Family Travel India Madhya Pradesh

Sublime Temples Of Gwalior Fort – Blend Of Antiquity & Divinity!

Gwalior Fort is much more than just a fort! It’s enormous and impregnable. It’s beyond your stretch of imagination. It has many palaces, baolis, temples and much more. Let’s explore gorgeous temples of Gwalior Fort!

While you make your way towards the glorious historic temples of Gwalior fort; they razzle-dazzle your senses. The carvings, the avenues and everything that you witness here imprisons a grandeur and as one looks intensely, each and every stone breathes a story.

You can either take your car up through Urwahi Gate or walk up ( I would recommend you to walk) if time is not an issue. It’s not too rough a climb and you can have a glimpse of stunning terrains on your way up.

Jain Shrines

Halfway on the hills of the fort on either side of Urwahi road, there are many huge rock-cut Jain statues to discover. They represent the Jain Tirthankaras. The largest statue (approx. 17 meters in height) is an imposing figure of Parshvanath seated on a lotus. These sculptures are slightly way down into the arboraceous valley called the Urwahi valley. You can take steps leading down to get a good perspective of them. The pathways are alive with huge lovely Jain sculptures which move you with their poised touch of godliness. These sculptures are speculated to be carved during the 15th century under the aegis of a Tomar king. However, some of them are thought to be possibly dated around the 7th century. Damages are apparent and again Mughals are to be blamed for their irreverent act of vandalism on the temple.

Rock-cut statues of Jain Tirthankaras (Teaching Gods) carved in Gopachal Hill

Saas-Bahu Mandir

We moved to Saas-Bahu Mandir, later in the day. The temple was constructed by King Mahipala of the Kachchhwaha dynasty. The pair of temples made entirely of sandstone looks awesome! Sheer architectural brilliance, I must say! Both the temples are located adjoining each other and are more or less analogous. It feels as if divinity and spirit of God live in these beautiful temples. The temple was built around the 9th century. Its name is derived from Sahastra-Bahu, another name of the โ€˜thousand-armedโ€™ Lord Vishnu.

These temples too were misconducted by the Mughals. Britishers gave new life to the temples.

Saas-Bahu Larger Temple

As per the folklore, the wife of the King was a devotee of Lord Vishnu while her daughter-in-law worshipped Lord Shiva. Thus, ultimately two temples were built, one after the another. The Large temple is intricately adorned with exquisite carvings and sculptures of the deity and the roof is decorated with beautiful lotus carving.

Saas-Bahu small temple
The picturesque view of Gwalior fort and city from Saas-Bahu Temple.

Teli Ka Mandir

Another architectural marvel is a rock carved temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Teli ka Mandir was built around the 9th century and is supposed to have been made by the Teli community (oil traders). The temple is unique because of its Dravidian and Buddhist architectural style, especially the domed roof. It is decorated with sculptures from Hinduism. I spent quite some time admiring the details of the carvings.

Teli ka mandir

Chaturbhuj Temple

When you walk down the path from Man-Mandir Palace to about halfway towards the Gwalior gate, there’s a small temple called Chaturbhuj Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple has an inscription in the ancient language near the deity. This stone inscription includes the first ever recorded description of zero (around 7th century). So, mathematicians also call it a Temple of Zero.

Surya Mandir

The Surya Mandir is the recent addition to the temples of Gwalior Fort. It was built in 1988 by G.D Birla. It has been inspired by the Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa. The temple is adorned with a lovely sculpture of Lord Surya. I couldnโ€™t help but adore the spellbinding architecture!

Surya Mandir

Most of the time, we visit temples and really don’t bother to know the stories behind them but this trip was unlike that. I auscultate the sounds of past these places are still breathing.

I really had no idea that Gwalior would leave me awe-struck. I stood in silent awe, too amazed to say anything. We ended our day with a sense of delight.

Visiting these gems made me wonder why people always dream about sojourning foreign destinations when such ethereal places are hidden in our own backyard. Truly, Incredible India!

After all, the past is our only real guide to the future, and historical analogies are instruments for distilling and organising the past and converting it to a map by which we can navigate.

~ Michael Mandelbaum

So, go explore the past to understand the future!

Anjali Chawla
Anjali Chawla
Reader. Writer. Blogger. Traveller. Learner.

32 thoughts on “Sublime Temples Of Gwalior Fort – Blend Of Antiquity & Divinity!”

  1. Reading through your post makes me want to go pack my bags and travel. The temples you featured here reminded me of Chiang Rai in Thailand and even Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It’s so amazing how architectural similarities have spread across this region in Asia. Wish I could travel again soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Great travels you’ve made here. I am also fond of travelling and these exotic destinations with the quaint mountains and culture is just fantastic. Amazing! I should visit Gwalior Fort one day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Wow! It makes me sad that I haven’t explored much of India, very few cities. ๐Ÿ™ When I was young, I would only like to go to my grandparents during holidays hence couldn’t plan to go anywhere else. Now, whenever we come to India, all the time is up with family. Thanks for sharing this post and all the information. I hope to visit someday. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks, Aditi! I know, It gets difficult to plan for other things when you make a short visit to your home country because of family commitments. And, obviously they are rightful in their own way. Hope you visit Gwalior someday with your family members in India ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Gwalior is adorned with beautiful, ancient architecture and sculpture. Loved the story of Saas-bahu temple and also the view of fort with this temple is really splendid.

  5. Wow! I havenโ€™t explored much of India, very few cities. ๐Ÿ™ This post is an inspiration to travel a lot, learn and explore. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yeah, true. One of the reason that I love this platform where we share our travels is that we get to know so much about the culture, history and people of different countries through others’ experiences. Thank you so much for dropping by. I appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you for dropping by, Veethee. True, Gwalior fort is certainly โ€œThe pearl amongst fortresses in Indiaโ€ and one time isn’t enough to explore all its glory. I too would love to visit again whenever I get a chance.

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