Once known as Badi Sipri, the city of Shivpuri has an interesting past.
During the reign of the Mughals, this was the primary hunting ground of the empire; indeed, there are innumerable hunting stories associated with the forests of Shivpuri. It is said that Emperor Akbar once stopped here and captured large herds of elephants. According to another popular story, the erstwhile Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge, once shot eight tigers here in a single day. Historically, Shivpuri was ruled by the Kachhawaha Rajputs until it was taken over by the Scindias in 1804. Known as Narwar district in the Scindia-ruled Gwalior state, it was captured by the British in 1817, who then returned the area back to the Scindias the very next year. During the reign of Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia, Shivpuri was made the summer capital of the state. The sovereign had the elegant Madhav Vilas Palace (now a training centre of the Intelligence Bureau) built here. In addition, the great freedom fighter, Tantya Tope, was hanged in Shivpuri in 1859 near the present Collectorete. Although not a must-visit on most tourist itineraries, Shivpuri is nevertheless an excellent weekend getaway, offering treasures such as Survaya Garhi, famous for its Shiva temple; the Arya Monastery; cave of Machindranath, founder of Nag pantha; and sights where the Pandavas are believed to have lived during their exile. Shivpuri is also the ideal base for visiting Madhav National Park.