In Shivpuri, the Sakhya Sagar and Madhav Sagar lakes are the two important biodiversity support systems in the Madhav National Park apart from several other perennial and seasonal streams. Sakhya Sagar Lake is situated on the edge of forests of Madhav National Park. Boating is allowed in the lake and on the shores of the lake there is a Sailing Club. The lake is habitat of variety of reptiles. Species that can be seen here are marsh or mugger crocodile, Indian python and the monitor lizard. (Click on all the images for bigger picture)
We did boating in the lake at the time of Sunset. If one is lucky then they can get glimpse of animals that have come near lake. While boating in the lake one can also see the George Castle at a distance.
The place name Mangalapur (Mangalore) is originated from the name of the Goddess Mangaladevi the deity of the temple. It is located at 3 kms southwest of the Mangalore city. The temple has its roots into the ninth century when King Kundavarma of Ahepa dynasty ruled the place. He granted land to two saints from Nepal who had come there for their religious activities under his protection and patronage. They told him the place was dedicated to Mangaladevi.
The King got a grand shrine of Sri Mangaladevi, built on the hallowed place. The two sages themselves guided and supervised the execution of the work. The ardent devotees believe that the worship of Mangaldevi brings them prosperity and happiness.
The photography inside the temple is strictly prohibited.
In Shivpuri there is a historic site of Scindia's cenotaphs. In the formal Mughal garden facing each other across a water tank are the cenotaphs (Chattris) of the Maharaja Madhav Rao Scindia and the Maharani Sakhya Raje Scindia. The cenotaphs are blended with architectural idioms of Hindu and Islamic styles with their shikhara-type spires and Rajput and Mughal pavilions.(Click on all the images for bigger picture)
The queen's cenotaph has a noble dignity of line and superb structural harmony.
The memorial contain life-size image of the Queen. It is rendered extreme devotion by ceremonially dressed retainers who perform the rituals of placing flowers and incense before the statue each day.
Deep inside the Madhav National Park near Shivpuri, at the highest point is the turreted George Castle built by the King Jiyaji Rao Scindia. Here imported English tiles for the floors and stained glass for the windows has been used. This was built at the time when British Ruled India. This was built for Emperor George V in the anticipation of his visit to India. It is a different story that he did no turn up. The castle supposed to provide best view of the lake below at the time of Sunset. (Click on all the images for bigger picture) As we did not enter the park, we did not get a closer view of the castle. But, I still managed to get a glimpse of the castle while boating in the lake. I had clicked several snaps of this castle from the moving boat.
There are several National Parks in Madhya Pradesh. Prominent among them are: Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhav National Park. Since it is required minimum 1 day time to enjoy the wildlife, landscape we had not planned our time for the park in this trip. (Click on all the images for bigger picture)
Madhav National Park established in 1958 is 156 sq. km in area. This park is open through out the year. The forest here is dry forest across the hilly region and flat grasslands around the lakes. The animals most seen in the park are Deer, nilgai, Sambar, Antelope, Blackbuck, Leopard, Langur. Apart from these there are other animals like Tiger, Heyna are also present here.
We got a glimpse of wildlife while boating in the lake on the edge of National Park. The above shot is taken while boat is moving.
Shivpuri is situated 114 km from Gwalior. It is at an altitude of 1,515 feet above the sea level. We left Gwalior in the early morning, and reached Shivpuri in the afternoon. We checked into the hotel and after getting refreshed had the meals before venturing out to see the place. (Click on all the images for bigger picture) Shivpuri is known for its natural beauty and vast cultural heritage. It is the ancient town and its history dates back to the Mughal period. It was the summer capital of its erstwhile rulers, the Scindias. It came under the rule of the Scindias in 1804. Then the dense forests of this place were the royal hunting grounds. The sightseeing of this place require one day. The places of interest are:
At Hampi, the stone chariot located in the Vittala Temple Complex is a shrine built in the form of temple chariot. An image of Garuda was originally enshrined within its sanctum. Garuda, according to the Hindu mythology, is the vehicle of lord Vishnu. (Click on all the images for bigger picture) The chariot built with many giant granite blocks. The joints of the blocks are smartly hidden in the carvings that adorn the Stone Chariot and due to this it appears as a monolithic structure. It is built on a feet high rectangular platform. All around this base platform is carved with mythical battle scenes. The four giant stone wheels attached to the chariot look complete with the axis shafts. On the wheels are concentric floral motifs.
In front of the chariot two elephants are positioned as if they are pulling the chariot. These elephants where later additions to the chariot and they actually replaced two horses that were carved in that position. The tails and the rear legs of the horses can be still seen just behind these elephant sculptures. A broken stone ladder once gave access to the sanctum is kept between the elephants.
Tansen is the father of Hindustani classical music. He was an extraordinarily gifted vocalist, known for a large number of compositions. He was born in the small village near Gwalior. The great Mian Tansen, one of the 'Nine Jewels' of Emperor Akbar's court. At some point, he was disciple for some time to Swami Haridas and later Muhammad Ghaus was spiritual leader. The tomb of Tansen is built in the early Mughal architectural style and is surrounded by lush gardens in typical Mughal style. It is built very next to the tomb of Muhammad Ghaus. When compared with other architectural wonders in this place it is very simple.
Every year a national level music festival is organized here in November/December.
Next day morning we proceeded from Gwalior to our next destination Shivpuri.
In the 16th century Ghous Mohammed was a Afghan Prince who later turned into a sufi saint. He had helped Babur to win the Gwalior Fort. In Gwalior there is mausoleum built for him in the typical Mughal architecture.
Here the interesting aspect are hexagonal pillars and screens using pierced stone technique. The marvelous stone works coupled with an excellent architecture, the tomb looks gorgeous.
Gujari Mahal is a palace inside the Gwalior Fort at Gwalior. This palace is at a lower region near the base of the fort. It was built by Tomar ruler Man Singh in 1486-1516 for his queen Mrignayani. Rectangular in shape, it measures 71m x 60m. There is a courtyard surrounded by 28 rectangular rooms. On all four corners there are cenotaphs. Entire palace is decorated with color tiles. In 1920, the palace is converted int0 a museum. The galleries of the museum display the archeological heritage of the period from B.C. to 17th A.D. The exhibits include stone idols, bronze idols, inscriptions, miniature paintings, terracotta figures, coins and arms and armories.
Timing of this museum is from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm daily except Monday.