The Fort of Gwalior has slumbered for long in silence. Now every night, famous incidents are re-enacted in a sound and light show. The Sound and Light show at the Man Mandir Palace of Gwalior Fort gives you a glimpse into the glorious past.
Taking you back in time to the legendary Suraj Sen, the Rajput chieftain who was hunting in the hills and forest, lost and thirsty, Suraj Sen came across the sage Gwalipa who directed him to a pool, which would quench his thirst. After drinking the cool, healing waters of this 'kund', Suraj Sen was cured of leprosy.
In gratitude, he built a tank and a fort on the site and named the city as Gwalior after this great sage.The Rajputs constructed palaces and temples inside the fort of which the Sas Bahu Ka Mandir and Teli Ka Mandir are fine examples. Locally available sandstone has been used. For a brief period in history Turks invaded Gwalior. Sieges by Mehmood of Ghaznavi and others have been realistically created. 'Jauhar' scenes where Rajput women immolate themselves are realistically depicted.
In the 14th century Tomars came to power in Gwalior and made the fort their seat of administration. For the next few centuries the fort was witness to numerous conflicts with the neighbouring states. The greatest Tomar King Raja Man Singh in a bid to win over the Gujar princes Mrignayani built the Gujari Mahal in the 15th century.
This palace has survived the time and the interior of the mahal has been converted into an archaeological museum. The Man Mandir Palace was also built by Raja Man Singh. The tiles that adorned the exteriors of the palace have not survived but the traces of its beauty still ramains. Rooms of the palace stand bare today are presenting a moot testimony to the past glory which was lost with the passage of time.
The intricate decorations in the rooms and the filigri work on the stone screens were once part of the music halls. Behind these screens the Royal ladies sat down and took lessons of music from the masters of those times.Below the palace are the dungeons were the prisoners spent their imprisonment. Aurangzeb imprisoned his brother Murad here and later executed him. Near the Man Mandir is the palace were the ladies performed Jauhar after the defeat of their husbands in war. The
Teli ka Mandir dates back to the 9th century. The roof of this structure is made in the Dravidian style but the decorations on walls are done in the Indo Aryan style. This strange combination of two architectural styles has been the main attraction for the visitors. The highest structure within the fort is the Garuda. Dedicated to the Pratihara Vishnu, the structure a blend of muslim and Indian architecture.
The oldest structure which survives today is the Sas Bahu ka Mandir which was constructed in 11th century by Kachchwah King, Mahipala.Gwalior Fort is one of India's most famous forts. It has withstood the onslaught of many warring dynasties, each of whom have left their traces in various monuments in and around the fort.
The sandstone fort, rising 300 ft. on a steep, flat topped hill, stands out in its grand isolation. As aptly described by Emperor Babur, 'the fort of Gwalior is like a pearl in the necklace among the palaces of India. The son-et lumiere show at the fort brings alive the rich historic traditions to the traveler. Indeed, it is one of the most spectacular shows in the country.The walls and caves inside the Gwalior Fort have intricately carved Jain sculptures.