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Wed, 20 Sep 2017      
 
MADHYA PRADESH
SUGGESTED NUMBER OF DAYS: 12N / 13D
ROUTE: DELHI – JAIPUR – AGRA – GWALIOR – ORCCHA
KHAJURAHO – VARANASI – DELHI
POSSIBLE ADDON: DELHI - JAIPUR - AGRA - VARANASI - ORCCHA - KHAJURAHO
Legend has it that Lord Rama bequeathed the fort to his brother Laxmana, hence the name Bandhavgarh (Bandhavgarh National Park) which means brother's fort. The Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India; its Stone Age rock paintings are approximately 9,000 years old.
HISTORY
The attacks of the Hephthalites or White Huns brought about the collapse of the Gupta empire, and India broke up into smaller states. A king Yasodharman of Malwa defeated the Huns in 528, ending their expansion. King Harsha of Thanesar reunited northern India for a few decades before his death in 647. The Medieval period saw the rise of the Rajput clans, including the Paramaras of Malwa and the Chandelas of Bundelkhand. The Paramara king Bhoj (c. 1010-1060) was a brilliant polymath and prolific writer. The Chandelas created the temple city of Khajuraho between c. 950 and c. 1050.      
GEOGRAPHY

  Madhya Pradesh in Hindi can be translated to Central Province, and it is located in the geographic heart of India. The state straddles the Narmada River, which runs east and west between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges; these ranges and the Narmada are the traditional boundary between the north and south of India. The state is bordered on the west by Gujarat, on the northwest by Rajasthan , on the northeast by Uttar Pradesh, on the east by Chhattisgarh, and on the south by Maharashtra.

Gwalior Fort

  Gwalior is a city in Madhya Pradesh in India. It lies 76 miles (122 km) south of Agra and has a population of over 1.2 million. Gwalior was the Capital City of Great Maratha Sardar (Knight) & Warrior Maharaja Shrimant Madhavraoji Shinde - Sawstant Gwalior. The Gwalior metropolitan area is the 46th most populated area in the country.
SIGHTSEEING

  Gwalior Fort The Gwalior Fort displays a unique amalgamation of two distinct styles of architecture, Hindu and Muslim. This perfect union finds the best expression within the walls and corners of the Gwalior Fort. There are solid walls encircling the fort, about 10 meters high. The walls are steep to make them non-scalable.
  Sas-Bahu Temples
The Sas-Bahu temples, in another part of the fort, are dedicated to a mother-in-law (Sas) and daughter-in-law (Bahu) as is sometimes supposed. Sas-Bahu is the name traditionally given to two adjoining temples of different sizes. The larger of the two is profusely sculpted with graceful figures and intricate patterns. This is apparent in the interior where, above the sculpted walls and pillars, an elaborately carved lotus adorns the roof.
  Teli-ka-Mandir
Contrasting with the predominant North Indian style of architecture is the Teli-ka- Mandir. This temple, built in the ninth century and Dravidian in form, is believed to be the oldest in the fort. The sculptures are distinctly North Indian. Some believe it was so named because it was built in the Telengana style; others say this was because it was built by telis (oil merchants).
  Surya Mandir
Another important tourist attraction of the city is the Surya Mandir (Sun Temple), a replica of the famed Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa. The temple was built by G. D. Birla, the famous industrialist of India.
  Man Mandir Palace
This is the most amazing palace inside the Gwalior Fort, well known for the flamboyant and colorful style of architecture. This beautifully capricious building is also known as the Chit mandir or the painted Palace. This is because of the artistic tiled and painted decorations of ducks, peacocks, elephants etc. The whole palace is a mix of blue green and gold that gives it a rich aura around it.
REACHING GWALIOR
BY AIR
Gwalior airport is located 8km from the main city. It is connected to all the major cities in India by direct flights.
BY Rail
Gwalior railway station is conveniently located on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi - Chennai rail link. Among major trains, the Taj and Shatabdi Express connect Gwalior with Delhi and Agra.
BY Road
Gwalior is well connected by a good road network connecting all the major places in Madhya Pradesh and the surrounding areas. Gwalior is well linked with Agra (118 km), Jaipur (350 km), Delhi (321 km), Lucknow, Bhopal (423 km), Chanderi (239 km), Indore (486 km), Jhansi (101 km), Khajuraho (275 km), Ujjain (455 km), and Shivpuri (114 km).
ORCHHA
Orcha is a town situated near the Banks of Betwa River, which is located in Madhya Pradesh a state of India. It is a city of medieval times comprised of temples and splendid palaces of the past. Orcha has been a very mighty kingdom of Central India founded by Bundela Rajput Rudra Pratap. The palaces still have the glory of the past telling the tales and tastes of the rulers of those times.
SIGHTSEEING
  The Jahangir Mahal
The most admired palace of Orccha's, the Jehangir Mahal, was built by Bir Singh Deo. It was built as a present to welcome Mughal emperor Jehangir when he paid a state visit in the 17th century.
  The Rai Praveen Mahal
A small, double-storied brick apartment built by Raja Indramani for his concubine in the mid-1670s. This building lies to the North of the Sheesh Mahal. The building, set amid the lawns of the Anand Mahal gardens, it has a main assembly hall on the ground floor (used to host music and dance performances), a boudoir upstairs and cool underground apartments.
  Laxminarayana Temple
A flagstone path links this temple with the Ram Raja Temple. The style is an interesting synthesis of fort and temple moulds. The interior contains the most exquisite of Orchha's wall paintings. Covering the walls and ceiling of three halls, these murals are vibrant compositions and cover a variety of spiritual and secular subjects. They are in an excellent state of preservation, with the colours retaining their vivid quality.
REACHING ORCHHA
By Air:
The nearest airport from Orchha is Khajuraho. Khajuraho being one of the main destinations in India is an important domestic airport. Several airlines connect it to other major cities like Delhi, Varanasi.
By Road:
Orchha lies on the road between Jhansi (19 Km) and Khajuraho (178 Km). Gwalior, another important destination in Madhya Pradesh, is only 120kms away from Orchha by road.
By Rail:
The nearest railhead is Jhansi, which is also a key junction in central India. Several trains link connect Jhansi to the rest of the country.
KHAJURAHO
Khajuraho is a village in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, located in Chhatarpur District , about 385 miles (620 kilometres) southeast of Delhi, the capital city of India. One of the most popular tourist destinations in India, Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculpture. The Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India.
  Khajuraho temples
Khajuraho temples were constructed between 950 and 1050 A.D. during the reign of Chandel Empire. Khajuraho derives its name from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree) which can be found in abundance in the area. These temples are considered the "high point" of Indian architectural genius in the medieval period. Originally there were 85 temples, of which only 22 still exist.
REACHING KHAJURAHO
By Air:
Khajuraho has an airport in the city. It is a domestic airport. Several airlines regularly service the Khajuraho airport by flights from Delhi, Agra, Varanasi.
By Road:
There is a good network of roads that connects Khajuraho to Agra (395kms), Jhansi (on the Delhi - Mumbai road link), Orchha.
By Rail:
Khajuraho does not have a railway station of its own. The most convenient railhead is Jhansi and Satna (on the Mumbai - Allahabad railway link). Jhansi is 175kms away from Khajuraho whereas distance from Satna is 120kms. Many important trains service both the railway stations regularly.
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