Gwalior – Other Monuments
Tomb of Muhammad Ghaus – Muhammad Ghaus was a great musician and Sufi saint of Gwalior and was contemporary of Babur, Humayun and Akbar. It is believed that he taught the Mughal prince Humayun. He was the spiritual guru of Akbar. This tomb was built during the reign of Akbar, and probably by him, hence would be considered contemporary to the Humayun’s Tomb at New Delhi. It is built on a square plan, 100 feet side, with hexagonal towers at its corners.
Cunningham mentions that these towers are curiously attached to the building by its angles rather than by sides. There is a large room, 43 feet square, inside supporting a lofty dome above. The walls are surrounded by a lofty verandah with a gallery, 20 feet wide, enclosed by large pierced stone lattices. These lattices are protected by bold eaves supported on beams resting on brackets.
Cunningham mentions that the dome was once covered with blue glazed tiles however at present its almost bare. He further mention that this building was never completely finished.
Tomb of Tansen – This small building is situated near to the above tomb. Muhammad Ghaus was the spiritual mentor of Tansen so this tomb’s position is well suited. Tansen was a musician and was one of the nine gems in Akbar’s court. It is a small structure, 22 feet square. It is supported on 12 pillars, 4 pillars in center surrounding the sarcophagus. Tansen was originally a Hindu however as he was buried after his death, it may be that he became a Muslim in later phase of his life. However no historical evidence is available on this particular event.
There used to be tamarind tree near this tomb. The belief was that chewing of its leaves will give an extraordinary melody to the voice. Dr Hunter writes in his accounts of 1790 that the belief was still in vogue and all dancing girl used to chew its leaves. The belief was so strong that the original tree died due to extensive stripping of its leaves. The present tree is only a degenerate seedling of the original.
Chatari of Rani Lakshmi Bai – Rani Lakshmi Bai is a well known figure during the uprising of 1857. She was the queen of Jhansi who fought with the British. She stood against the invaders till her last breath. She died near Gwalior when her horse died while crossing a river stream. She is the epitome of bravery among the brave ladies of India.
Lakshmi Bai and Tatya Tope are commemorated at samadhis at Gwalior. A statue of Rani Laksmi Bai stands amidst a small water body with a small temple inside the water body. A well manicured garden is setup around the water body.
Jai Vilas Palace (Scindia Palace) – It was built by Jiyaji Rao in 1809, its designer was was Lt Col. Michael Filose who designed it on the lines of the famous palazzos of Italy. This opulent palace was planned to welcome the Prince of Wales and later used by the Scindias as their official residence. The Scindias are still staying here, however 35 of its rooms are converted into a museum displaying various treasures of the family.
The museum shows the elegance and extravagance of the princely India of the nineteenth century CE. The museum houses many hunting trophies, various curios and artifacts collected from many countries around the world.It boasts of two large chandeliers and a large Persian carpet laid in the Durbar Hall.
The main attraction is a small train with cut-glass wagons containing the best of the wines, liqueurs and cigars. This small train runs on miniature rails around the dining table serving guests. The train will halt if a guest picks up a wine container or some other container from any wagon.
Few rooms are reserved for the deceased family members and their various memorabilia. As many of their members were involved in the politics of India, hence these rooms are reserved to showcase their achievements to the public.
Food and Accommodation – Gwalior has many options to suit every budget. MP Tourism runs Tansen Residency which is a good option for stay and food.
How to reach – Gwalior is well connected to the major cities of India vial rail, road and air. It is a major railway station on the railway link between New Delhi and Mumbai. Gwalior has an airport.
- Bakshi, S R & Ralhan, O P (2007). Madhya Pradesh Through the Ages. Sarup & Sons. ISBN 8176258067
- Cunningham, Alexander (1872). Four Reports made during the years 1862-63-64-65, vol II. Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi.
- Garde, M B (1936). Handbook of Gwalior. Alijah Darbar Press. Gwalior.
- Garde, M B(1934). Gwalior Fort Album. Archaeological Department. Gwalior.
- Garde, M B (1932). Directory of Forts in Gwalior State. Archaeological Department. Gwalior.
- Mitra, Swati (2008). Gwalior – A Good Earth Guide. Eicher Good Earth Limited. New Delhi. ISBN 8187780568
- Verma, Vrindavan Lal (2003). Mrignayini. Diamond Pocket Books. New Delhi. ISBN 8171823300
- Gwalior on Jatland.com, retrieved on 20/04/2012