasting monument to the love of Tomar King Raja Mansingh, the founder of the Gwalior fort for his Gujar queen, Mrignayani.
Legend has it that Raja Man Singh while on a Hunt, chanced upon Mrignayani, a Gujar tribal separating two buffaloes locked in combat. The captivated king won her consent to becoming his ninth queen after fulfilling her two demands? that he build her a separate palace, and have a canal dug to bring the water of her village Rai, for her everyday use.
Today Gujari Mahal houses one of the finest museums of sculpture dating back to 1st century AD. The open courtyard has some beautiful sculptures including several panels from the Gupta period and Buddhist era. Particularly worth seeing is the statue of Shalbhanjika, the tree goddess, from Gyraspur, an exquisite miniature which can be seen only on request.
A hall under the Palace courtyard with two-storied galleries on all sides once reverberated with the sounds of raagas but now lies silent. The great musicians Tansen and Baiju Bawra are said to have received their early training in the school of music established and monitored by the Man Singh and his Gujar queen. It was in this hall and courtyard that the royal couple created several raagas and Man Singh composed and sang in Brajbhasa as against the customary Sanskrit.
An erstwhile school for the British soldiers has now been transformed into one of the best schools in India and is run by the Scindia's.
Looming majestically at a height of nearly 100 meters overlooking the city of Gwalior is its most famous landmark - the magnificent Gwalior Fort, popularly known as the Gibraltar of India.
Two roads approach the fort. The preferred approach for walkers is the steep winding road flanked by statues of Jain tirthankaras carved into the rock face that takes you up to the Urwahi Gat. A Northeast entrance starts from the archaeological museum and leads to the doors of the Man Singh Palace. The solid fort walls of sandstone enclose several marvels of medieval architecture including three temples, six palaces, impressive gates and a number of historic water tanks. Spread over an area of 3 sq.km, the magnificent outer walls of the Fort still stand, 35 feet high and two miles in length making it one of the most impregnable fortresses of Central and North India.
Of the temples in the Gwalior Fort, the most famous are the Teli-ka-Mandir- a 9th century Dravidian-style shrine; the Saas-Bahu Temples- two pillared temples which stand next to each other, one larger than the other and bear a strong resemblance to Hoysala temple architecture; and the Chaturbhuj Mandir, a Vaishnavite shrine dating back to the 9th century. The highest structure within the fort is the Garuda.
Sun Temple Close to Morar, the Sun temple dedicate to the Sun God is closely related to the Konark sun temple. This elegant temple is bounded by lush green landscaped gardens and quiet ambience. Though relatively modern, the architecture and style is similar to the ancient Konark temple and has already become one of the most revered temples in Gwalior.
The place where revered Guru Gwalipa healed the Rajput chieftain, Suraj Sen has been commemorated as Suraj Kund. The 15th century Kund has many legends and stories woven around it. It is said that the chronically ill Suraj Sen was cured when he tasted the holy waters of this Kund and as a token of his thankfulness he built a tank around the pond and a fort. The city of Gwalior was also named after the guru and sage Gwalipa