APART FROM Gwalior Fort, A the main attraction for visitors to Gwalior is the opulent, Italianate Jai Vilas Palace, south of the fort, built for the maharaja of Gwalior by his architect, Colonel Sir Michael Filose, in the late 19th century. Still the residence of the former Scindia rulers, part of the palace has been turned into a museum. The most magnificent room is the Durbar Hall. Hanging from its ceiling are two of the world’s largest chandeliers, 13-m (43-ft) high and weighing 3 tonnes each. Before they were hung the strength of the roof was tested by having several elephants stand on it. Also on view is an extraordinary mechanical silver toy train that carried liqueurs around the maharaja’s dining table.
North of the fort is Gwalior’s old town, which has two interesting Islamic monuments – the 16th-century Tomb of Mohammed Ghaus, a Mughal nobleman, which has outstanding stone latticework screens; and the Tomb of Tansen, the famous singer who was one of the “nine jewels” of the Mughal emperor Akbar’s court
MAN MANDIR PALACE IN GWALIOR FORT
I nearly 3 km (2 miles) atop a 100-m (328-ft) high sandstone and basalt hill. Its formidable bastioned walls, 10-m (33-ft) high, enclose exquisite temples and palaces, the most spectacular of which is the Man Mandir Palace. Built between 1486 and 1516 by Raja Man Singh of the Tomar dynasty, this double-storeyed palace is regarded as one of the finest examples of Rajput secular architecture, embellished with superb stone carving and latticework. Brilliant blue, yellow and green tiles depicting parrots and peacocks, rows of ducks, elephants, banana trees and crocodiles holding lotus buds, decorate the Man Mandir’s façade.