March 19, 2008

The Citadel, Gwalior

Madhya Pradesh-4:

In addition to Gurdwara Data Bandi Chhod and Man Mandir Palace, the other structures at the Gwalior Fort are:

  • Gujari Mahal (Gujari Palace)
  • Saas-Bahu Ka Mandir
  • Teli Ka Mandir
  • Vikramaditya Mahal (Vikram Palace)
  • Karan Mahal (Karan Palace)
  • Shahjahan Mahal (Shah Jahan Palace)
  • Jauhar Kund
  • Scindia School

Near Man Mandir Palace

I went about exploring the the Gujari Mahal, the Vikram Mahal, Karan Mahal and the Shah Jahan Mahal.

Karan Mahal - rear view

The story goes that after Raja Mansingh Tomar wooed and won her, Mrignayani expected of him to build for her a separate palace with a constant water supply from the River Rai. So, the 15th century Gujari Mahal was built in her honor. The exterior of the Palace is well maintained and the interior has been converted into an archeological museum, housing a large collecting of Hindu and Jain sculptures, some said to be dating back to the 1st and 2nd century. Photography is not allowed here.

Partial view of Karan Mahal and Shah Jahan Mahal

I meant to return to the rest of the structures after lunch and that meant descending down the Fort complex to the city below. Once there, however, I got so busy exploring other interesting spots that there was no chance to get back to the Fort till the evening. By the time I returned, it was almost dark and I had a quick look at the Saas Bahu Ka Mandir, a traditional temple of two sizes of temples; and Teli Ka Mandir, built with a unique blend of Dravidian style of architecture (roof part) as well as the Indo-Aryan characteristics of northern India (the walls).


Then I proceeded for the Sound and Light Show and as I wrote in my previous post, it was delightful. Two shows take place every evening, in Hindi and English. At the Son-et-Lumiere Show, Amitabh Bachchan eloquently narrates the story of the Gwalior Fort with his deep baritone voice. It was very interesting to experience history at the Show that included:

- the story of Suraj Sen, the Rajput chieftain and Gwalipa, whose story is narrated here;

- the romantic story of Raja Man Singh and Mrignayani;

- the Turkish invasion and the tragic defeat of the Rajputs;

- sieges by Mehmood Ghazni and other Muslim kings;

- the sad sounds of Jauhar (different practice from Sati) of the Rajput women, a practice of collective suicide of a community facing certain defeat in war;

- the sound of the Rajput menfolk who ride out to their last battles till death in what is called Saka;

- the subsequent battles of victory and sounds of reconquering of a lost treasure by the resilient Rajputs;

- the glorious era that followed.

At the Show, Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj and Kumar Gandharva's efforts can be enjoyed that substantiates the grandeur of traditional music as sung by the erstwhile Baiju Bawra and Tansen (more on Tansen in my subsequent posts). Superb colours kept illuminating every nook and cranny of the beautiful Man Mandir Palace and other structures around. The sound of the whole Show creates a realistic effect so well that at the end of it, I felt steeped in the history of the place.

With this post, I bid goodbye to this spot in Central India where history, religion, music, and architecture have been beautifully forged to form a glorious Fort, the Gwalior Fort.

Man Mandir Palace


20 comments:

Keshi said...

just majestic n beautiful!

Keshi.

Indrani said...

I have to visit these places. May be I will take your blog posts as guide material.

Do visit the meteoritic impact CRATER at my site.

Michele Benjamin RN, MSN said...

Hi Celine,
I have not been on here in awhile.
You have some very gorgeous pictures.
I hope all is well with you!
I was thinking of you today and decided to check out your blog.
I am glad I did....lots of beauty!!
Namaste,
Michele

GMG said...

Hi Celine, another excellent post. I'm collecting them; you know the purpose...
Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter, where I finished my Greek Islands 2006 adventure with a post on Cretan Towns! Since it's Easter time, also made a post with some lousy pictures on Easter in Prague (1997) at Revival 90s.
Enjoy Easter Eggs and have a great weekend!
Gil

AJEYA RAO said...

Wonderful pics...

Valhi Rae said...

Informative posts and Spectacular photographs. Keep them coming Celine :)

Pijush said...

Waoww, some stunning photographs and great post Celine,
How are you? I am back :-)
Wish you a nice Easter and Njoy

flyingstars said...

WoW...some very beautifully captured shots...simply love the place through your lens......Wish U a Happy Holi. May this Holi brings a lot of joy and happiness in our life & Wish that your life becomes colorful as the colors of Holi..


I am a bit too busy with my work now, which will continue, so couldn't visit your blog for sometime...anyway, I will check your other posts later whenever I will get the break.

backpakker said...

Great pics celine...particularly loved the bit on stories, they make history more fascinating

priyank said...

Wow Cellu, your blurbs on history add so much sense to the pictures. I bet you can still recall vividly the sound and light shows, its one of those few things that the government does well :) How did you like the food, did you try something local? I'm getting impatient, ok lets wait for subsequent posts :)

indicaspecies said...

Keshi,

Thank you. :)

indicaspecies said...

Indrani,

Thank you for the kind words, and I hope you get a chance to visit the places you wish to.

I have visited your Lonar Crater and its an interesting post. Thanks for sharing. :)

indicaspecies said...

Michele,

Namaste.
Good to see you here again. I am well, thanks and just back from Jordan.

Thank you for your kind words. :)

indicaspecies said...

Gil,

I like your pictures on Easter in Prague and I've left a comment.
Thank you for visiting and your kind words. I hope the Easter holidays were relaxing. You have a great weekend. :)

indicaspecies said...

Ajeya,

Thank you. :)

indicaspecies said...

Valhi Rae:

I'm glad you enjoyed. Thank you for the compliments and encouragement. :)

indicaspecies said...

Pijush,

Thank you very much, and for the Easter wishes too.

It's good to hear from you, and you are back - finally! I hope you had a good Holi. Welcome back to blogworld. :)

indicaspecies said...

flyingstars:

Kalyan, thank you very much for your compliments and good wishes.

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed the Holi. Will await hearing from you again. :)

indicaspecies said...

backpakker:

Historical stories are kinda facts, aren't they Lakshmi?

Thank you for your comments and glad you enjoyed. :)

indicaspecies said...

Priyank,

Hey, thanks. I always dare to try local food wherever I am. I'll try and post more regularly now and thanks for your comments, patience and encouragement. :)