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Gwalior Fort


Gwalior Fort


  • Gwalior Fort is a hill fort near Gwalior, central India. It consists of 2 main palaces, Man Mandir palace and Gurjari Mahal palace, constructed by Man Singh Tomar and a defensive structure. It is an 8th century hill fort. Over time, a number of different rulers controlled the fort. The Gurjari Mahal palace, constructed for Queen Mrignayani is now an archaeological museum.

Etymology

  • The name Gwalior is derived from among the Hindu words for saint, Gwalipa.

Topography

  • Gwalior Fort is constructed on an outcrop of Vindhyan sandstone on a steep, thin, long, rocky, solitary hill named Gopachal. Rock formation of the Gwalior range is basalt covered ochre coloured sandstone. There’s a horizontal strata, 104 metres at its peak (average width 910 metres and length 2.4 kilometres). The Swarnrekha, a small river flows near the palace.



Gwalior Fort



Man Singh Palace inside Gwalior Fort India


Rulers

  • Legend has it that ruler of the nearby Silhonia town, Suraj Sen Kachwaha, was on a hunting trip. He came to the hermit; Gwalipa presented healing water from the Surajkund reservoir to Suraj Sen Kachwaha. As a reward for the healing of leprosy, Suraj Sen Kachwaha founded Gwalior and named it after Gwalipa.

Pal dynasty of Kachawaha

  • Gwalior was ruled by the Pal dynasty of 86 kings for 989 years. It started with Budha Pal and ended with Suraj Pal. Tej Karan was Budha Pal's son. Tej Keran tied knot with the daughter of Ran Mul, ruler of Jaipur and got an invaluable dowry. Tej Keran was offered Jaipur and he made it his residence leaving Gwalior under Ram Deva Pratihar.

Gurjara-Pratihara Dynasty

  • At Gwalior, the Gurjara-Pratihar dynasty included Pramal Dev, Narsinh Dev, Shobhang Dev, Ratan Dev, Bikram Dev and Salam Dev.   

Turkic conquest

  • Mahmud of Ghazni attacked the fort in 1023 AD, but he did not succeed. The first Turkic sultan of Delhi, Qutubuddin Aibak, captured the fort in 1196. Turkic sultan of Delhi, Iltumish captured the fort in in 1231 AD.

Suri dynasty

  • Ibrahim Lodi captured the fort in 1519. After Ibrahim Lodi’s death, control passed to the Mughal ruler Babur. Humayun, Barber's son, was defeated by Sher Shah Suri. After Sher Shah Suri's death, his son, Islam Shah, shifted power from Delhi to Gwalior due to strategic reasons. Islam Shah died in 1553, Adil Shah Suri, appointed Hemu, the Hindu warrior as administrator of Gwalior. Hemu attacked Adil Shah Suri as well as others from 1553 to 1556.

Mughal dynasty

  • After capturing the fort, Akbar, the Mughal ruler converted it to a prison for political prisoners. For instance, Akbar's cousin, Kamran was executed at the fort. Murad, Aurangzeb's brother and nephews Sepher Shikoh and Suleman were also executed at the fort. The executions carried out in the Man Mandir palace.

Rana Jat dynasty

  • Between 1740 and 1783, the Jats of Gohad captured the fort on 3 occasions.

Maratha rule

  • The Scindia clan of the Maratha Empire established a garrison at the fort in 1779. However, it was captured by the East India Company. The fort was recovered by the Marathas under Mahadji Sinde in 1784. Between 1808 and 1844 many changes took place in the control of the fort between the British and the Scindias. After the battle of Maharajpur in January 1844, the fort was captured by the Marathas as territory of the British government.



Teli Ka Mandir Temple Gwalior Fort India