rock india palace
GWALIOR, the capital of Gwalior state, and fortress residence of the Maharaja, Sindhia, is situated in 26° 13' N. lat. and 78° 12' E. long., 65 miles S. from Agra, and 277 N.W. of Allahabad. Gwalior city has a threefold interest : - first, as a very ancient seat of Jain worship ; capital of one of the greatest- native chiefs of India.
J.zin Remains. - There are several remarkable Hindu temples in Gwalior. One, known as the Sas Balm, understood to be of Jain erection, is beautifully adorned with bas-reliefs, and is now resorted to both by the Vaishnav and Siva sects. It was finished in 1093 A. D., and, though much dilapidated, still forms a most picturesque fragment. An older Jain temple has been used as a mosque. Another temple in the fortress of Gwalior is called the Tell-IcaHamlin or " Oilman's Temple." This building was originally dedicated to Vishnu, but afterwards converted to the worship of Siva. The most striking part of the Jain remains at Gwalior is a series of caves or rock-cut sculptures, excavated in the rock on all sides, and numbering nearly a hundred, great and small. Most of them are mere niches to contain statues, though some are cells that may have been originally intended for residences. One curious fact regarding them is that, according to inscriptions, they were all excavated within the short period of about thirty-three years, between 1441 and 1474. Some of the figures are of colossal size ; one, for instance, is 57 feet high, which is taller than any other in the north of India.
Hindu Palace Architecture. - The palace built by Man Sinh (14861516) forms the most interesting example of early Hindu work of its class in India. Another palace of even greater extent was added to this one in 1516 ; both Jahaugir and Shah Jahan added palaces to these two, - the whole making a group of edifices unequalled for picturesqueness and interest by anything of their class in Central India. Among the apartments in the palace was the celebrated chamber, named the Baraclari, supported on 12 columns, and 45 feet square, with a stone roof, forming one of the most beautiful palace-halls in the world. It was, besides, singularly interesting from the expedients to which the Hindu architect was forced to resort to imitate the vaults of the Moslems. Of the buildings, however, which so excited the admiration of the emperor Bihar, probably little now remains.
Rock Fortress. - The fort of Gwalior stands on an isolated rock. The face of the fort is perpendicular, and where the rock is naturally less precipitous it has been scarped. Its greatest length from northeast to south-west is a mile and a half, and the greatest breadth 300 yards. The rock attains its maximum height of 342 feet at the northern end. A rampart, accessible by a steep road, and farther up by huge steps cut out of the rock, surrounds the fort, The citadel stands at the north-eastern corner of the enclosure, and presents a very picturesque appearance. The old town of Gwalior, which is of considerable size, but irregularly built, and extremely dirty, lies at the eastern base of the rock. it contains the tomb of Muhammad Ghaus, which was erected during the early part of Akbar's reign. The fort of Gwalior, according to Wilford, was built in 773 A.D. by Surya Sen, the raja of the neighbouring country. In 1196 Gwalior was captured by Mahnuid Mori ; it then passed into the hands of several chiefs until in 1556 Akbar gained possession of it, and made it a state prison for captives of rank. On the dismemberment of the Delhi empire, Gwalior was seized by the Jilt Tina of Gohad. Subsequently it was garrisoned by Sindhia, from whom it was wrested in 1780 by the forces of the East India Company. A contest took place about the successor of Janakji, governor of Gwalior, the adopted son of Daulat Rao Sindhia, who died in 1843 without an heir. A revolution was impending, and the British Government had to interfere. Troops crossed the Chambal, and unexpectedly found the insurgent forces drawn up at Maharajpur, a few miles distant from the fortress. A battle ensued on the 29th December 1843, resulting in the complete overthrow of the Marhattas. The British contingent stationed in the town was increased, and affairs were placed on a peaceful footing.