Glorious Gwalior- I

I have never given so much of thought on deciding a place to ride to more than this one. It was the 4 day Independence Day long weekend and I was shifting between Prashar Lake, Tirthan Valley, Rajasthan, somewhere in Uttarakhand..wherever the rains are not creating a havoc but really couldn't find a such a place where it wasn't raining. To make it worse the news bits of landslides every other day were making me give second thoughts on riding at all on this long weekend. Then my friend suggested Orchha (Madhya Pradesh), and honestly on any other occasion I will never think of riding to Madhya Pradesh because so many mountain places yet to cover. So I thought why not as it was a safer and wiser bet in the heavy rains going on that time. Ultimately I was very happy to ride to this place. Read on.

Since I had 4 days in hand I could add one more place enroute in my itinerary and most obvious choice for this was Gwalior. Had heard a lot about the fort here so ya why not. All I was hoping for was good weather and my wish was granted and how. The route to Gwalior was Delhi- Yamuna Express Way - Agra - Moraina - Gwalior. 


          Express way was fairly empty (boring as always) when I was riding because everyone must have gone to the mountains, I assumed. I had started to ride at 6:45am and stopped for breakfast at about 8am (which wasn't that great to be honest at that food court). However I mentioned it was a beautiful weather day and I expected it to rain further ahead, thankfully it didn't but the cool breeze continued to make my ride better. Pretty straight forward ride to Gwalior with very good roads throughout the journey. The bike also performed flawless as always. It had to..after all it went through a heart transplant (cylinder kit change) recently. Do tweet to me if you want to know more about it. Anyways so 20km before Gwalior, after struggling to find 4G connectivity for a while,  I booked my stay at Hotel Atithi Inn (while sipping tea at a dhaba, oh btw no 'less sugar in tea' at a dhaba is less enough, the tea is always sweet!) through the GoIbibo app (about time I get paid for promoting this app lol) which turned out to be a great deal considering the gocash already available in the app. I reached the hotel at about 1:15pm. The hotel was pretty decent, newly built (about 1 year old) for the money I paid and would recommend. Its very close to the fort too (2km).  Time for some pics:






The walls of the majestic fort were already visible from the hotel and it got me more excited. So the kachori above was my quick grab after a quick shower post which I took a share auto (@Rs 5) to one of the gates of the fort (there are two gates, you can reach the Quila gate). I suggest you leave your bike at the hotel itself because carrying your helmet for the whole day can be a task especially when you have to walk a lot (and click pics on your phone/camera frequently). 

                                             As soon as you enter the Quila gate you will find Archaeological museum to your right. It was actually a palace called Gujari mahal built for some queen and now converted into a museum, is worth visiting because you will find ancient artifacts dated as old as 2nd century AD. Idols of gods, statues, weapons, coins etc. It was a fascinating experience for me admiring the skills and work of the craftsmen who built these beautiful pieces of art which are still existing today, most of them are in good shape. It will take about 45 mins for a complete visit of this place, the guard outside will advise you not to click pics but there is no one inside to keep an eye on you. Even from this place you will be able to see the walls of the fort up at a height. So here are some pics:
















Beautiful isn't it?! 

It was getting slightly hot by now and I continued to move further. Next up was the glorious fort itself but before that there was a quick attraction called Chaturbhuj temple right on your way towards the fort. I didn't spend much time here and continued here apparently it has the world's oldest zero written somewhere there but I didn't stop here and hence missed it.




There is mild climbing required on your way to fort because its situated at a height. As I read on Wiki the fort was built in 6th century (doubtful) but definitely existed in 10th century and since then has been ruled by several rulers who added their own touch to this place. It has got an interesting history so do try to read about it. It is built on top of a hill so I couldn't stop thinking about just how they must have carried the whole material to build something as massive, I repeat..such a massive and majestic fort. I was amazed at the scale of it. The vastness of the place just fills you with excitement and appreciate it even more. 




Thankfully the fort is maintained properly. Once inside there are several palaces of different kings you can visit such as Man Mandi, Karan Mahal, Vikas Mahal, Jahangir Mahal etc. Each of these palaces is a vast and a beautiful piece of work in itself. There is a water reservoir also inside the premise which used to serve ...of course the water need of all the palaces. From the boundary of the fort you can have a bird's eye view of the Gwalior city. Lot of pics incoming so keep scrolling..(slowly)
































   When you enter such a place, it takes you back in time making you think like one of them. What must have been the purpose of a particular building, the window with a strategic view. I started thinking how the kings must be taking a walk inspecting the the whole palace, or it was a perfect place to chill too hahah.

                          Shout out to the beautiful weather on this day which made my experience even more wonderful. I mean the sound of the cool breeze flowing through green grass all over courtesy the monsoon. It was just a perfect setting for a period drama to be shot literally. I couldn't be more happier today. There is another archaeological museum inside the fort but you can actually avoid it if you have already visited the Gujari Mahal one, trust me you won't miss a thing as it has more or less similar work like the first museum. 

After you are done with the fort and palaces, you can continue walking further towards the gurdwara and sit down for some refreshments and also to get some rest as by now I had walked a lot.

                        (Don't even think of coming to visit the fort in your sandals, shoes are a must). This is also the place where you can purchase the tickets for the light and sound show which starts at 7:30pm. Another advise, you can definitely avoid it as I'm telling you from experience. It was a waste of money 128rs. From here you can choose to walk (suggested) or take the e-rickshaw to move further. There were few more attractions lying ahead on the way and I decided to walk.

Well this post is turning out to be longer than expected and I don't want you to scroll till your fingers burn just in a single post. I already cut down on posting the pics but I think its best to upload the rest of the story in a separate post. I will also update on the expenses and summary in the part-II of the Gwalior post
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