Museum Gujari Mahal, Gwalior

A popular city of Central India, Gwalior – well-known for its hilltop fort, has been the witness of India’s change in political power. Among the important landmarks of the city, the Gujari Mahal is undoubtedly a prime attraction. Located on a huge cliff, the Gujari Mahal in Gwalior is housing a museum with fascinating exhibits. According to historical records, Raja Man Singh Tomar built this fort for his beloved queen, Mrignayani, and had an adequate supply of water for the convenience of the princess - an important commodity in a dry and arid region.

During the early 20th century, the palace was converted into a well-stocked museum housing rare and fine artifacts including sculptures dating back to 1st centuries BCE, a miniature of famed Shal Bhanjika (exceptionally beautiful 10th-century women from Gyaraspur), first copies of Bagh cave frescoes, and so on.

Visitors planning on making a trip to this fascinating place should read this write-up once. The piece could help them in discovering this beautiful landmark and explore the stunning galleries of the museum.

Keynote on Gujari Mahal, Gwalior

Address: Lohamandi, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh 474008

Opening time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (closed on Monday and government holidays)

Entry fee: 100 INR (Extra for the camera)

Famous for: Architecture and interesting exhibits 

Visit duration: Two hours

Best time to visit: October to March is suitable for the trip 

How to reach: Buses and private taxis available

Gwalior Fort – A Brief Introduction

The Gwalior Fort is an ancient citadel, built-in 10th century and has been under the control of several ruling dynasties. Currently, the palace is divided into two main structures – Man Mandir and Gujari Mahal commissioned by Man Singh Tomar. Also, referred to as the ‘Pearl amongst fortresses in India', the entire fort complex is surrounded by sandstone walls.

Overview of the Gujari Mahal, Gwalior    

A popular landmark of Gwalior, the place is one of the most extensively preserved landmarks of the city. The palace was built by the 15th-century monarch, Raja Man Singh for his favorite consort Mrignayani. Although huge portions of the palace are in ruins now, the Archeological Survey of India has been able to preserve the remaining sections of the citadel and convert it to an extraordinary museum. Located inside the Gwalior Fort, the museum is a treasure trove of information.

Gujari Mahal Archeological Museum – Important Attraction

Gujari Mahal Archeological Museum or Gwalior Fort Museum houses iconic galleries with a remarkable collection of artifacts. Here visitors can admire scriptures and terracotta figurines dating back to 3rd Century AD. Some of the important exhibits include Buddha figures, 5th century Vaikuntha Rupa Vishnu sculpture, and a miniature of Shalbhanjika from Gyaraspur. These exhibits showcase a unique rhythm and proportion of the body, which upholds the mastery of the ancient artists. While admiring these figurines, visitors should give extra attention to the artist’s keen sense of detailing to execute the unique hairstyle of these small sculptures.

The Gwalior Gujari Mahal museum has more than sixty stone and copper plate inscriptions in Devnagri, Brahmi, and Persian scripts. Apart from that, a stunning coin collection belonging to different eras could be found here. Bronze sculptures like Shiva performing Tandava dance, or Buddha giving Dharmachakrapavartana are probably belong to 4th century AD.      

Four galleries of the museum house different sculptures dating back to different eras excavated from the ancient city of Padmavati or Pawaya in Madhya Pradesh. Some of the important exhibits of these galleries are figurines of several Jain Tirthankaras, paintings by several Indian artists, and important statues belonging to the late Gupta period.

Exploring this stunning museum, you will be mesmerized by the keen artistic sensibilities of ancient Indian artists.

List of Popular Exhibits of the Gujari Mahal, Gwalior

1. Salbhanjika

Also, referred to Salabhanjika, this statue showcases the stylized feminine features standing in from of a tree. The voluptuous woman is wearing beautiful jewelry but unfortunately has been mutilated from arms and legs. Smile of the Salabhanjika face, as well as her clothes, represents a woman with extraordinary beauty and charm. According to several historians, the sculpture belongs to 10th century AD and has been procured from Gyaraspur of Vidisha district, Madhya Pradesh.  

2. Gajasuravadha

Another 10th-century figurine collected from Gyaraspur, the Gajasuravadha is an important and popular exhibit of the museum. The sculpture showcases Lord Shiva (an important deity in the Hindu pantheon) is slaying the demon Gajasura. Here, Shiva has four-armed and wearing a long neckpiece made of human skulls (or mundamala). Although the sculpture is broken from the upper part, it showcases the amazing skill of the artist. Another important attachment of the sculpture is the Goddess Chamunda could be seen dancing.

3. Nataraja

Excavated from Udaipur, the Nataraja sculpture dates back to 10th century AD, here Siva could be seen performing tandava dance. The figurine was part of the temple’s décor and was possibly placed on the monument’s friezes.

More Attractions in Gwalior:

Jai Vilas Palace

Teli Ka Mandir

Tansen Tomb

The Sas-bahu Temple