The historical city of Gwalior unveils a legacy that remains unparalleled in the pages of history. Home to architectural marvels like Scindia Museum, Gujari Mahal and Gwalior Fort, everything about Gwalior is steeped in history. The city of Gwalior has stood strongly against the vicissitudes of power play and has served as the seat of power and wealth at one time. Being the land of Tomars and Scindias, much of the history of this place is dominated by the chronicles of the regal dynasties. Admired for its outstanding temples, beautiful palaces and glorious past, the city is truly a treasure trove of regal splendor. The massive Gwalior fort, which is popularly described as the ‘pearl in the necklace of the castles of Hind’, elaborates the grandeur of the city. To know more about this city, take a look at the history of Gwalior. The article below will help you unearth the historical events that left an indelible impression on the heart of the city.
Origin Of The City
According to a legend, a prince named Suraj Sen of Kachhwaha clan lost his way while hunting in the forest. Wandering through the forest, he reached a hill where he met an old sage called Gwalipa. Worn-out and hungry, the prince asked for some water to drink. The sage took him to a nearby pond and on drinking the water of the pond, the deadly leprosy disease from which Suraj Sen was suffering was completely cured. Overjoyed, Suraj Sen desired to give something to the sage in return as a token of appreciation. The sage accepted his offer and asked him to fortify the hill in order to protect other sages from the wild animals. Subsequently, Suraj Sen established a fort that was named Gwalior in the memory of sage Gwalipa. Thus, form this glorious fort the city got its name of Gwalior.
The legendary history of Gwalior relates the saga of royal past, spectacular monuments and glorious relics. The cave paintings and artifacts belonging to Iron and Stone Age portray the ancient connection to the oldest civilization of the land. This princely city has served as home to dynasties like Kachhwaha Rajputs, Tughlaq dynasty, Slave dynasty, Tomar dynasty, the Mughals and even British. The first noted dynasty of the city, the Kachhwaha Rajputs, remained in power for many decades. Finally, in 1394, the Tomar dynasty established its rule. However, due to continuous clashes with neighboring states, the Tomars lost their land to Moghuls. Over the next few decades, the city was ruled by several other dynasties including the Scindias and British.
The 1857 revolt of Gwalior acted as the first bloodiest war against British in India. To escape from the hands of British, Rani Lakshmi Bai, the legendary queen of Jhansi, sought shelter at Gwalior fort. Not willing to lose his fort, Maharaja Jayajirao remained loyal to British but his soldiers rebelled against British in respect for Rani and fought boldly against the British army. During this dramatic event, the supreme force of British killed Lakshmi Bai and the rebel leader Tantia Topi was hanged and Rao Sahib escaped. After this episode, the Gwalior fort and the city was captured by the British.
Spectacular Growth After Independence
After independence, Gwalior along with major cities like Indore, Malwa and other small provinces formed a new state called Madhya Bharat. The present day Madhya Pradesh was formed by conciliating Madhya Bharat, Bhopal, Vindhya and Maha Kosal. Today, the fort city Gwalior is known for its business expertise. The cloth mills and industries of the terrain are admired for their fine work. Apart from the industrial growth, the city has made spectacular progress in educational background by housing some of the prestigious institutes in the country.