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Gwalior the fourth largest city of the state and the legislative command center of the Gwalior District and Division functioned as the administrative headquarters of ‘Madhya Bharat’ until the formation of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Often referred to as the spindle of the Chambal Region, Gwalior, rooted on the northernmost fringes of Madhya Pradesh is enclosed by the commercial and industrial sectors of the neighboring Bhind & Morena districts.
The city derives its appellation from the name of a Sage ‘Gwalipa’ who had helped a Kachhwaha prince named ‘Suraj Sen’ to get rid of his leprosy. As the parable goes, an 8th century prince Suraj Sen when lost in the woods came across a sage atop a hill and asked for drinking water. The sage directed him to a pond, the water of which apart from quenching his thirst also cured him of his leprosy. The astounded prince extended his gratitude to the sage and also offered his service in return. The sage desired for an enclosure there that would protect the hermits from wild animals while performing penances and holy rituals. Suraj Sen erected a fortification and later a palace which was christened as ‘Gwalior’ after the name of the Sage Gwalipa. In the course of time a city developed around the Gwalior Fort and came to be known as Gwalior itself.
Gwalior, the ‘living legend of heroism’ basks in the glory of its dignified legacy of valor and courage and its vital contribution in the Indian History since the ‘First War of Independence’ in 1857. This geriatric city burgeoning around the Gwalior Fort aloft an aerial hilltop has been a witness to numerous historical battles and power struggles. It was here that the great warrior queen of Jhansi; Rani Lakshmi Bai fought bravely for the Mother Land till the last drop of blood and laid her life during the final assault on the Gwalior Fort. An additional feather in the proud hat of Gwalior is that it was also the birthplace of Tansen; the celebrated proponent of the ‘Hindustani Classical Music’ who flourished during the Mughal Era. Gwalior, the chivalrous cradle of a number of conspicuous royal dynasties & preeminent personas and also the platform of many crucial episodes from the pages of history is rightly bequeathed with the laurel ‘the tourism capital of Madhya Pradesh’.
Reckoned for its rich historical, cultural, architectural as well as religious endowment, the present day Gwalior city happens to be a leading tourist destination of central India. Distinguished for its magnificent palaces, domineering forts, sacrosanct temples and other staggering architectural monuments of yesteryears Gwalior; the ‘pre-medieval pivot of Jainism’ and the ‘fort city of India’ preserves its glorious and grandiloquent character even today. The Gwalior Fort was justly described by Babar in his Babarnama as “The pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind”. The imposing rock temples, sandstone mosques and spectacular sculptures & figurines yield a unique aura to this ostentatious classical conurbation. Boasting of its illustrious past, the contemporary Gwalior City; a vivacious and advancing neo Indian urban is a supreme collage of past & present, tradition & modernism and ethnicity & industrialization.