Nestling 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. 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 partridges, peafowls, quails, cuckoos, eagles and
vultures. Various migratory birds also visit the area during
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.
Places to See Around Dungarpur
Udai Bilas Palace : The royal
residences named after Maharawal Udai Singh II, 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
Juna Mahal : The 13th century
seven storeyed structure resembles 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.
Gaib Sagar Lake : A famous
shrine of Shrinathji lies along the lake. The shrine is a
conglomeration of several exquisitely built temples with one
The Vijay Raj Rajeshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is
an architectural splendour and a fine example of craftsmanship
of the sculptors or shilpkars of Dungarpur.
Govt. Archaeological Museum
: The museum houses a fine collection of ancient statues.
Baneshwar (60 kms) : At the
confluence of the Som and Mahi rivers, stands the Baneshwar
Temple 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 storeyed structure with exquisitely
carved pillars and gateways. The temple is the venue of an
Deo Somnath (24 km) : A splendid
12th century temple of Lord Shiva built in white stone, the
temple has imposing turrets. The brilliant juxtaposition of
huge stone slabs to create this impressive edifice epitomizes
the craftsmanship of a magnificent era.
Galiyakot (58 km) : 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 temples close by
are also worth a visit.
Baroda (41 km) : 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 km) : A famous
temple 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 km) : A beautiful
temple dedicated to Mavji preserves the manuscript of a book
– ‘Chopra’, written by Mavji and an idol of Nishkalank riding