Banswara gets its name from the ‘bans’ or bamboo trees that once grew here in abundance. It is dominated by Bhil tribals (popularly known as the bow men of Rajasthan) who make up more than half the total population of the region. History states that Banswara was ruled by a Bhil ruler named Bansia or Wasna and the place derived its name from him. Bansai was defeated by Jagmal Singh who crowned himself Banswara’s first Maharaval.
The district is a mix of different geographies with fertile plains of maize, wheat, rice, cotton soya bean and gram covering the entire central and western regions, while the Aravallis range make up the eastern side. The rich teak forests and mango, khajur (date) and mahua trees are home to diverse wildlife. Archaeological significance of Arthuna has made it one of the prime attractions of Banswara.
It was about 72 kilometres in length from north to south and 53 kilometres in breadth from east to west. The district was formerly a princely state ruled by the Maharavals.
Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Banswara
Anand Sagar Lake
This artificial lake, also known as Bai Talab was constructed by Lanchi Bai, the Rani of Maharaval Jagmal Singh. Located in the eastern part of Banswara, it is surrounded by holy trees known as ‘Kalpa Vriksha’, famous for fulfilling the wishes of visitors. The ‘chattris’ or cenotaphs of the rulers of the state are also scattered nearby.
It is a popular shrine of a Bohra Muslim saint.This is the Dargah of Abdul Rasul, known as Abdullah Pir, situated in the southern part of the city. Every year a large number of people, specially of the Bohra Community, take part in the ‘URS’ at the Dargah.
Andeshwar Parshwanathji is a famous Jain temple located on a small hill in Kushalgarh tehsil. The temple is home to rare Shilalekhs from the 10th century. The place also houses two Digamabara Jain Parshwanatha temples.
It is also known as ‘Phati Khan’ because there is a deep cave under a hill. There is a Pool of very cold water found through out the year. It is said that Lord Ram, during his exile came & stayed here. It is a beautiful place surrounded by hills.
Vithala Deo Temple
Barely a few kilometres from Banswara lies the Vithala Deo Temple. A beautiful red structure, this temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna.
On the banks of this beautiful lake stands the summer residence of the former rulers. A major part of the lake itself is covered with lotus flowers.
Kagadi Pikup Weir
Located on Ratlam Road, 3 kilometres from the main city, is Kagadi Pikup Weir. It is worth visiting for its enchanting fountains, gardens and water bodies. It overlooks the Kagdi Lake and is a part of the Mahi Bajaj Sagar project.
The Mahi River, which flows through the region, has several islands at various distances. In fact, in some ancient writings, Banswara finds mention as ‘the city of hundred islands’. Various dams and canals have been built over the Mahi River under the Mahi Bajaj Sagar Project.
Paraheda, a famous Shiva temple, is located in Garhi Tehsil. It was constructed by King Mandlik in the 12th century and is approximately 22 kilometres from Banswara.
Raj Mandir, also known as the City Palace, is a 16th century structure that sits atop a hill as if keeping an eye on the town below. It is built in the style typical of old Rajput architecture. this palace still belongs to the royal family.
This town is famous for the ancient temple of the Sun, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Jain Temple of Sambharnath, Lord Amaliya Ganesh, Maha Laxmi Temple and Dwarkadhish Temple. A number of Sompura Sculpture artists can be seen carving stones on the roadside in Talwara.
There is a temple of Goddess Tripura Sundari known as Tartai Mata here, which has beautiful idol of black stone having 18 hands each carrying a symbol, while the Goddess is seen riding a tiger. The exact date of construction of this temple is not known, it is said to have been built before Samrat Kanishka, who ruled here. It is one of the ‘Shakti Peeths’ of the Hindus.
This is a famous temple of Lord Shiva built inside a natural cave on top of a hill towards the eastern part of the city .It provides a sensational view.
Standing elegantly near Bai Talab Lake are the rare species of large Kalpa Virksha trees in a pair (Raja – Rani) which are said to fulfill the wishes of people.
Samai Mata Bhandariya
About 400 steps take you the temple of Samai Mata, perched on top of a hill. It is a beautiful picnic spot about 4kms from the city.
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.
This village is known for its famous 12th century old temple of ‘Lord Brahma’. which houses a statue of Lord Brahma of an average man’s height.
How to Reach Here
By air: The closest airport is Udaipur Airport which is 185 kms away.
By road: Buses are available from Delhi, Jaipur and Bharatpur to Banswara.
By rail: The nearest station is Ratlam which is 80 kms away.
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