Metropolitan Moves to Gwalior & Accommodation: The most pleasurable time to visit Gwalior is during the wintry months from the fag end of October to early March. This is because the region experiences extreme climate what with hot and humid summers and bone-chilling winters.
STAR ATTRACTION: Gwalior is also known as the city of music. The two cultures of Braj and Bundeli have fused to provide Gwalior a rich cultural heritage. The Old Town plays host to the Tansen Sangeet Samaroh (Tansen Music Festival) during November and December. All leading artistes of the subcontinent gather at the venue and perform there to pay their tributes to Tansen. If you happen to be in Gwalior during this period, enjoy the music and the festive atmosphere at the venue. You will really treasure the memories of the mellifluous Indian classical music.
The ‘Gwalior Gharana’ is one of the oldest schools (gharanas) of Hindustani classical music. It flourished during the regime of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Under the benefaction of Raja Man Singh Tomar, the dhrupad genre of Hindustani classical music reached its heyday. Famous singer Baiju Bawra (whose actual name was Baij Nath Prasad), was patronized by Man Singh. Prominent Hindustani classical musician Ghulam Ali Khan Bangash and his grandson — Sarod maestro Ustaad Amjad Ali Khan — both hails from Gwalior. Ghulam Ali Khan Bangash got support and recognition from the Gwalior royalty. The Ahir dance is a popular dance of several communities who have been into the profession of cattle herding.
NOTE: Spare some time to visit the city-based Sarod Ghar – the maiden museum dedicated to Indian musical instruments.
You can also go on a picnic to the picturesque and serene Tiger Dam – not very far from Gwalior.
MOVING AROUND IN GWALIOR: THE MEANS
There are many modes of transportation in the Gwalior metropolitan area. They range from the cheapest ones like the cycle-rickshaws for short trips, buses (both city buses as well as the deluxe ones) and trains to moderately priced rides in auto-rickshaws and taxis. Auto-rickshaws are cheaper than the taxis. Tongas (horse-drawn carriages) are also available. Bicycles are also available on hourly basis to move around the city.
You can also move to certain key locations within larger Gwalior in the pre-paid taxis. While going for taxis or auto-rickshaws or even tourist buses, it is always advisable to book any of them only through the registered counters of the respective privately run or even the public transport systems. This is a secure and economical move.
There are numerous hotels in Gwalior to suit your budget. If you are of the adventurous type, you can also opt for the dharamshalas. Many of these lodges owned by charitable institutions or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), offer both food and accommodation at market prices. Save time and energy in commuting by choosing a hotel at Naya Bazaar in the center of Gwalior. They range from the economical ones starting from Rs. 800 for a night stay; and also another range of hotels in the Rs. 801-Rs.1200 budget bracket and yet another set of hotels in the Rs.1200-Rs 2500 range. If you are looking out for a pool, net facilities and a bar then opt for the other group of deluxe hotels. There you need to cough up Rs. 2500 and above for a deluxe room. Well, there are also the luxury hotels offering their customers day-and-night coffee shops, health clubs, and discotheques. Their range is between Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 7,500.
Gourmets Guide the popular Gwalior delicacies
Gwalior gastronomical experiences are worth experiencing. You can have unforgettable feasting feelings – be it in the star swanky restaurants or the roadside open eateries. The open-air food stalls have a wonderfully homely private environment with many different types of cuisines right in the most economy range. You can have your pick of cuisines ranging from Indian (including North Indian, Hyderabadi or Nawabi and also South Indian), to Nepali, Chinese and continental. Air-conditioned restaurants franchisees are obviously there. The vegetarian food served at the Indian Coffee House situated on the Station Road is popular. You can have a filling breakfast with scrambled eggs and dosa (plain or the butter masala types) with coffee. You can also opt for the main courses having varieties known as ‘thali’.
The most fascinating gastronomically tour for you could be the sweetmeats; the mouthwatering spicy and tangy chaat ranges as well the varieties of fried items. Just go for the local popular fried snacks like samosas, kachoris and also the varieties seasoned with hot mouth-watering chutneys and buttery curries made of potatoes. Another popular Gwalior delicacy is made with sesame and jaggery; it is the Morena Gajak. The other characteristically Gwalior ‘must taste’ items are malpua, khoprapak, bhutte ki kees (a tasty curry prepared from corn that is grated), rabdi, mawa-bati, the circular multilayered sugary sweetmeat known as jalebi, and of course the kebabs (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian). Then there are the different varieties of paranthas and the Frontier as well as Mughlai dishes like the locally popular and yet moderately priced sizzling and hot tandoori chicken with salads at the dhabas (roadside food stalls).
The City Mall is a bustling eatery hub. International brands like McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza also have their outlets there. Moreover, all the star hotels have in-house cafes and restaurants. Two other popular places where you can have tasty filling dishes are the Ratnakar Bhawan and the Chattri Bazaar.
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