Welcome to Gwalior … A modern and vibrant city, resplendent in its ancient glory and splendor. The city is named after Gwalipa, the saint who treated the king Suraj Sen, from chronic illness with the water of Suraj Kund, and the pond, which still can be seen within the Gwalior fort. The legend goes that Suraj Sen, the Rajput chieftain who was hunting in the hills and forests around Gwalior was hopelessly lost and terribly thirsty. Suraj Sen came across the sage Gwalipa who directed him to a pool, which would quench his parched throat. After drinking the cool, healing waters of this 'kund', Suraj Sen was cured of long time ailment leprosy. In utter gratitude, according to Gwalipa's wishes, he built a tank and a fort on the site and named the city after this great sage.
Subsequently, the Rajputs constructed palaces and temples in the precincts of the fort of which the Sas Bahu ka Mandir and Teli ka Mandir are fine examples. For a brief period Gwalior stood witness to Turkish invasion and tragic Rajput defeats. The city faced sieges by Mehmood Ghazni and other Muslim kings. However, the Rajputs, fierce and resilient people, did not lose much time in reconquering a lost treasure, and with the establishment of Tomar dynasty, Gwalior was on the threshold of a great and glorious era. Then came to power the last dynasty to rule Gwalior before the post Independence era-the Marathas, under Mahadji Scindia. In between, the fort passed briefly into the hands of the British, Lakshmibai of Jhansi and Tatiya Tope. Soon enough the Scindias restored Gwalior to its former glory.
The most famous of Tomar Kings was Raja Man Singh. During his reign Gwalior saw a flowering of Indian classical music and art. The exquisite 'Man Mandir' , Palace of Dreams, was built during his time. Tansen, one of Akbar’s 'nine jewels' lies buried in the heart of the city, and his tomb is a splendid example of early Mughal architecture. Jai Vilas Palace , current residence of the Scindia family, houses the Scindia Museum. Jai Vilas is an Italianate structure, which combines the Tuscan and Corinthian architectural modes. The imposing Darbar Hall has two central chandeliers, weighing a couple of tonne's, and hung only after ten elephants had tested the strength of the roof.
The late Madho Rao Scindia, the architect of modern Gwalior made it one of the best-administered former princely states. The entire city is a visual and aesthetic feast as the builders of Gwalior were great architects. One of the main tourist attractions is the Surya Mandir , a replica of the Sun temple at Konark.
Another landmark in the city is the historic Gurudwara Data Bandhi Chhod built in the memory of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the 6th Sikh Guru who was imprisoned here by Jehangir for over two years. Close to the Gurudwara, is the reputed Scindia School, grooming young minds in an ascetic and serene environment.