Maharaja Palace

The big attraction of Gwalior is its big fort on top of the hill above the city. Once it was one of the most beautiful in Madhya Pradesh, with intricately carved sandstone walls, covered with mirrors and precious stones. The the Islamic Mughals came and took them all away. But some of the tiles survived, and with its many towers, arched rooms, and courtyards with carved balconies it still looks exactly as a maharaja’s palace is supposed to look like. They also have a museum on site that charges 7 cents admission, but it’s easily worth twice that.

Today the maharaja, when he is in Gwalior, lives in a new palace in the city. Part of it is now the Jai Vilas museum, where all the maharaja stuff is shown: fully furnished banquet halls with ten-ton chandeliers (they put eight elephants on the roof before hanging them, to test the roof), a glass model railway running down the dining room table to serve drinks, coaches, dresses, the works. I was late, and behind me they were shutting off the lights and locking every room after I left it, spooky. Outside, I met a traveler from Jaipur, check out his blog: myworldinmybagpack.blogspot.in.

Chatted with some local students in town who wanted to practice their English. One was very excited that last year, the existence of gravity waves was finally conclusively proven as predicted by Albert Einstein (“Einsteen”) a hundred years earlier, and he also thought that Adolf Hitler is the beloved current king of Germany.

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