Maharajas' Express Blog

Gwalior, a Royal Capital

gwl“The medieval hilltop at Gwalior has been described by the Mughul Emperor Babur as the pearl amongst fortresses The city also houses the Jai Vilas palace , the historic seat of the Scindhias , one of the countrys most celebrated and revered families.

Legend has it that the hermit Gwalipa cured the Rajput chieftain Suraj Sen, of leprosy using water from Suraj Kund tank (which still remains in Gwalior fort). He renamed the chieftain Suhan Pal and predicted that Suhans descendants would remain in power as long they retained the name Pal. History tells us that his next 83 descendants did just that, but number 84 changed his name to Tej Karan and, as foreshadowed, lost his kingdom.

The Tomar dynasty came to power in 1398. It saw efflorescence under Raja Man Singh 1486-1516 who is remembered for his love of music and architecture. Ibrahim Lodhi succeeded by capturing the fort after his death. Gwalior saw two centuries of Mughul rule after being captured by the Marathas in 1754.

Finally the fort fell to the British who honoured the Marathas with a 21 Gun Salute among five noble clans. In the Indian Uprising in 1857, Maharaja Jayajirao remained loyal to the British but his troops rebelled. In 1858 the fort was the scene of some final dramatic events of the whole uprising. The rebel leader Tantia Topi, was defeated by the British In a dramatic turn of events, the Rani of Jhansi was killed by a final assault on the fort.

An ancient royal capital, Gwalior celebrates not only its kings but also its poets, singers and saints with pride. Every monument of its historical and cultural heritage is preserved with care.

The Indian panorama itinerary of the Maharajas’ Express incorporates a visit to the royal capital Gwalior. The expeditions are scheduled after lunch. There are visits to the Gwalior Fort, Saas Bahu temple and Jain cave sculptures. The optional activity is to avail of the spa facilities at the Usha Kiran Palace. In the evening there is a visit scheduled to Jai Vilas museum. The Jai Vilas Palace Museum will be followed by a return to the luxury train of India “the Maharajas’ Express.”