The Light & Sound Show in Gwalior Fort is a magnificent presentation of rich and glorious history of Gwalior Fort. It displays history, architecture, strategic significance and contribution to various cultural developments of Gwalior Fort. Gwalior Fort is a beautiful and majestic citadel. There is no certain information about the time of its architecture, a folk story is told about fort that about thousands years ago a local ruler named Suraj Sen had come here for hunting, he got thirsty, and in search of water he met a religious person. The religious man hit down the earth and stream of water emerged there. The hunter had not only drunken water but he took bath also in that water and resultantly his chronic skin disease got cured. Hunter wanted to do something in gratitude so he asked the religious man what he could do for him. The religious man said “nothing but you shift your capital to this place and make a fort on this place and be a famous ruler.”
The Light & Sound Show depicts gradual and continuous architectural development of Gwalior Fort over several centuries. Several dynasties like Pratihara, Tomar, Mughal and Marathas (Scindia) have ruled here. All diverse influences related to these dynasties are found in this fort. In 10th century, it was a part of Kannauj Empire. Thereafter, it came under the control of the Kachhwahas. The Muslim invaders kept attacking the Gwalior Fort since 11th century but in the end of 14th century, Tomar Rajputs had reclaimed it. Raja Man Singh Tomar has been the most illustrious ruler of Gwalior. The reign of Man Singh Tomar is considered as golden age of Gwalior Fort. At that time, along with trade, art, architecture, music and literature also prospered and flourished. That can be termed as golden time of Gwalior too. It was a halting state route for trades from north to south. The architectural development and fine arts of this fort influenced entire northern India. The Mughal rulers had taken inspiration of architecture from this fort.
The Light & Sound Show in Gwalior Fort shows various monuments within. It is built on a rock, 700 feet above the ground. Different building styles from ancient to modern are encountered here. The fort is spread over an area of 3 square km and the height of the fort is 11 meters. The material used to build this fort was sandstone and lime mortar. The fort is protected by tall rampart and large towers. The front wall is 100 meter long and 30 meter high. The walls of Gwalior Fort are decorated beautifully and colorfully. The main structures of this fort are – Gateways – There are two entry gates. First is Hindola Pol. It reminds of decoration style of Jain temples. Miniature towers & blue tiles are also used in decoration. Second is Hathi Pol. It is the main entrance gate and has carvings on stones in its decoration. Man Mandir is the most beautiful palace in Gwalior Fort and is located at the northeast end of the fort. Towers of it are clad with shiny copper. It is an excellent example of Hindu style architecture. When we enter through its main gate we are on the sixth floor. All other five floors are below it. Main entrance of the palace opens to a courtyard that were used for celebrations and public functions. Large statues of animals are used in the decorations of large pavilion halls. A large library too was there in this palace. Gujri Mahal is associated with a romantic tale of Raja Man Singh and Gujri Rani. It is said that once the king was out for hunt, met a tribal woman and decided to marry her. When he brought her to kingdom, other queens were not ready to give her equal treatment so, king built another palace for her a little away from the main complex. It was known as Gujri Mahal. She was a good musician, a Raag is named on her name as “gujritodi”. Statues and other artifacts in Gujri Mahal provide some details of history of Malwa. Along with Buddhist, Jain and Hindu statues, material objects used in public buildings reflect a diversity of styles. Gujri Mahal now is used as a museum. Man Singh himself was not only a great warrior but also a great lover of music. His interest in music happened to be the root cause of emergence of ‘Gwalior Gharana’ or Gwalior school of music. Dhrupad, Khyal Gayiki / singing emerged from that time to have a great importance in Indian music history. Saas Bahu Ka Mandir is originally called Sahastrabahu Temple. It is one of the oldest structures of the Gwalior Fort. It was built by Kachhwaha ruler Raja Mahipal in 11th century. The larger temple is known as Saas temple and smaller one as Bahu temple. Teli Ka Temple was built by the Pratihara emperor Mihir Bhoj. It is the oldest part of the fort. It has a 35 meter tall Sikhar and shows a harmonious blend of north and south Indian architecture style. Gurdwara Data Bandichhor is built in memory of Guru Har Govind Sahib. 6th Sikh Guru Har Govind Sahib was imprisoned here for almost 12 years. This complex was built where he was imprisoned. Now it is known as a pilgrimage for Sikhs. Jahangir Mahal and Shahjahan Mahal reflect the Mughal architectural style. It is said that these parts were built after the rulers of Gwalior accepted Mansabdari rank in Delhi court. The old lustre of this grand fort faded slowly, and it became an imperial prison in the times of Mughal. Garuda monument, Karn Mahal, Vikram Mahal, Gopachal, Urvahi are some more attractions to this fort.
The duration of light and sound show is almost 45 minutes. In this duration, the long history of the fort is given in a brief. The show starts with the story of Suraj Sen and the holy man who helped him to quench his thrust. Then, it gives a brief of attack of Kachhwahas on the fort. And then gives a brief of Tomar dynasty, story of marriage of Man Singh Tomar and Gujri Devi. After this it gives a brief of remaining history of fort.
Location: Gwalior Fort, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh – 474008. Gwalior Fort is 320 km from Delhi. One can reach Gwalior through car, bus, train or flight.
Opening Days: Show is organized daily.
Timing of the Show: Hindi version of the show starts at 7:30 pm onwards
English Version of the show starts at 8:30 pm onwards
Ticket: Ticket worth for a Indian: Rs.75; for a child (under 15 years): Rs.40; for a foreigner: Rs.250