travel notes

The fort in Gwalior is over 3km long and sits atop a plateau, its read stone wall rising from the cliffs, extending them. It's had 300 different rulers since its founding in the sixth century, only 187 of them native. It stands sentinel over the city, though the fort used to hold the city within it. Now it houses a school, a small settlement, two ruinous palaces and the remains of the British garrison. There's a Sikh temple. There are Hindu temples the Mughals defaced in the wake of their conquest. The cliffs that protect it have carved in them over 1500 images of (the?) Jain. They look kind of like the Buddha but with a diamond in the centre of their chest. They too were defaced, though several have been restored.

It looks impregnable, though history's proved otherwise - over and over again.

The late Maharajah of Gwalior was a big train buff. His palace boasts the largest chandelier set in the world.

The main dining table in the banquet hall has a miniature train track, on which travels a solid silver train carrying decanters of wine, spirits, and ice buckets. Lifting one of these from the back of it stops the train, allowing guests to serve themselves.

There were five stuffed tigers on display. Trophies from a bygone time. They upset me a bit.

This city saw action during the mutiny; brutality and war plagued it for more than a thousand years.

And I get upset at five stuffed tigers.