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A brief overview of Shivpuri
Madhya Pradesh is a state that has many tourist attractions in the form of hill stations. Shivpuri is one of them. Sipri was the original name of this place. When India attained Independence, this place was given the name Shivpuri, as a symbol of respect for Lord Shiva. Lots of rulers from Scindia clan who ruled Gwalior in the olden days, used to come to Shivpuri during the scorching summer season, as this place was quietly embedded in the cool greenery of the thick forest covers. The forests that are found here in large numbers are the main source of livelihood for the local inhabitants of this place.
History of Shivpuri
Shivpuri has been in existence ever since the days of the Mughal Rulers. The vast expanses of the forest lands were used largely by these Mughal emperors, including Akbar to hunt down various forest animals including elephants. Once the Scindia rulers took over to ruling this place when India attained Independence in 1947, this place, which was originally called Sipri was renamed as Shivpuri because of the Scindia’s devotion to Lord Shiva. During the 17th century, Shivpuri was taken over by the Maratha rulers. During the earlier part of the 18th century, the Scindia rulers were exposed to defeat in the hands of the British army, but they bounced back towards the later part of the same century and crushed the British in a very humiliating way, thereby gaining control of Shivpuri once again. The climate of Shivpuri is pleasant and chill all through the year, which is why it is known as Madhya Pradesh’s Shimla, by many travellers.
Geographical location of Shivpuri
Shivpuri is a district that is located towards the north western area of Madhya Pradesh in the division of Gwalior. This hill station is a small municipality within this district and it serves as the headquarters of the district. The exact geographical identity of Shivpuri is 25.43 degrees towards the north and 77.65 degrees towards the east. The hill station stands at an average height of around 468m above sea level and is visited by thousands of domestic and international tourists all through the year due its ever-pleasant climate.
How to reach Shivpuri and local transport within the hill station
Air – Gwalior airport which is located at a distance of about 12km from Shivpuri is the closest domestic airport from this hill station. This airport has a great connectivity to all the major cities of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and the like. The nearest international airport is Delhi which is situated at a distance of 430km away from Shivpuri.
Rail – Situated at a distance of 100km from this hill station, Jhansi is the nearest railway station. This is quite a big station and has direct trains to most of the important places in the country.
Road – There is an impressive bus network that connects Shivpuri with big towns like Gwalior, Delhi, Bhopal, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Jhansi etc. These buses are operated by government and private operators and are of different types like Air conditioned, luxury, deluxe, sleeper coaches etc.
Local transport – Local buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis are some good options to explore within the city. The buses tend to be overcrowded most of the times therefore autos are the most preferred options. These do not run on metres and hence tourists should have immense negotiation skills to fix the rate with the auto drivers.
Sightseeing spots in and around Shivpuri
Madhav National Park – This Park is replete with different species of birds and animals that reside in the lush green expanses inside. Deer, chinkara, Sambar, blackbuck, antelope, bear, leopard, Langur and many other animals are found here in large numbers. Exotic varieties of birds like kingfisher with white breast, heron, painted stork, geese, white ibis, golden oriole, lapwing with red wattle, paradise flycatcher and purple sunbird attracts thousands of nature-lovers to this park.
Chhatris – These are palaces that belong to the erstwhile ruler of Gwalior, Madhav Rao Scindia and the queen, Maharani Sakhya Raje Scindia. Built in eye-catching Hindu and Islam styles, this complex is set within a wonderful setting of Mughal gardens at the entrance, marked by neatly laid out pavements.
Madhav Vilas Palace – This exquisite building has beautiful marble flooring, columns made from iron and a huge Ganpati Mandap. The colour of this Mahal is pink and was the most sought after summer retreats of the Scindia rulers during the olden days.
Boat club of Sakhya Sagar – The lake of Sakhya Sagar which is situated in close proximity to the national park attracts many tourists because it houses different kinds of reptiles like Monitor Lizard, Mugger and the Indian Python. The Boat Club, found on the banks of this lake is a beautiful building made from glass panels.
Bhadaiya Kund – This is a spring that contains natural water. Water from this stream is believed to have healing properties and it is quite high on mineral content.
Things to do in Shivpuri
While in Shivpuri, tourists can take up the tiger safari activity in Madhav National Park. There are around 12 tigers in the park today and this safari is a treat for the wildlife lovers as they get to view the tigers from a very close point through their fully-caged vehicles. The Boat Club is place where tourists can enjoy some boating activities in the Sakhya Sagar Lake. However, tourists need to confirm with the local authorities about this, as boating has been banned in the recent past, in order to safeguard the tourists.
Famous restaurants in Shivpuri and local delicacies
Hotel Sonchiraiya and Tourist Village are two of the most famous restaurants in Shivpuri that serve tasty vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to the tourists who come here. Tourist Village serves authentic Chinese food and the Mughlai dishes must be tried out here. The bar collection at this hotel is quite impressive as it hosts an exotic collection of wines and liquor belonging to international brands. Located quietly in a place that is quite far from the fast paced life of Shivpuri, Sonchiraiya is a place that offers North Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes. The local delicacies of Shivpuri are sweet Malpua, kebabs, mawa-biti and bhutte ki kees.
Places to stay in Shivpuri
The state government’s tourism department operates a place called Tourist Village which is in close proximity to the Madhav National Park. This is a nice place with excellent rooms and facilities. There are also 2-star hotels in Shivpuri like Green View Resort and Hotel Sonchiraiya. Some of the hotels with single-star rating are Sanskar Residency, Anuj Palace and Aaranyya by the Ganges.
STD, PIN code and emergency numbers in Shivpuri
The STD code of Shivpuri is 07492 and the Postal Index Number Code of this hill station is 473551. Few emergency numbers in Shivpuri are Transport (07492 223435), Women and Child Helpline (07492 234704) and Tribal Welfare (07942 232860).
Banks, Hospitals and tourism office in Shivpuri
1 - HDFC Bank Limited
Raj Mandir Bhavan, Madhav Chowk
AB Road, Shivpuri – 473551
2 - Oriental Bank of Commerce
New Block, Shivpuri District
Madhya Pradesh – 473551
Ph: 07492 400724
3 - ICICI Bank Limited
Close to Rajmaya Hotel, Jhansi Tiraha
AB Road, Shivpuri – 473551
1 - Tejas Physiotherapy and Fitness Clinic
Gurudwara Road, Shivpuri District – 473551
2- District Civil Hospital
Hospital Road, Vidisha, Shivpuri District -473551
Ph: 07492 232301
3 - TTB Hospital
No. C/55, Kotiwal Road, Shivpuri District -473551
Ph: 07492 234765.
Ph: 07492 223760, 07492 221297