Gibraltar of India

Trip Start Nov 06, 2010
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17
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Trip End Mar 18, 2011


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Flag of India  , Madhya Pradesh,
Monday, November 29, 2010

We are getting a good understanding of Indian history and knowledge of Forts. We continue to enjoy seeing them I hope that the pictures show how interesting they are. We drove up to the fort and hired a guide who gave us about a 3 hour tour of the site. I found on the web and in our travel book some of what he said to put the fort into prospective.

Origin of the name Gwalior:
Legends say that Gwalior owes its name to a sage of yesteryears. In fact, Suraj Sen, a prince of the Kachhwaha clan of the 8th century, is believed to have lost his way in the jungle and ultimately rambled up to an isolated hill. At this point of time his meeting with an old man, Sage Gwalipa, changed his course of life. Tired and spent, he asked for some water and the sage led him to a pond. The prince was taken by surprise when he found that after drinking the water it not only quenched his thirst but rid him of his disease of leprosy. Out of gratitude he wanted to offer something to the sage and the sage asked him to fortify the hill. The hill was thus fortified and named Gwalior, and the city that gradually developed around it acquired its name.

The Fort:
Gwalior Fort, built by Raja Man Singh Tomar, of the Tomar dynasty. This formidable structure was reputed to be one of the most invincible forts of India. It occupies an isolated rock outcrop. The hill is steepened to make it virtually unscalable and is surrounded by high walls which enclose buildings from several periods. The old town of Gwalior lies at the eastern base of the fortress.
Massive Gwalior Fort, popularly called the Gibraltar of India, overlooks the city. Emperor Babur reputedly described it as "the pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind." This fort's architecture is unique. It shows Chinese influence on Indian architecture, as Chinese dragons have been crafted at the hilt of the pillars. This influence was because of trade between China and India during that period.

Our next day we went to the Jai Vilas Palace which is close to the heart of the city; it was patterned on the Palace of Versailles, combining Tuscan, Italian and Corinthian styles of architecture. Could not get any pictures inside, therefore only the outside are in this entry.
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