Gwalior is a historical and major city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is south of Delhi the capital city of India, Gwalior occupies a strategic location in the Gird region of India, and the city and its fortress has been ruled under several historic northern Indian kingdoms. From the Tomars in the 13th century, it passed to the Mughals, then the Marathas under the Scindias (1754).
Besides being the administrative headquarters of Gwalior district and Gwalior division, Gwalior situates many administrative offices of Chambal Division of northern Madhya Pradesh. Several administrative and judicial organizations, commissions and boards have their state as well as national headquarters situated in the city. Gwalior was the winter capital of the estwhile state Madhya Bharat which later became a part of the larger state Madhya Pradesh. Before Independence Gwalior remained a princely state of British Raj with Scindias as the local ruler. The high rocky hills surrounds the city from all sides, on the north it just forms the border of the Ganga- Yamuna Drainage Basin.the city however is situated on the valley between the hills of Plateau. Gwalior's metropolitan area includes Lashkar Subcity, Morar Subcity, Thatipur and the City center.
The city has made a rich contribution to the history of India. From the vedic ages to the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the British Raj, Gwalior has emerged as a prominent place making it an important archaeological as well as historical site. The rich heritage of art and culture and especially contribution of Gwalior to the classical music is worth mentioning.
Post independence, Gwalior has emerged as an important tourist attraction in central India as well as many industries and administrative offices came up within the city. Before the end of the 20th century it became a million plus agglomeration and now it is a metropolitan city in central India. Gwalior is surrounded by industrial and commercial zones of neighbouring districts (Malanpur – Bhind, Banmor – Morena) on all three main directions. Gwalior is one of the largest cities of Central India and is often referred to as the tourist capital of Madhya Pradesh; the state being called as The Heart of Incredible India.
A recent report of World Health Organization found Gwalior to be the third-most polluted city in the world.
After being founded by Maharaj Suraj Sen, Gwalior Fort saw many many different rulers capturing it and ruling the city around it.Gwalior became a prominent place for religious practices, cultures and other disciplines coming up during that time in the country. .During 6th century BC Gwalior was ruled by the Naad dynasty of Pataliputra. During the first century AD Gwalior came under Naag Dynasty. From the carving found at Pavaya it has been discovered that the kushanas ruled the city till the 3rd century AD. After that it came under the Guptas till 467 AD. During the 5th century, The Kannauj of Pratihara Dynasty ruled Gwalior and played a prominent role in shaping its history. From 700–740 AD Gwalior (fondly called then as Gopal Giri) became the capital of Kannauj. A Magnificent Sun Temple was created at the fort hill during that period which later was destroyed.
Later Kachwaha became the rulers of Gwalior. The Padavali Group of Monuments near Morena, Sahastrabahu Temple at the Fort, Kankadmad, were built under their rule.
During 1195–96 Mahhamed Gauri invaded Gwalior and created a mass destruction with attempts to capture Gwalior. But he failed as the fort of Gwalior was unconquerable under the brave efforts of Parihars. In 1231 Itutmish captured Gwalior after an 11-month-long effort and from then till the 13th century it remained under Muslim Rule. In 1375, Raja Veer Singh was made the ruler of Gwalior and he founded the rule of the tomars in Gwalior. During those years, Gwalior saw its golden period.
The Jain Sculptures at Gwalior Fort were built during Tomar's rule Raja Man Singh made his dream palace the Maan Mandir Palace which is now the centre of attraction of Gwalior Fort. Babur described this Palace as a pearl in the necklace of forts in India and said that not even the winds could touch its masts.The daily Light and Sound Show tells about the beautiful history of the Gwalior Fort and Man Mandir Palace. Later during the 1730s the Scindia Captured Gwalior and it remain a princely state during the British Rule.
Ganesh temple at Gwalior Fort has the very first occurrence of zero as a written number in the world.By the 15th century, the city had a noted singing school which was attended by Tansen. Gwalior was ruled by the Mughals and then the Marathas.
Rebellion of 1857
Gwalior is also known for its participation in the 1857 rebellion, mainly due to Rani Lakshmibai's involvement. After Kalpi (Jhansi) fell into the hands of the British on 24May 1858, Lakshmibai sought shelter at Gwalior Fort. The Maharaja of Gwalior was not willing to give up his fort without a fight as he was a nominal ally of the British, but after negotiations, his troops capitulated and the rebels took possession of the fort. The British wasted no time in attacking Gercest, the bloodiest battle ever fought on Indian soil. Indian forces numbered around 20,000, and British forces around 1600. Lakshmibai's example is remembered to this day by Indian nationalists. She died fighting, and Gwalior was captured. Tatya Tope and Rao Sahib escaped. Tatya Tope was later captured and hanged in April 1859.