[General view of the] Fort [ramparts] Gwalior
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph with a general view of the ramparts of the Fort at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views in India. Gwalior in central India is the site of a magnificent sandstone citadel, perched on a rocky plateau, which changed hands several times over the centuries. Local tradition attributes its founding to the blessings of a sage called Gvalipa. Its earliest artifact dates from the 3rd century AD, and its earliest inscription indicates that it was occupied by Huna kings in about the 6th century AD in the time of the conquests of north India by the Hunas. Gwalior subsequently saw the rise and fall of several Rajput dynasties, each of which added monuments to the citadel. It passed to the Delhi sultans in the early 13th century, which resulted in a blend of Indo-Islamic architectural styles, and then went back to the Rajputs in the late 14th century, and passed again to Muslim rule under the Lodis of Delhi in 1518. Finally it was taken by the Mughals under Akbar (ruled 1556-1605). The citadel was always of strategic importance with its location in central India. With the decline of Mughal power, the fort was taken by the Marathas (Hindu chieftains from the Deccan), in 1784. It became the seat of the powerful Maratha Scindhias. The British defeated the Scindhias, overran the fort, and established Gwalior as a feudatory state of the British Empire.