North façade of the large Sasbahu Temple, Gwalior
Photographer: Herne, George Edward
Medium: Photographic print
The great Fort of Gwalior stands on a rocky sandstone hill reached by a steep road. It was defined by the Mughal Emperor Babur as 'the pearl amongst the fortresses of Hind' because of its glorious history. During a period of 1000 years many rulers, including the Tomars, the Mughals, the Marathas and the British annexed the fort. In the early 19th century the fort was ceded to Scindia by the British in exchange for Jhansi. Within the fort area there are several palaces and temples and many water tanks. This is a view of the larger of the two Sasbahu Temples, built in 1093 on a hill overlooking the town of Gwalior on the plain below. The temple consists of a sanctuary with a triple-storey mandapa with projecting porches. The tower over the sanctuary has collapsed while the porches are covered by a pyramid of masonry. The walls, the doorways and ceilings are decorated with foliate motifs.