Gwalior Fort is two-mile-long with 35-feet-high walls and gorgeous interior. Built in the 8th century, the Gwalior Fort is perched on a hilltop. The defensive structure of the fort comprises two main palaces, temples and water tanks. Its rampart is built around the edge of the hill, connected by six bastions or towers. The profile of the fort has an irregular appearance due to the undulating ground beneath.
There are two gates; one on the northeast side with a long access ramp and the other on the southwest. The main entrance is the ornate Elephant gate (Hathi pul). The other is the Badalgarh Gate.
Formoest of all The Man Singh Palace, built by king Man Singh. The Palace has an outstanding design. with blue ceramic tiles at the front facade. The Man Mandir palace is located at the northeast end of the fort. It was built in the 15th century and refurbished in 1648. Man Mandir is often referred as a Painted Palace because the painted effect of the Man Mandir Palace is due to the use of styled tiles of turquoise, green and yellow used extensively in a geometric pattern.
To complement the Man Singh Palace, the Gwalior Fort complex also houses the Gujari Mahal. This was built by Raja Man Singh for his Gujar Queen, Mrignayani as She demanded a separate palace for herself with a regular water supply through an aqueduct from the nearby Rai River. Gujari Mahal is a monument of love. The palace now has an archaeological museum that has a large collection of Hindu and Jain sculptures, archaeological pieces from the 1st and the 2nd century B.C .
The Karn mahal was built by the second king of the Tomar dynasty, Kirti Singh. He was also known as Karn Singh, hence the name of the palace.
The Vikram mahal (also known as the Vikram mandir, as it once hosted a temple of Lord Shiva) was built by Vikramaditya Singh, the elder son of King Mansingh. He was a devotee of shiva.The temple was destroyed during Mughal period but now has been re-established in the front open space of the Vikram mahal.
Other notable structures in the majestic Gwalior Fort is the Jahangir Mahal and Shahjahan Mahal.
The gwalior fort has a rich history itself, As it was the prime defence system The king who had the control of the Fort had control over whole Gwalior. Several wars were fought to capture this fort many suceeded many did not. In 1022 CE, Mahmud Ghazni sieged the fort for four days. Later he lifted the siege in return for a tribute of 35 elephants. Qutab al-din Aibak, who later became a ruler of the Delhi , captured the fort in 1196 after a long siege. The Delhi Sultanate lost the fort for a short period before it was recaptured by Iltutmish in 1231 CE. In 1231 Iltutmish captured Gwalior fort after an 11-month-long effort and from then till the 13th century it remained under Muslim rule. In 1375, Raja Veer Singh was made the ruler of Gwalior and he founded the rule of the Tomar dynasty. During those years, Gwalior saw its golden period. The Delhi Sultan Sikander Lodi tried to capture the fort in 1505 but was unsuccessful. Another attack, by his son Ibrahim Lodi in 1516, resulted in Maan Singh's death. The Tomars ultimately surrendered the fort to the Delhi Sultanate after a year-long siege. Within a decade, the Mughal emperor Babur captured the fort from the Delhi Sultanate. The Mughals lost the fort to Sher Shah Suri in 1542. Akbar recaptured it in 1558. Akbar made the fort a prison for political prisoners. After death of Aurangzeb Marathas captured the fort untill 1780 when The East India Company captured the Fort. Marathas recaptured the fort four years later and till 1844 there was frequent change of control between The Marathas and the British. In January 1844, after the battle of Maharajpur, the fort was occupied by Scindia family. The British took control of the fort in June 1858. By 1886, the British were in complete control of India, and the fort no longer had any strategic importance to them. Therefore, they handed over the fort to the Scindia family. Scindias continued to rule Gwalior untill 1947.