Ensconced in the heart of Madhya Pradesh, the royal city of Gwalior stands in stately splendour with a stunning hilltop fort and the resplendent Jai Vilas Palace. With a scattering of heritage structures, Gwalior is also the gateway to the wild heart of India, within which are hidden several dense forests and tiger reserves. Interestingly, Gwalior's history is rooted in a legend. It is said that in the 8th century, a local chief, Suraj Sen, fell ill and was in a critical condition when Gwalipa, a hermit cured him. In return, as a gesture of gratitude, Suraj Sen built a city and named it after the saint.

Famous for its grand fort situated dramatically on a hill, that was described by Mughal emperor Babur as “the pearl among fortresses in India”, the city of Gwalior is also known for its incomparable reputation in classical Indian music.

Gwalior holds an unparalleled reputation in sangeet, and has retained Indian traditions and the wealth of music intact over the years. The Gwalior Gharana is one of the oldest traditions and the one to which most classical Indian musicians can trace the origin of their style. Legendary musicians like Tansen and Baiju Bawara belonged to Gwalior.

Gwalior has been the power centre of a number of dynasties like Kachchhapaghatas, Tomars, Mughals, Marathas and Scindias. The city has witnessed several wars, among which the most famous is the fierce battle that took place between British and Indians under the leadership of Tatya Tope and Rani Lakshmi Bai, the queen of Jhansi, who was martyred here. Legends of Tatya Tope and Lakshmi Bai still abound in the folklores of the region.

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