Monday, April 3, 2017

Gwalior Fort - Part 1 - Man Mandir Palace

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Welcome to “This is India”.

Yesterday we took the train from Khajuraho back to Gwalior. While faster than driving, it’s still a 6 1/2 hour trip, so it was late afternoon / early evening before we got to our hotel in Gwalior. (I won’t mention the rat that ran into our train cabin as we left the Khajuraho station.)

The Gwalior Fort stretches for almost 3 km along the top of a 100 m high hill.

Today we had an excursion to the Gwalior Fort before catching our plane back to Mumbai. This time the plane was over four hours late -- and again, we didn’t know that until we got to the airport. The Gwalior terminal is bare-bones. Not a particularly pleasant place to spend an extra four hours. Fortunately, Air India  brought in snacks and water for the waiting passengers, since nothing is available in the terminal. So rather than having a free afternoon in Mumbai, we ended up with a late dinner in the hotel.

But at least we got to see Gwalior Fort.

The outside wall of Man Mandir Palace and the Gwalior Fort. At the far end is the Gujar Mahal built for the queen.
Man Mandir Palace is arguably the most important structure in the Fort. Built around 1500 CE, it was originally covered with colorful yellow, blue, and green tiles.
In addition to elephants (above), the tiles also illustrated tigers, ducks, and crocodiles.
The crocodile-and-lotus motif that bands the palace. In this section the colorful tiles have fallen off.
The Hathia Paur Gate is next to the palace.
One of two courtyards in the palace.
The second courtyard.
The palace extends two more floors below. They were originally built with fountains, baths, and resting areas for taking shelter during sieges. Later they were converted into dungeons.

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