Shivpuri is steeped in the royal legacy of its past, when it was the summer capital of the Scindia rulers of Gwalior. And earlier, its dense forests were the hunting grounds of the Mughal emperors when great herds of elephants were captured by emperor Akbar.
Much later, it was the Tiger that roamed the wooded hills and many a magnificent beast was 'bagged' by royal Shikaris. Today Shivpuri is a sanctuary for rare wildlife and avifauna. Its royal past has thus been transformed into a vibrant, hopeful present.
Madhav National Park
156 sq km in area, the park is open throughout the year. With a varied terrain of wooded hills, the forest being dry, mixed and deciduous with flat grasslands around the lake, it offers abundant opportunities of sighting a variety of wildlife. The predominant species that inhabits the park is the deer, of which the most easily sighted are the graceful little Chinkara, the Indian gazelle, and the Chital. Other species that have their habitat in the park are Nilgai, Sambar, Chausingha or four-horned Antelope, Blackbuck, Sloth Bear, Leopard and the ubiquitous common Langur.
The National Park is equally rich in avifauna. The artificial lake, Chandpata, is the winter home of migratory Geese, Pochard, Pintail, Teal, Mallard Gadwall, Red Wattled Lapwing, Large Pied Wagtail, Pond Heron, White - Breasted Kingfisher, Cormorant, Painted Stork, White Ibis, Laggar Falcon, Purple Sunbird, Paradise Flycatcher and Golden Oriole.
Set in a formal Mughal garden, with quiet nooks under flowering trees, intersected by pathways with ornamental balustrades and illuminated by Victorian lamps, is the complex in which the cenotaphs of the Scindias are set. Facing each other across a water tank are the Chhatris of Madho Rao Scindia and the dowager queen Maharani Sakhya Raje Scindia, synthesising the architectural idioms of Hindu and Islamic styles with their shikhara-type spires and Rajput and Mughal pavilions.
Madhav Vilas Palace
Standing upon a natural eminence, the elongated rose-pink summer palace of the Scindias is a fine example of colonial architecture. The 'Mahal' as it is called, is remarkable for its marble floors, iron columns, graceful terraces and the Ganpati mandap.
Sakhya Sagar Boat Club
Edging the forests of the Madhav National Park is the Sakhya Sagar Lake, habitat of a variety of reptiles. Seen here are the Marsh Crocodile or Mugger, Indian Python and the Monitor Lizard. On the shores of the lake and connected to it by a broad pier is a Boat Club, an airy, delicate structure with glass panels.
A scenic spot by a natural spring. The water here is rich in minerals, supposedly of a curative nature.
Nearest airport is at Gwalior (112 km), which is connected with regular flights from Delhi & Bhopal.
Nearest railheads are at Jhansi (101 km) and Gwalior which are on the Delhi- Chennai main lines.
Shivpuri is connected by regular bus services with Gwalior, Indore, Bhopal, Jhansi and Ujjain.