Shivpuri is a city and a municipality in Shivpuri district located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is in the Gwalior Division of northwest Madhya Pradesh and is the administrative headquarters of Shivpuri District. Shivpuri city was once the summer capital and the former hunting preserve of the 'Scindias', the Maratha Maharajas of Gwalior.
Even before this, during the reign of the Mughals, its dense forests were the hunting grounds of the Mughal emperors. Large herds of elephants were captured here by Emperor Akbar.
Since the area was a Royal shooting reserve, it was well protected, and abounded with wild life and was famous for its tigers. Tigers and other animals were known to wander in great numbers in the area.
The grand rose pink summer palace of the Scindia built on a hillock is a fine example of colonial architecture. It is remarkable for its marble floors, iron coloumns, graceful terraces and the Ganpati Mandap. It offers spectular view of the Shivpuri and the Madhav National Park beyond.
Madhav National Park has total area of 354 km². It was set up in the year 1959. The National Park is open throughout the year. With a varied terrain of wooded hills – the forest being dry, mixed and deciduous- and flat grasslands around the lake, it offers abundant opportunities of sighting a variety of wildlife. The principal tree species found in the Park are Khair (acacia catechu), Salai, Kerdhai, Dhawda, Tendu, Palash etc.
The Predominant wild animal species that inhabits the Park is the deer, of which the most easily sighted are the graceful little chinkara or 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 common langur.
The artificial lake, Chandpatha, is the winter home of migratory geese, pochard, pintail, teal, mallard and gadwall. A good site for bird watching is where the forest track crosses the rocky stream that flows from the waste weir. Species that frequent this spot are red-wattled lapwing, large pied wagtail, Indian pond heron and white-breasted kingfisher. The park's avifauna also includes the cormorant, painted stork, white ibis, laggar falcon, purple sunbird, Asian paradise flycatcher and golden oriole.
Sakhya Sagar and Madhav Sagar lakes, created on Manier River in 1918, are two important biodiversity support systems in the Park besides several perennial and seasonal streams and nallahs. Sakhya Sagar Lake is situated on the edge of forests of Madhav National Park. On the shores of the lake is boat club also known as Sailing Club. The Sakhya Sagar Lake is the habitat of variety of reptiles. Species that can be seen here are marsh or mugger crocodile, Indian python and the monitor lizard.
George Castle was built in 1911 by the Scindia ruler Madho Rao Scindia within the National Park at its highest point, for an overnight halt for tiger shooting by King George V of the United Kingdom. He was to pass that way during his visit to India. It so happened that King could shoot a tiger on the way itself and did not stop at Madhav National Park. View of the lake and downhill surroundings from this point at the sunset is unique.
112 Km from Gwalior , 94 Km from Jhansi.
Throughout the year.