Gwalior is a city with a dramatic , colourful history that goes back over a millennia. Its legendary beginning stems from a meeting between a warrior called Suraj Sen and a hermit , Gwalipa, who lived on the hilltop where the fort stands. It is said the hermit cured Suraj Sen of an incurable disease, who as gesture of gratitude founded Gwalior.It is famous for its fort and Museums.
The city is steeped in the splendour of its past.Gwalior became the cradle of great dynasties and each of them - Prathiharass, Tomars and Kachwahas - have left indelible etchings of their rule in the city. The magnificent momentoes of a glorious past have been preserved with care, giving Gwalior an appeal unique and timeless. Places of interest are the Gwalior Fort - the city's most magnificent monument, Suraj Kund, Sas Ba hu Ki Mandir- dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Tansen's tomb, Sun Temple and Museum.The imposing Gwalior fort, built by Raja Mansingh Tomar dominates the city. The fort hill rises to 100mts to 200 mts with solid fort walls which sorround almost the entire hilltop.
the fort has been the silent spectactor to many great dynasties
Ujjain is situated on the right bank of River Shipra. It is a very holy city for the Hindus, a site for the triennial Kumbh Mela. According to Hindu scriptures, it was originally called Avantika.There is an intresting tale behind the sanctity of the city. Its origin is ascribed to the mythological legend of the Sagar Manthan (churning of the primordial ocean to discover the pot of nectar ).The story goes that after nectar was discovered , there was a chase between the gods and the demons to have nectar first and thus attain immortality .During the chase a drop of nectar spilled and fell on Ujjain, thus making the city sacred.today Ujjain represents an intresting blend of an old age legacy and the mordern day lifestyle.Places of Interest are the Mahakaleshwara Temple, the temple of Lord Shiva with its Lingam is one of the 12 Jyotirlangas in India.,then there is Bade Ganeshji ka Mandir, Chintamani Ganesh Temple, Bhartihar Caves, Harsiddhi temple.
The Observatory of Ujjain is also important place built in 17th century, it has a planetarium and a Telescope.
Sanchi the world most important centre of Buddhist art. is known for Stupas, Monastries,Temples and Pillars dating from 3rd century BC to the12th century AD. The most famous of these monuments is the Sanchi stupa orginally built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka himslef in the 3rd century B.C.The geat Stupa - a severe grey brown hemisphere of massive proportions- it is 106 ft. in diameter , and rises to hieghtof 42 ft. It shows the 4 great moments of Buddha's life nativity, Enlightment, First Sermon and death of Nirvana. The Gupta temple built seven centuries later is one of the earliest specimens of temple architecture.
Khajuraho - about 200 kms from Jhansi is in a wilderness and not really enroute to anywhere or from anywhere, you should not miss the beautiful, ornate temples built by the chandelas in the 10th and 11th centuries.
The temples have survived precisely because of their isolation at a site where there is neither a town or an industry. The Chandelas ruled for five centuries and the 85 Khajuraho temples out of which only 22 have survived were the outpourings of their creative genius over a hundred years period.The temples were constructed from 950 AD to 1050 AD and are in three distinct groups.The main temples are Kandriya Mahadeo, Chitragupta, Parsvanath, and the Ghantai. These temples have been designed and carved to lead the eyes from ground level upward till you seem to be looking at heaven. The world at large identifies the Khajuraho temples as sensuous and erotic sculptures. But they are more than just that, Life in every mood has been captured in stone, testifying not only to the craftman's artistry but also to the extraordinary breadth of vision of the Chandela Rajputs.
BHANDAVGARH NATIONAL PARK:
Bhandavgarh National Park is a small compact yet full of game spread over 448 Sq. Kms is situated among outlying hills of the Vindhyen hill ranges.
It is one of the most recently declared reserve under India's most successful conservation project called "Project Tiger". Formerly a royal hunting reserve of the princely state of Rewa where the first white tiger in the wild was ever found, the Bhandavgarh National Park abounds in many of India's rare and endangered animals. There are about 22 species of Birds including the Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox, Striped Hyena, Leapord and Tiger. The park is dominated by majestic Bandhavgarh fort ( 14 th century) and is dotted with archaeological remains of Kalchuri period.
KANHA SAL AND BAMBOO FOREST:
Kanha Sal and Bamboo forest, rolling grasslands and meandering streams strech over 940 sq. km is dramatic natural splendour. It is renowned for its population of tigers, Kanha National Park provided excellent opportunities for observing these magnificent animals in the wild. Kanha National Park was chosen in 1973 as one of 9 Tiger reserves throughout India to become a vital part of Project Tiger.One can find sambhar, barking deer, baur and four horned antelope in the park. Less commonly seen species are Indian hare, Indian fox, sloth bear, stripped hyena, jungle cat, panther and wolf etc.
Aurangabad is a city named after Emperor Aurangzeb, the last of the great Moghul Emperor's Aurangabad offers an exciting mix of Buddhist and Muslim places of interest. It is also a convenient point for visiting the Ajanta and Ellora caves. Places of interest are the 12 Aurangzeb caves belonging to the Buddhist Era built between the 3rd and 11th Centuries, Bibi ka Maqbara , a mausoleum resembling the Taj Mahal Built in 1660. The historyMuseum of Marathwada University includes excavations dating to the Satavadhana dynasty. Ajanta - Ajanta caves renowned chiefly for their magnificient wall paintings and frescoes - depicting scenes from the life of Buddha. The caves consist mainly of Buddhist caves Temples and Monastries cut into the Rock, dating from 200 BC to 650 AD. Ellora - Ellora caves - A great and unique achievement in cave architecture and sculpture which demonstrates this peaceful co existence of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Rajgir was an ancient capital of King Bimbasara.Lord Buddha preached at Rajgir- the hills here are adorned with a large number of Buddhist monuments including stupas and the forts. Girdha Kuta is a hermitage of Buddha
Nalanda was an intellectual centre for Buddhism for about 700 yrs. The Nalanda university , once housed 10,000 monks and students. There is an array of monastries on the east and the row of temples in the west. Nearby is the museum which has intresting collection of antiquities recovered from this site.
Patna is capital city of state of Bihar.Patna or the ancient Patliputra was Kings Ashok's capital more then 25 centuries ago.The city stretches 8 miles along the holy river Ganges. The places of interest are city museum which houses interesting collection of metal and stone sculptures of 3rd century B.C. as well as terracotta figures and the archaelogical finds from sites in Bihar such as Nalanda.Patna reflects intrestings mix of cultures and is an important centre of development in India.
Mandu the 'City of Joy' includes the deserted Hill top fort which has the innumerable stories of the love of King Baz Bahadur, for his consort Rani Rupmati- palaces , baths and pavillions, each an archietuctural gem in the Afghan style.The stories can be heard from the inhabitants of the city of Mandu. Near to Mandu are intricately carved Jain Caves and temples at Omkareshwar and Maheshwar.