Known as the “heart of India,” Madhya Pradesh has been through the heart of history, with some of the most magniﬁcent structures still standing as proof of a time gone by. Here are some of the best forts to visit in Madhya Pradesh
Located in central India, Madhya Pradesh is also known as the “Heart of India.” The remarkable land of Madhya Pradesh has been an active part of the history of India. The region was ruled by major Indian dynasties, such as Gurjar, Pratihara, Mauryans and Gupta Empire, Harshavardhana, the Rajput kings of Paramara, Chandelas, Bundela, Tomaras, and the Mughals and later by the Marathas.
Ujjain was the major commercial centre of the first century. Today the state is a hub for tourists, looking to understand and soak-in the country’s magnificent history. Its temples and forts display some of India’s finest stone sculptures and architectures, so let us take a look at some of the age old forts and palaces of the magnificent state of Madhya Pradesh.
The Gwalior Fort in Gwalior is a fantastic Vindhyan sandstone structure, built in the 8th century. It consists of two main palaces, namely, Gujari Mahal and Man Mandir built by Man Singh Tomar. It is recorded that the Gurjari Mahal was built for Queen Mrignayani.
A small river, the Swarnrekha flows close to the palace. The fort was ruled by numerous rulers, namely, the Pal Dynasty, Gurjara-Pratihara Dynasty, Tomar rulers, QutubuddinAibak, Suri dynasty, Maratha Rulers, and Raizada Rulers. There are eleven Jain Temples inside the Gwalior Fort, which are dedicated to the Tirthankaras. There is also a temple of Garuda, dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
This beautiful old palace is situated by the museum near Chhatri of Rani Laxmi Bai. The Mahal or palace was built by Srimant Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia in 1827. The palace housed an auditorium which was used as an assembly hall of Madhya Pradesh during the Scindia regime. Here one can find painting adorning the walls of the Ragmala Hall, most of these paintings depict Dusshera festival, which is celebrated by Scindia family, the paintings also include beautiful depiction of Radha-Krishna.
Located in Vijayraghavgarh in Katni district, the fort was built in the first half of the 19th century by King Prayag Das of VijayraghavgarhRiyasat. Its walls and ceilings are beautifully decorated with colourful paintings. The architecture of the fort is plain and without decoration, but it consists of old square columns, door frame, and round column of ruined temples. Here one can find an inscription of 10th-11th century in the verandah of Kachahari Mahal, which belongs to the Kalchuri period.
Located in Orchha, the Jahangir Mahal or Orchha Palace is the Citadel of Jahangir. One of the finest examples of Mughal architecture, the palace was established back in the 17th century A.D. It is said that the ruler of the region, Vir Singh Deo built the majestic structure in a warm gesture towards the Mughal Emperor Jahangir during his first visit to the city.
The palace domes were built in accordance to Timurid customs, while the brackets of the palace show the wavy style of Jain architecture. The main doors of the palace are located in the east-facing side, and are high and wide, that gives the feeling of a grand entrance.
Maheshwar Fort is a heritage building embedded in history, and was constructed by a queen revered for her bravery and valour, Ahilya Bai Holkar. The fort served as the residence of the Queen throughout her rule, stretching through three decades, and its majestic architecture is a sight to behold.
Indeed, the fort itself serves as a reminder to the people of their Queen, blessing them and watching over them. The massive fort has now been converted into a four-star hotel, along with luxury rooms for tourists who visit Maheshwar and its adjoining destinations.
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