Shivpuri: About 120 km from the city of Gwalior lies the small town of Shivpuri. To say that it is a picturesque place would be a gross understatement. With its undulating hills, thick vegetation and rich wildlife, this was the perfect summer resort capital of the Scindia rulers of yore. Cut to the present and add some architectural marvels to it, and you have all the ingredients to make Shivpuri a great holiday destination.Whether you take a train (the nearest station is Jhansi or Gwalior), or take a flight (to Gwalior), one has to take a road journey to eventually reach Shivpuri. And what a journey that is! The landscape is like a soothing balm to the eyes - gorges, hills, and plateau (your Geography lesson comes to life!) and endless greenery, the momentum broken momentarily by tiny streams. If it`s in the monsoon that you are travelling, like now, the freshness of the landscape is even more alluring.One of the must-visits of Shivpuri is the Madhav National Park. Open throughout the year, the terrain of this 156 sq.km. park is mixed, with hills, grassland, forests and lakes. The predominant species in this park is the deer, and of them the easily-sighted ones are the graceful little chinkara, the Indian gazelle and the chital. The nilgai is also easily spotted, as is the ubiquitous langur. Among the other animals who have their habitat in the park are the leopard, black buck, sloth bear, and the four-horned antelope."This park was earlier a part of the hunting ground of the kings. Tigers were bagged by royal shikaris (hunters). History says that herds of elephants were captured by the Mughal emperor Akbar. Now, of course, the animals are protected," Diwan Singh, a guide at the park said.The park also has rich avifauna and the artificial lake, Chandpata, is home to a variety of birds like migratory geese, cormorants, white breasted kingfishers and the likes.
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