Interior of North Room, Man Mandir, Gwalior Fort.
Photographer: Dayal, Deen
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of Gwalior Fort, from the Album of Miscellaneous views in India, taken by Deen Dayal in c.1882. Since the eighth century Gwalior has had a succession of rulers including the Rajputs, Mughals and Marathas. It rose to great prominence during the period of Tomar Rajput rule between 1398 and 1518, particularly during the reign of Raja Man Singh (r.1486-1517). The Man Mandir is a remarkable Hindu palace built by Man Singh inside the fort at Gwalior. The fort stands on a long, narrow, sheer-sided hill almost 100 m high. A long ramp on the eastern side leads up through six gates to the summit of the hill to the main entrance. The palace dominates the east flank of the fort with its impressive façade forming part of the curtain wall, regularly spaced by circular towers with domed pavilions. The walls of the southern facade are covered in blue, yellow and green tiles applied in friezes of geometric patterns or geese and crocodiles with entwined tails. On the solid part of the parapet are elephants, peacocks and trees. The interior of the palace comprises a series of apartments arranged around two inner courts. The ornately carved facade of the courts are decorated with carved brackets in the form of lotus petals, friezes on the walls of colourful tiles and projecting upper balconies.