Banswara District at a Glance
· District: Banswara
· Headquarters: Banswara
· State: Rajasthan
Area in Sq Km (Census 2011)
· Total: 4522
· Rural; 4494
· Urban: 28
Population (Census 2011)
· Population: 1797485
· Rural: 1669864
· Urban: 127621
· Male: 907754
· Female: 889731
· Sex Ratio (Females per 1000 males): 980
· Density (Total, Persons per sq km): 397
· Assembly: 6
· Lok Sabha: 1
The city of Banswara is the district headquarters. It is bounded on the north by Udaipur District, on the northeast by Pratapgarh District, on the east and southeast by Madhya Pradesh state, on the southwest by Gujarat state, and on the west by Dungarpur District.
The district is named after the former Princely State of Banswara. There are two traditions regarding the etymology of Banswara. According to one tradition, it is derived from the name of the Bhil chief Bansia who ruled over this area before being killed by Maharaval Jagmal Singh in 1529 CE. According to the other tradition, the name is derived from the name “Bans Vara” (the country of bamboos) due to the abundance of bamboos in the dense forests of this region.
PLACES OF INTEREST
In the backwater of Mahi Dam there is a beautiful natural place known as Chacha Kota, which is 14 km from the city of Banswara. The approach to the place is equally charming with Kalpvriksha and Baitalaab lake falling on the roadside on the way to Chacha kota. The green hills, the sea beach like sight with water visible as far as one can see. The high rising surrounding hills, the green passage all along the approach road, the serpentine zigzag road and the waterfalls collectively give the feeling of being in a hill station. Wrapped in natural beauty, Chacha Kota keeps attracting the tourists throughout the year.
Mahi Bajaj Sagar dam is the lifeline of Banswara district which has turned out to be a great source of agricultural and economic development of the region. This dam is the biggest water reservoir in the Udaipur division. The dam is situated 18 kms north-east of the district headquarters in the midst of high rising hills. The total length of the dam is 3.10 km and the total water reserve capacity is 77 tmc. A number of hills partially remain submerged in the Mahi Dam Backwater which present beautiful view of Small Islands, which is why the place is also called a “City of Hundred Islands”. When in the rainy season the main dam gates are opened to discharge the excess water it creates a wonderful site for the visitors. Mahi Dam is indeed a favorite attraction for the tourists.
On the Banswara-Dungarpur road near Talwara, is situated the ancient temple of the presiding mother deity of the region Raj Rajeshwari Tripura Sundari in the Umrai village. The temple is a revered place of Shakti upasana or the worship of mother deity. On the north side of the temple there is a shiv-ling of the times of King Kanishka; therefore it is believed that this place must have been in existence even before the period of Kanishka. The temple has been renovated time and again by the Panchal community. The chief attraction of the place is the most astonishing and charismatic black stone idol of the deity. According to the scholars the Shrichakra, at the feet of the idol is the most powerful symbol of the Tantric worship. The gorgeous idol of Tripura Sundari has got eighteen arms holding various armaments riding a lion. There are small idols of 52 Bhairwas and 64 Yoginis around the main idol. The government has taken up in a big way the renovation and beautification work of this area. Tripura Sundari is the most famous place of pilgrimage in the Wagad region and people from far off places visit to pay their respects and reverence to the presiding deity of this tribal area. A big Garba (Dandiya) festival is organized every year during the Navratri.
40 km from Banswara on Kushalgarh road the famous jain pilgrimage spot Andeshwar temple is situated. The stone idol of Jain Tirthankar Parshwanath is placed in this temple. Inside the temple the beautiful mirror paintings of major jain pilgrimage places are adorned. There are also beautiful sculpture works in marble on the premises. People from all the religions visit this place frequently for picnics and religious and academic reasons.
Situated in the southern part of the city is the Dargah of Abdul Rasul which is known as the "Abdulla Peer". Every year "Urs" is held at the Dargah and is very popular with the masses. The people of the Bohra community take part in it in large numbers.
On the eastern part of the city Banswara Kagdi Pick-up is a prominent centre of attraction for the tourists. The Kagdi lake and the garden on the side are worth seeing. A number of migratory birds have made the lake their playground, particularly in the rainy season. It is a major attraction for the bird watchers, particularly at the time of sunrise and sunset.
Govind Guru was a popular saint of the Bhils who made the Mangarh hill a centre of faith. He awakened the Bhil community and filled them with a sense of patriotism. The Bhils were so inspired that they sacrificed their lives for freedom. Later, 1500 Gurubhakt Bhils sacrificed their lives while fighting against the British army. It is therefore also known as Jallianwala Bagh of Rajasthan.
Arthuna Temple (Land Mark Archaeological site)
This place of great archaeological importance, is the major attraction of Banswara district. There is a complex of ancient temples which were built in the 11th and 12th centuries. In ancient times it was the capital city of the Parmar rulers. Many temples have been excavated which reveal the glorious past of our rich heritage. It is called the village of old and broken temples.
Brahma Ji Temple
The famous Bhrahmaji temple on the Banswara Bagidora road in the Chinch village was built in 12th century. There is the Saptdhatu idol of Lord Brahma inside the temple. The Brahmaji idol is very significant for its sculptural beauty. Brahma temple is very rare as generally the temples of Brahmaji are not found anywhere.
Datt Madareshwar Mahadev
On the north east of the city lies the famous temple of Lord Shiva where a huge Shivalinga inside the mountain cave, is a major centre of Shiva worship. This temple has been carved out of the mountain and very impressive surroundings have been created by the trust which provides a very soothing effect to the visitors. Most significantly Kavad Yatris every year walk 42 km to fetch holy water to perform special abhishekh (holy bath) of the Shivalinga. A large fair takes place on the day of Maha Shivratri every year.
Beneshwar Dham (Landmark of Tribal fair and festivity)
The Beneshwar Dham is known as the prayag of Wagad region. The confluence of three rivers Mahi, Jhakham and Som takes place here. It is a major centre of religious, cultural and social activities. The place is known for the spiritual activities. Manuscripts composed by Mavji are available at this place. Beneshwar is like a small island surrounded by rivers from all around. There is an ancient Shiva temple, Radhakrishna temple, Brahma temple, Lakshmi Narayan temple at this spot. Every year on Magh Poornima during February the biggest tribal fair of Rajasthan is held here. This seven day fair is jointly organized by Dungarpur and Banswara district administrations. During this period the Sant Mavji’s Chopra (Mavji’s composition popularly known as Mavji’s Chopra) is also displayed for the visitors.
35 km from Banswara, in the lap of beautiful hills, Ghotia Amba is believed to have been the hiding place of Pandavas during Mahabharat times. Ghotia Amba has got a distinct value amongst the tourist places of the district. People here strongly believe that the mango trees, (which is called Amba in local dialect) planted by Pandavas, gave this name to the place as Ghotia Amba. Every year during the Hindu month Chaitra a huge fair takes place here in which pilgrims from Rajasthan, Gujrat and Madhya Pradesh come in large number. Very close to this place is another place of reverence called Kela Pani. Kela means banana and it is believed that Pandavas at this place had served food in banana leaves to the Rishis and Sages. This temple and the place is looked after by the Devasthan Department of Government of Rajasthan.
Apart from these, there are some other major attractions worth seeing and visiting in and around the city of Banswara. Natural spots like Juha falls, Kadeliya falls, Singpura Jharna, Pratap Setu on Ratlam Road and religious places like Mangleshwar, Bhavanpura Bhairavji, Sidhi Vinayak and Sun temple Talwara are also very popular and significant on the tourist map of the district.