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Vagad Travel Circuit

Places of Interest: Dungarpur- Bhanswar.
Popular Places to Visit: Dungarpur & Bhanswar

Dungarpur and Banswara are the two important cities of the Vagad region. They have an interesting topography, ranging from the wild and rugged terrain in the northeast to fertile plains of alluvial soil in the southwest. These two districts are separated from each other by the magnificent Mahi river. This region was the stronghold of the Bhils and had its own unique lifestyle. Outside influences were minimal, as the region was quite inaccessible. Even today, this region does not fall in the regular tourist circuit but should be explored for its natural scenic beauty.

The area is rich in teak, mahua, and mango trees. The unspoilt-forested areas provide shelter to the jackal, jungle cat, Indian fox, hyena; black faced monkey and porcupine. This area is ideal for those interested in outdoor life. The terrain is ideal for walks and treks; you can spend your time studying the flora and fauna that is unique to this area. This region is so different from the rest of Rajasthan that it is like being in a different state. Also, not being on the tourist circuit, the facilities are a little limited here but you will find enough to make you trip comfortable. In fact, it is just the place to explore if you're looking for the unexpected. Let yourself be surprised.

Places to See

Daungarpur was founded in the early 13th century. It is famous for its unique architectural style. The areas of interest here are Udai Bilas Palace and Juna Palace . Another interesting place to visit is the famous shrine dedicated to Shrinathji that lies on the bank of the Gaib Sagar lake. The water bodies in Dungarpur attract a large variety of migratory birds during the winters. Other commonly seen birds are partridges, peafowls, quails, cuckoos, eagles and vultures. Udai Bilas Palace is a good example of Rajput architecture with its intricately sculptured pillars and panels, impressive balconies, bracketed windows and marvelous panels. Juna Mahal is a seven storied structure, resembling a fortress with crenellated walls, turrets, narrow entrances and corridors. The interiors are embellished with beautiful frescoes, miniature paintings, glass and mirror work. While some of the most beautiful palaces all over Rajasthan were vandalised by invaders,

Dungarpur was fortunate to have been located in the deep interiors. Its wall paintings are well preserved and there is very little damage to the buildings. The surrounding areas are full of interesting little temple towns, archaeological sites of great importance and ruins of ancient kingdoms.

Visit Beneshwar located at the confluence of the Som and Mahi rivers. The Baneshwar temple is much revered by the Bhils. Other temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma are worth seeing for their exquisitely carved pillars and gateways. Tis is also the place to be in when the Bhils celebrate their biggest and most important fair- the Baneshwar Fair. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this is the largest gathering of the Bhils who collect here from all over, including Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. A visit to the fair can be great fun as you mingle with the crowds and watch the simple tribal folk enjoying themselves.

Dev Somnath is a splendid 12th century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is an exact replica of the original Somnath temple in Gujarat. When the original temple was destroyed several times by the Muslim invaders, devout Hindus decided to create this replica in the interiors so that it would remain safe. Galiyakot was once the capital of the Parmar kings but today it is renowned for its magnificent shrine dedicated to Sayed Fakhruddin. Thousands of devotees gather here during the Urs. Other important places to see are Baroda, the erstwhile capital ofVagad, where some temples still survive and Bhuvaneshwar, which can be visited for its famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Banswara is another big town of Vagad to be visited for its natural beauty. The name Banswar, too has been derived from bans, or bamboo which once grew in abundance here. The undulating green hills, deep forested valleys and lakes give this area its own unique feel. More than its architectural heritage, this region is nature lover's paradise. You cn go for walks and treks, can watch birds and study the flora and allow you to enjoy the simple pleasures that keep the Bhils happy. Bhils constitute half of the total population of Banswar. A stonewall, now in ruins, surrounds the ancient town. An impressive palace of the former rulers of Banswar stands overlooking the town. There are several areas of interest tht can be explored in and around Banswar. The Mahi river has a number of islands that make for interesting spots, there is also a well maintained garden at the Kagdi Pick up and the Mani Dam. Other lakes like the Anand Sagar and Dalab Lake are also worth a visit.

For the adventurous, there are several interesting places located a short distance away from Banswar. Arthuna is famous for its 11th century temples, Talwar has ruins of some ancient temples that are famous for their carved idols, the temple of goddess Tripur Sundari is dedicated to Goddess Durga and has a beautiful idol of the goddess helped out of black stone.

Rajasthan Travel Circuits»Dhundhar Circuit: | Brij-Mewar Circuit | Hadoti Circuit | Mewar Circuit
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