Banswara – A Tete a Tete with the City :
Also Known as : City of Nikunj Dosi
Location : North western India,160km from Udaipur
Founded : Maharawal Jagmal Singh
Best Time to visit : October to March
Local Transport : Private cars, jeeps etc.
Souvenirs : Tribal jewellery, some items from the fairs.
Places to see : Mahi Dam, Dialab lake, Abdulla Pir, Madareshwar temple, Anand Sagar or Bai Talab, Tripura Sundari temple.
The Tale of the City :
The Banswara district is in the southern part of Rajasthan. Banswara is name after the “bans” or bamboos found here in plenty. This area was part of the region known as Vaagad in the rule of Udai Singh. Udai Singh came to power somewhere between 1496 and 1498 AD. . His son was Jagmal Singh. The Maharavals used to rule this district. Banswara is named after a Bhil ruler Bansia. Bansia was defeated in a battle with Jagmal Singh, and killed. Jagmal Singh became the first Maharaval of the princely state. Jagmal’s Singh’s mother wanted to see Jagmal as the ruler so a wall was built between the areas of the two brothers.
Banswara - Down the Ages :
The Banswara was the capital of Banswara for 400 years. Banswara, the forest country was a Rajput feudatory state in Rajputana. This was in the British rule. In 1913, some bhils revolted and this was led by social reformers Govindgiri and Punja. This was suppressed in November 1913. Many Bhils were killed at the hill of Mangarh when they were holding a meeting peacefully. This event is known as the Mini Jalianwala Bagh massacre. This place has become very sacred and is now known as the Mangarh Dam. Down the ages, has seen Banswara merging all the princely states into one and in 1949, Banswara became a separate district.
Travel Kitty :
If you are wanting to see Nature in full form, come here, live the pleasure of being amongst nature’s valuable ways. A tourist coming to Bansdwara would be enthralled with the sheer beauty of the bamboos swaying to and fro. The exquisite natural surroundings, the added ambience all add to making the place a perfect escapade from everyday routine. The travel kitty would give the tourist tribal stuff to carry on as also some Rajasthan artifacts
Banswara - The Joie de Vivre :
The rural setting of the place, the tribal atmosphere and the absolutely fascinating tribes around all make this place so electrifying that people come and ask for more. Tourists wanting to see a different India can come here and get charmed by the beautiful natural scenery that one finds here. A person coming here can see the following. History has it that the mother of Maharajai Jagmal Singh wanted him to be the ruler. Therefore, a wall was built in between the region of the two brothers. This stonewall is now in ruins. One can see the following places here :
The Mahi Dam : This 18 km long dam built under the Mahi Bajaj Sagar Project has been built over the Mahi river in beautiful surroundings. This place also has the Kagdi Pikup, which gives a picturesque background. This is the place where there is a beautiful garden with a fountain, which is worth visiting. Started in late 60’s this was named after the renowned freedom fighter Shri Jamnalal Bajaj.
Anand Sagar Lake or Bai Talab : This is an artificial lake on the eastern side of Banswara. This was constructed by Lacchi Bai or Idar.who was the queen of Maharawal Jagmal. There are beautiful cenotaphs of rulers of the state. These beautiful Chattris are the scenic beauty of the place. This place is wonderful with its natural beauty and the stupendous glory of the past. The place is filled with trees, which are called holy trees. These trees are called “Kalpavriksha”. This place is famous for fulfilling any desire of the visitors who come here.
Dialab Lake : This beautiful lake is like paradise on earth. With lotus flowers, the lake is covered with the flowers. There is a beautiful palace here, which was earlier the summer resort for the rulers. This is called the Badal Mahal. It is built on the banks of the lake.
Abdulla Pir : This popular Bohri Muslim shrine has been built in memory of the Bohri Muslim saint Abdulla. This is a major attraction for the Muslims all over especially during the Urs Fair.
Madareshwar Temple : This is a temple of Lord Shiva, which is found amidst natural beauty. This is a place, which a tourist would love to come back and see because of its serene and calm surroundings.
Tripura Sundari Temple : This temple situated 19 km away from Banswara is also known as Turtia Mata. This goddess rides on a tiger and looks a magnificent structure with the black stoned idol with 18 hands. Each hand carries some kind of symbol. This temple is said to be one of the “Shakti Peethas” of Hindus.
Parahera : This is situated 22km from Banswara,. This is found in the Garhi tehsil. This is built on the banks of the Nagela Tank, which is there in the village. This was built by Mandalik.
Chinch : This place was famous for the Brahma temple. This was built in 12th century. This has a beautiful statue of Lord Brahma, the supposed creator of the world. This place is also worth visiting.
Some other temples are the Dwarkadish temple, the Laxminarayan temple, and the Vaneshwar Mahadeo temple. Besides we also have the Kali Kalyani Dham and Padoli Rathore spiritual centre as around. All these places attract thousands of people from all parts of the country.
Banswara, the city of beautiful lakes, has a wildlife, which simply captures the mind. Set amidst the wonderful Aravalli hills, the region has squirrels, lizards, chinkara, Ronj and the four horned antelope. Besides this, we can see the crow, woodpecker, common myna and the grey jungle fowl, grey partridge etc.
Arthuna : 55km from Banswara is the ARthuna village. There are a lot of Jain temples and Shiv temples here. All these have been built in the 11th , 12th and the 15th century. This is where the Mandleswar Temple is found. This was built in 1080 AD. The Parmara Chief Chamunda Raja found this.
Talwara : This is another city, which is in ruins. It is 15km from Banswara. This has some of the ancient monuments and temples, which are really quite famous. The beautifully carved temples with their carved idols in black stone are very famous. The temples of Talwara are very famous and they include the Laxmi Narain temple, Gokarneshwar Mahadev Temple and the Jain Temple of Sambar Nath.
Entertainment Factor :
This place is beautiful with its unique feature of a lovely surrounding, and a glorious past. The villages, temples, lakes, shrines, all add to the natural beauty and the entire place looks electric. Banswara, the city of tribes, is a place that anyone would want to reckon with an adventurous spirit. The place is famous for its innumerable fairs and festivals that are held here very regularly.
Fairs and Festivals :
Holi : Holi, the festival of colors is celebrated here with great pomp and glory. This important festival has a lot of color and celebrating. The tribals are all colorfully dressed and look very radiant and vibrant. They come carrying swords and sticks and perform the Gair dance. This festival is filled with pomp, color and gaiety.
Ami Egyaras : This is celebrated on the 11th day on the Indian month of Phagun. Young girls and boys fast on the occasion. The fairs have the Bhils wearing dresses and are armed with bows, arrows, swords. The atmosphere looks like a splash of colors.
Ghotia Amba Fair : This fair is held in the month of March. The Bhils generally gather to take a holy dip in the tank. This tank is near the temple with the idols of Pandavas, the Indian mythological heroes. It is this place where the tribal weapons, like the bows and arrows are for sale during the fair.
Mangarh Fair (76km) : These fairs are popular among the tribals. They coincide with the Vithaldeo fairs and the Sharad Purnima.
Thus, Banswara, the city of fairs, is a place worth a visit and has all the ingredients to make our tour a fruitful, memorable and a cherishing experience. As we leave the place, we think “ Pride does not have to come before a fall. – The city still stands tall.”