Gwalior.....


trek up ....lot more to go
Gwalior is almost an hour's ride, however we travelled by train which took us about ninety minutes. It was much colder there. The first place we went to happened to visit was the fort. The fort which contains seven different historical structures,sits at a height of 378 feet. Yep and we climbed up all those feet. It took us roughly an hour to get to the top but the entire hill has carvings of Hindu mythology and structures which are partly beheaded, by the Muslim rulers when they  had come to rule. So the entire trek up is pretty appealing. The expanse of the fort looks regal as you climb and impresses with its architecture.
Once you get into the fort there are several things to see. The first happens to be Mann Singh's palace which later came to serve as a prison as well. This place as extensive carvings done depicting Hindu mythology aplenty. Every dot, curve and color has meaning.

Mann Singh's Palace
The palace has two floors.
After the palace there are some other palaces, belonging to the Scindias. From the top of one of them you can see is the ninth queen's palace. When she met the king whose name I do not recollect ( kekke) she had told him she would marry him only on two conditions. One was that she wanted a separate palace of her own and two she wanted to drink only that water which came from her hometown. So the king agreed to make her  a separate palace with water canals carrying water all the way from her village. (Talk about tantrums)

Of course all the other eight queens lived at the palace in which we were standing. It also has a huge pond( that is an understatement), it has lots of water. During times of war, the water was replace by fire. If the king did not return in three days during the war, the queens had to jump into the fire in a practice called jauhar.(I felt creepy keeping pics of the jauhar kund so deleted them)

All of these structures were later used by the British to store weapons later. Why the Queen of Jhansi is related to Gwalior, was beacuse when she fled the British with her son she came to The Scindias (formerly Shinde's) who were also her allies or so she thought.

Navvi Rani's Palace
She had trusted that since they were all Marathas, they would have helper her fight the British. But it was the Scindias who betrayed her, after they struck a deal with the British. She was after all betrayed by her own. While fighting the British she was badly wounded and finally succumbed to her injuries, as the Scinidias turned her away. (I know this courtesy of our guide.....I am not making this up)
We also visited the Zoo at Gwalior, some of whose residents included a lioness, leopards, lots of crocodiles, monkeys and other animals. However I didn't snap any of them. Just admired them and thanked God for their beauty.
The Scindias also have another palace which is two hours away, but the day had been spent and the Palace had been closed in honor of Jyotiraditya Scindia's birthday and hence we headed back home, dog tired from trekking all over Gwalior. Though I must add it was worth it. Gwalior is also much more developed compared to Jhansi.Taking the train back to Jhansi brought an end to the tour.....
PS since blogger has a limit on photos ...I'l put up the post and add pics one every day.... so check back for updates.....

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