Gwalior has an elaborate history, dating back to an 8th century meeting between Rajput king Suraj Sen, and a wandering hermit known as Gwalipa. As the story goes, the hermit cured the king of leprosy with a drink of water from a hill-top spring; in honour of this, the king constructed a water tank on the hill, later fortified, eventually manifested as the resplendent Gwalior Fort which remains to this day. Gwalior’s dramatic hill fort has remained an important seat of power ever since, and continues to be the area’s chief attraction. With a population of around 1 million, Gwalior is now a sizeable Indian city which has far outgrown its medieval boundaries. Within a day’s journey of Agra, rural eastern Rajasthan, Lucknow, and the parks of Madhya Pradesh, the city makes an interesting and convenient waypoint on off-the-beaten-path tours of northern and central India.

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