DUNGARPUR: THE LAND OF VARIED WONDERS
Nestled in the foot hills of the Aravallis, Dungarpur has an interesting topography, ranging from wild and rugged terrain in the north-east to fertile plains of alluvial soil in the south-west. Two magnificent rivers-the Mahi and the Som flow through the area. While the former separates the district from Banswara, the latter draws a natural boundary between the district and Udaipur
Dungarpur was founded in 1282 A.D. by Rawal Veer Singh, when he took over this part of the state from the Bhil Chieftain Dungaria.
The area is rich in teak, mahua, mango and khajur trees. Dungarpur is also noted for its wildlife variety-jackal, jungle cat, Indian fox, hyena, black faced monkey, porcupine, common mongoose are the common inhabitants. The commonly seen bird variety includes partrides, peaflowls, quails, cuckoos, easgles and vultures. Various migratory birds also visit the area during the winters.
Dungarpur is famous for its unique style of architecture as seen in its palaces and noble residences. These royal residences are adorned by `jharokhas' built in stone in a unique style typical of the area developed during the reign of Maharawal Shiv Singh (1730-1785 A.D.). The district's gold and silversmiths are renowned for lacquer painted toys and picture framing.
The royal residence named after Maharawal Udai Singh II, a patron of art & architecture, the palace is a veritable example of the Rajput architecture ornate with intricately sculptured pillars and panels, impressive balconies, bracketed windows and marvellous arches.
The 13th century seven storyed structure resembling a fortress with crenellated walls, turrets, narrow entrances and corridors to slow down the enemy. The splendid interiors embellished with beautiful frescoes, miniature paintings and glass and mirror work, make it an impressive creation.
One requires prior permission of the resident royal family to visit the palace.
A famour shrine of Shrinathji lies along the lake. The shrine is a conglomeration of several exquisitely built temples with one main temple.
The vijay Raj
Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is an architectural splendour and a fine example of craftsmanship of the shilpis of Dungarpur.
The meseum houses a fine collection of ancient statues.
Baneshwar (60 Kms.):
At the confluence of the Som and Mahi rivers, stands the Baneshwar
with a Shiva lingam. Nearby is the Vishnu temple, believed to be built on the spot where Mavji, an incarnation of Lord Krishna, meditated. Another noteworthy temple is the Brahma temple - a spacious two storyed structure with exquisitvely carved pillars and gateways.
The temple is the venue of an annual fair.
Deo Somnath (24 Kms.):
A slendid 12th century temple of
built in white stone, the temple has imposing turrests. The brilliant juxtaposition of huge stone slabs to create this impressive edifice epitomises the craftsmanship of the ancient time.
Galiyakot (58 Kms.):
Once the capital of Parmars, this tiny village is renowned for its magnificent shrine of Sayed Fakhruddin. Thousands of devotees throng here during the Urs. The shrine is beautifully decorated and illuminated for the occasion. The jain
closeby are also worth visit.
Baroda (41 Kms.):
An erstwhile capital of Vagad, the village has some beautiful temples. Of particular note are the old Shiva temple in white stone and an ancient Jain temple whose black wall has exquisitely carved image of the 24 tirthankaras.
Bhuvaneshwar (9 Kms.):
of Lord Shiva is situated here and is the venue of a colourful fair held on the fifth day after Holi. Gair dance by the Bhils is the major highlight of the fair.
Poonjpur (37 Kms.):
A beautiful temple dedicated to Mavji preserves the manuscript of a book - `Chopra' written by Mavji and an idol of Nishkalank riding a horse.