Gwalior Knowledge Guide
Rebellion of 1857
Gwalior is also known for not participating in the 1857 rebellion, mainly due to non-co-operation with Rani Lakshmibai. After Kalpi (Jhansi) fell into the hands of the British on 24 May 1858, Lakshmibai sought shelter at Gwalior Fort. The Maharaja of Gwalior was not willing to give up his fort without a fight as he was a strong ally of the British, but after negotiations, his troops capitulated and the rebels took possession of the fort. The British attacked Gwalior in no time, the battle was fought by Lakshmibai. Indian forces numbered around 20,000, and British forces around 1,600 troops. Lakshmibai's example is remembered to this day by Indian nationalists. She died fighting, and Gwalior was free from rebels. There is a statue of Lakshmibai on her horse which commemorates her contribution to the fight for independence. Tantia Tope and Rao Sahib escaped. Tantia Tope was later captured and hanged in April 1859.
Princely state of Gwalior
Scindia is a Maratha clan in India. This clan included rulers of the Gwalior State in the 18th and 19th centuries, collaborators of the colonial British government during the 19th and the 20th centuries until India became independent, and politicians in independent India. The Scindia state of Gwalior became a major regional power in the second half of the 18th century and figured prominently in the three Anglo-Maratha Wars. (Gwalior first fell to the British in 1780.) The Scindias held significant power over many of the Rajput states, and conquered the state of Ajmer. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the city was briefly held by rebel forces in 1858 until they were defeated by the British. The Scindia family ruled Gwalior until India's independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, when the Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia acceded to the Government of India. Gwalior was merged with a number of other princely states to become the new Indian state of Madhya Bharat. Jivajirao Scindia served as the state's Rajpramukh, or the appointed governor, from 28 May 1948 to 31 October 1956, when Madhya Bharat was merged into Madhya Pradesh. In 1962, Rajmata Vijayraje Scindia, the widow of Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia, was elected to the Lok Sabha, beginning the family's career in electoral politics. She was first a member of the Congress Party, and later became an influential member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Her son, Maharaja Madhavrao Scindia was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971 representing the Congress Party, and served until his death in 2001. His son, Jyotiraditya Scindia, also in the Congress Party, was elected to the seat formerly held by his father in 2004.
Art and Literature
Gwalior holds a major and a special position in the Indian classical music, art and literature. Gwalior is a well acknowledged place of art, associated with historic as well as contemporary evidence. In August 2005 a mural created by Aasutosh Panigrahi and five other artists was acknowledged as the World's Largest Indoor Mural by Guinness World Records. Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, the conference on Marathi Literature was held in Gwalior in 1961. It was presided over by writer Kusumavati Deshpande (herself a poet and also the wife of Kavi Anil). She was the first female president of the annual Sammelan since its inception in 1878. Culturally Gwalior is the confluence of two rich cultures Bundeli and Braj. In more recent times, Akhtar family has been based out of Gwalior for at least three generations with Muztar Khairabadi, his son Jan Nisar Akhtar and his grandson Javed Akhtar being the prominent literary figures. Nida Fazli, one of the most famous Indian Hindi and Urdu poets grew up here. Former Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is also a well known writer and poet.
Raja Man Singh Tomar, the King of Gwalior between 1486 and 1516 AD, was a patron of Drupad (Hindi: ध्रुपद). Dhrupad is a vocal genre in Hindustani classical music, said to be the oldest still-in-use in that musical tradition. Its name is derived from the words "dhruva" (fixed) and "pada" (words). The term may denote both the verse form of the poetry and the style in which it is sung. Gwalior holds a major position in the Indian classical music, with being the birthplace of the oldest Hindustani sangeet gharana - Gwalior Gharana. Gwalior holds an unparalleled reputation in Sangeet and has retained Indian traditions and the wealth of music intact over the years. The Gwalior Gharana is not only the oldest Khyal Gharana but it is also one of the most prominent gharana being the one to which most classical Indian musicians can trace the origin of their style. The rise of the Gwalior Gharana started with the reign of the great Mughal emperor Akbar (1542–1605). Akbar's favourite singer was Tansen, who came from the Gwalior area and whose ashes were buried in Gwalior after his death. The Tansen Tomb in Gwalior was constructed in his remembrance. Tansen Festival started in the 1930s, and currently artists from all over India come to perform in the festival. Baijnath Prasad (also known as Baiju Bawra) was a classical singer (Dhrupadiya) who lived in Gwalior for his whole life under the patronage of Man Singh. Baiju was born in Chanderi and was cremated there. He received his musical training in Vrindaban under Swami Guru Haridas Ji. He was the court musician of Gwalior along with Nayak Charju, Bakshu, and others. Sarod player Amjad Ali Khan is also from Gwalior. His grandfather, Ghulam Ali Khan Bangash, became a court musician in Gwalior.
Media and communication
There are newspapers, magazines, local TV stations and four FM radio stations in Gwalior. Patrika is the leading newspaper and Dainik Bhaskar is one of the oldest and most widely read newspapers. Swadesh and Naidunia are other well-established newspapers. More newspapers published in Gwalior are BPN Times, Raj Express, Dainik Madhya Raj, Nav Bharat, Youth Engine, Dainik Jagran, People's Samachar, Dainik Adityaz. Evening newspapers are Sandhya Samachaar, Gwalior Sandesh, Sudarshan Express. "Aalekh-Life in Pages" is one of the leading youth magazine published and widely read across the city. SouLSteer magazine is a bi-monthly lifestyle and automotive magazine in Gwalior. The radio industry has expanded with private FM channels being introduced. The FM radio channels that broadcast in the city include Big FM (92.7 MHz), Red FM (93.5), Chaska FM (95 MHz), My FM (94.3 MHz), and Lemon (91.9 MHz). The state-owned company, Doordarshan, transmits two terrestrial television channels. Major local channels include Hathway Win, Harsh Networks, KMJ Communications, and DEN networks.
Lakshmibai National University for Physical Education (operational since 1957) is the largest physical education institutions in Asia. Gwalior also has the Railway Hockey Stadium with artificial turf. Roop Singh Stadium is a cricket ground with a capacity of 45,000. The stadium has hosted 10 One Day International (ODI) matches. Of the ten matches played so far, the first one was played between India and West Indies on 22 January 1988. The ground has flood lights and has also hosted day-night encounters. One match of the 1996 Cricket World Cup was also played on this ground, between India and West Indies. Dhyan Chand was a famous hockey player from Jhansi which is near Gwalior. Ankit Sharma is a cricketer from Gwalior and plays in the Indian Premier League. Athletics are also played in this city, Vishal Kaim was the youngest hammer thrower of India when he participated in National Athletics Games in 2006 at the age of 14 years.