Petra | Jordan. A rose-red city half as old as time
San Vicente | Palawan. Counting solitary strides.
Taj Mahal | India. A teardrop on the cheek of time
Catanduanes Island. Postcard-pretty slideshow.
Keep Kalm (at Kalanggaman Island | Leyte).
Nikko | Japan. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil in this UNESCO heritage town.
Counting temples in Bagan | Myanmar.
Chasing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.
Where to Stay? | Luxury, Backpacking & Glamping
Inaul Festival | Maguindanao. In homage of a weaving tradition
Rishikesh | India. a morning walk inside the Beatle's Ashram
Cairo | Egypt. a surreal moment at the great pyramids of giza

Glorious Gwalior Fort Up-Close | Madhya Pradesh, India

 

As I was letting every second of being awed linger gratifyingly, I fixated my thoughts on the massive walls of Gwalior Fort. I started wondering about the stories of resilient kingdoms and bloody battles it conceals. Like peeling off layers of a paint, I survey the colossal architectural grandeur of the 8th century structure before me and briefly imagined being transported in time.


Jeni Cabacungan

As if voicing out aloud what's in my head, I hear our tour guide narrating how the Fort changed hands during its height of significance. "The fort has seen several changes, throughout its history. It came under the rule of the Rajput, then the Mughals, the Mamluks, the Huns and the Akbars, Suris, Marathas and even the British".


Koryn Iledan

If only the walls of Gwalior Fort could talk, it would reverberate with never-ending battle cries, yells of triumph and cries of defeat. The sheer amount of history it has witnessed fills every inch of its 3 square kilometer area.


alyanna bromeo

Originating from a smaller fort first constructed strategically atop Gopachal Hill by a local king Suraj Sen in the 3rd century, the bigger portion of the fort were constructed beginning as early as the 6th century according to inscriptions found inside detailing a sun temple built during the reign of Mihirakula—who ruled Central India from 502-530.


Marky Ramone Go

While the outer walls appear like a painting due to the varying intricate designs, the fort also houses various temples and palaces adorned with diverse architectural styles—thanks to the sundry tastes of a list of rulers who lorded over the fort.


Entering a Time Capsule


After a pleasing time regaling at the picturesque outer walls of the fort, we gingerly walked behind one of the mammoth gates—and instantly—as if hurtling our group inside a time machine to the past. A fascinating set of architectural-marvels greeted us: intricately carved walls, giant stonewashed doors and moss-covered ceilings, all super-sized to fit the spacious fort grounds, combined for a hodgepodge of painterly details.


Levy Amosin


Likening the mood to the ones I’ve had visiting other forts in India—especially in the state of Rajasthan—which is falling into some sort of historical envisioning, I darted my mind to the time when  Babur, the founder of the mighty Mughal empire, captured the fort only to lose it to the Hindu General Hemu and having his grandson Akbar recapturing it many years later.


Desa Tayting

Mirroring the Taj Mahal in Agra, Gwalior Fort is also a setting to some of the Mughal empire’s infamous events.  It was here where Aurangzeb (remember him? the one who jailed his father Shah Jahan—builder of The Taj Mahal—in Agra Fort) had his brother Murad and nephews Sepher and Suleman executed.


Towering Carved Jain Monuments


After bidding goodbyes with my fellow travel writers and the staff from Madhya Pradesh Tourism Office (as part of the post-Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart FamTrip), I opted to extend my stay in Gwalior for a couple of days. I took advantage of my alone time by going back to the Fort. This time, I made my way to the 300-feet Gopachal Hill on foot.


Marky Ramone Go


On my way up on the side of the steep curving road heading to Gwalior Fort, I saw the 7th century rock-cut Gopachal Parvat Jain Monuments. Spanning hundreds of meters, these boulder-carved shrines were built from the 7th century until the 15th century.


Hanica Jane Pacis


Regaling at the intricate details of each statues gave me and opportunity to rest as well, so I milked every delightful details of every statues until my interest was piqued by the deities of the Jain Tirthankaras—said to be the spiritual teachers of the “dharma way” or the “righteous path”—which are presented in a seated Padmasana and a standing Kayotsarga postures.


A few hundred meters away, another series of carved monuments can be seen including the 57 feet image of Adinatha (another famous Tirthankara).


Vangie Montalbo

As I arrived back on the top of the hill just a stone-throw away from the thick walls of Gwalior Fort, I sat on a ridge and stared at the view of the city below. I imagined being one of the watchmen during one of the bloody wars of many centuries ago. Just when I was starting to picture in my head the deathly spears flying in the air, a flock of doves flew by on top of me and a group of young students alighted out of their bus.


Marky Ramone Go

I delighted at the thought that a new group of people—especially them young ones—will have their turn in learning the many enthralling stories hidden inside the thick walls of Gwalior Fort.