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Gwalior Fort - India's Gibraltar

Gwalior Fort

"The pearl in the necklace of the forts of India" .

-- Mughal Emperor Babur (1483–1531) , founder of Mughal Dynasty In India after ceding the fort .

Overview Of The Fort

Overlooking the town of Gwalior , lying on its east the magnificent fort at Gwalior is a home to a number of beautiful historic buildings , both secular and religious in its premises and it is one of the biggest forts in India standing on an isolated rock .

In spite of being a very old fort dating back to ancient Indian times , it is still a well maintained fortress revealing the historical and political courses in the pages of history of India . One such event was the transfer of the ownership of the "Kohinoor Diamond" , the most expensive diamond of the earth , now possessed by Queen Elizabeth .The details of this Diamond is mentioned below at the end of this article .

It is one of the very few fort witness to ancient Indian times governed by the Hindus ,mediveal India dominated by Muslims and there after occupying a very crucial role in the armed struggle of 1857 against the British East India Company . The logical conclusion to the armed struggle by the Indian against culminated here in Gwalior fort only when the Indian were brought to the defeat .

The fort as in its current form is credited to Raja Man Singh Tomar in the 15th century. The fort of Gwalior has seen many ups and downs of history. In the course of its history spanning hundreds of year years, the Gwalior fort went from one ruler to another. From the Tomars who have been associated for a dominant period ,it was passed to the Mughals, Great Marathas ,and to the British . The Gwalior fort finally went to the Scindias from the British.

Buildings In the Fort

Man Singh Palace

The Man Singh Palace is one of the most amazing palaces of the Gwalior fort . It was built by Man Singh in the 15th century. It was in the same palace the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb imprisoned and later murdered his brother Murad. Then there is gruesome Jauhar Kund, where the women of the harem burnt themselves to death after the defeat of the king of Gwalior in 1232.


The Teli-ka-Mandir is the most famous of all the temples of the Gwalior fort. This temple was built in the Dravidian style shrine , a south indian style of temple , as his wife was from south india , is notable for its generously sculpted exterior.

Saas-Bahu Temples

The Saas-Bahu Temples is a Hindu temple , two pillared temples which stand next to each other, one larger than the other are also fascinating.

Other significant palaces within the Gwalior Fort include the Karan Palace, the Jahangir Mahal, the Shah Jahan Mahal and the , Jauhar Kund Gujri Mahal .

Gujari Mahal

Built by Man Singh for his favorite queen, Mrignayani . for further reading about this Click here

Jauhar Kund

Jauhar was the practice of mass self immolation by the royal ladies and widows of the rajput soldiers after the defeat of their husbands at the hands of Muslim kings to protect their honour and dignity by jumping into a specially designed area called as "Kund" . The objective was to avoid landing of themselves into the Harems of the victorious Kings .

Gwalior Fort and the Number "Zero"

Gwalior Fort also occupies a unique place in the human civilization as the place which has the first recorded use of zero ever. Also referred as 'Shunya' in sanskrit, this site is of mathematical interest.

Koh- I- Noor Diamond Koh-i-noor which means 'Mountain Of Light' in Persian language .

Know as the king of diamonds and the diamond of kings it is the most expensive and the costliest diamond now housed in the Tower Of London and a part of personal wealth of queen Victoria .

Value Of The Diamond

In Babur’s memoirs the Babarnama , his diary of everyday events and autobiography, the value of the diamond was estimated by the emperor to be - equivalent to "two-and- a -half days food of the entire world".

To know more about Babur , the founder of Mughal rule in India please click here .

The diamond has never been sold and purchased by any one but it has increased the prestige of the royalties by becoming a part of the royal treasuries .

Gwalior fort and Kohinoor

The diamond was the part of royal treasury of the Tomar dynasts , ruler of the Gwalior till 1526 , when they lost the fort to invading Babur . After the defeat of the Tomars , Mughal soldiers went on a rampage to assault the prestige and honour of the royal ladies of the fortress , an attempt thwarted by Humayun , son of Babur . The widows of the palace then gifted the diamond to Humayun as an act of appreciation and courtesey .

The sequence below details the sequence of the change in ownership of the Diamond .

Sr no


It was given to Hindu god Krishna , the hero of Mahabharat the great Indian epic as dowry , according to legends .


Found to be possesed by .Samprati, a grandson of Ashoka, the most successful king in the history of India ,according to legends


Acquired by Allauddin Khalji , a muslim ruler of turkish origin by slaying Raja Ram Dev , the last Hindu owner of the diamond in early 14th century .

It then remained associated with the turks , saeeyad’s and afghan rulers of Delhi sultanate for a long time


Landed in the hands of Tomar’s , details of which is not accurately noted in the history books


Acquired by Babur by defeating the Tomar rulers of Gwalior in 1526


Continued to be owned by Muslim Mughals until Nadir Shah , a shepherd of Persia (Iran ), gathered strength and after assuming the throne of Persia, crossed the border of Afghanistan , Invaded India and snatched from Mughals in one of his raids .


Nadir shah was assassinated by his nephew Ali Kuli Khan, who proclaimed himself king and became the proud possessor of the diamond .


Ahmad Shah Abdali after establishing himself in Afghanistan , then raids Iran and acquired the diamond .

The war of accession in Afghanistan makes Shah Suja seeking the help of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh , Sikh king of Punjab . After getting help from him , the diamond is now gifted To Maharaja Ranjeet Singh , increasing his prestige .

It continued to be owned by the sikh rulers till 1850 ‘s .


Following the Anglo Sikh war’s in 1850’s , Sikhs now handsover the diamond to the queen of england

Current Status of The Diamond

The Government Of India Is In A Legal Suit For The Ownership Of This Diamond , Which Is Now A Personal Possession Of Queen Elizabeth .

Reaching The fort The fort is located in the city of Gwalior , which is connected by major cities of India by air as well as by Train .

Accomodation The city has both the budget hotels and luxurious star hotels .

Please contact Mr Anand Sharma on for further details and/or planning a visit to Gwalior Fort or any other destination in India .

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