Banswara was the eastern part of the territory known as Bangar…the western part being Dungarpur. Varying accounts are available regarding the founding of the state. Samant Singh, the elder son of Rawal kshem Singh ruled over Mewar. After Samant Singh there were several successors. The warrior prince Udai singh succeeded to the throne between 1496 and 1498 AD.
After his death the state of Bangar was divided between his sons; Prithviraj-retaining the territory to the west of the River Mahi and Jagmal receiving the portion to the east of the river . There are conflicting versions about this however, the inscription of chheench of 1520 AD establishes that Jagmal was already installed as Maharawal before the death of Udai Singh.
Banswara is likely to have derived its name from ‘bans’ or bamboo shoots which grew in abundance around the area. It was the eastern part of the territory which was known as Bangar …the western part being Dungarpur.
The district presently comprises of the territories of the former Banswara state and the chief ship of Kushalgarh. While the central and Western portions are fertile plains, the scattered ranges of the Aravalis from the eastern region.
Banswara is home to the Bhil tribals who constitute a large size of the population. Banswara has a rich wildlife and the birdlife too, is exotic.
A Tribal Territory
Situated amongst the valley of aravalis, Banswara represents tribal culture in its original form. Its area was covered mostly by bamboo trees (Bans) in the past because of which it was called Banswara. Banswara town was founded by king Jagmal. Religiously, having eleven and a half Swayambhoo Shivlings, it is ‘An area of hundred islands’. Being in the southern part of Rajasthan, its boundary meets with Gujarat and M.P. A compact culture is the result of this inter-regional neighborhood. The so called ‘Vagdi Culture’ is nothing but a mixture of Gujarati, Malwi, Rajasthani and Mewari cultures. Banswara district is rich in forests, hills and wildlife. Tribals are the natives of this region. The place is known for its ancient temples and natural beauty.
Nearest Airport at Udaipur (160 kms) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh) (21 kms)
Nearest Railway Station is at Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh) (80 kms), connected with all major cities of the country.
No route in the district has so far been nationalized. Rajasthan, Gujarat and M.P. Roadways and private travel agencies operate frequent bus services to major cities like Ahmedabad, Baroda, Ujjain, Bhopal, Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Mount Abu, Mumbai, Delhi etc.
Shri Raj Mandir
Overlooking the town, this 16th century place is very attractive. Sprawling over a large area, it is a fine example of Old Rajput Architecture. The palace is still owned by the royal family and can be visited only on invitation.
There are some beautiful lakes around Banswara city – BIA Talab, Dailab and Raj Talab are located in scenic surroundings.
Kagdi Pick up Weir
Kagdi pick up weir is the main tourist attraction situated 03 kms away from the main city on Ratlam Road. It’s a place worth seeing, especially for its fountains, gardens and water, spread over a wide area.
Anand Sagar Lake
On the eastern side of the town lies this artificial lake, said to have been constructed by Lachhi Bai of Ider – the Rani of Maharawal Jagmal. The chhatris or cenotaphs of erstwhile rulers of the state are situated closeby. Also nearby, are the holy trees known as “Kalpa Vriksha” which are said to fulfill the desires of visitors.
A part of this lake is covered with beautiful lotus flowers. On the banks of the lake is Badal Mahal, the summer residence of the former rulers.
The rare species of two large kalpa vriksha trees in a pair (Raja-Rani), standing elegantly near Bai Talab Lake are famous for fulfilling the wishes of the people.
Samai Mata Bhandariya
It is a beautiful & natural picnic spot some 04 kms from the city. There are about 400 steps uphill for reaching the temple of Samai Mata, perched on top of the hill.
15 kms away from Banswara is a famous town known as Talwara. It is famous for the ancient temple of Sun God, Lord Amaliya Ganesh, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Dwarka Dhish temple and Jain temples of Sambhaarnath. A number of Sompura sculpture artists can be seen carving stones on the roadside in Talwara.
Some 17 kms away from the city, it is a place surrounded by hills. People call it”Phati Khan” because is a deep cave under a hill. There is a pool of very cold water which is found throughout the year. It is said that Lord Ram, during his exile came and stayed here for some time.
There is a famous 12th century temple of ‘Lord Brahma’ here. The black stone statue is of an average man’s height.
This place of great archeological importance is the major attraction of Banswara district. Arthuna is 55 kms away from Banswara. There is a complex of ancient temples which were built in the 11th and 12th centuries. In ancient times it was the capital city of the Parmar rulers. Many temples have been excavated which reveal the glorious past of our rich heritage. It is called the village of old and broken temples.
60 kms away from Banswara, lays this place made famous by Govind Guru. He 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 on the alter of freedom. Later, 1500 Gurubhakt Bhils sacrificed while fighting against the British army. It is called the Jallianwala Bagh of Rajasthan.
Mahi Dam 18 km
Banswara is also well known for the Bajaj Sagar Project and for numerous dams and canals situated at beautiful sites. The Mahi River has a number of islands inside the Mahi Dam catchment area and thus Banswara is also known as the ‘City of Hundred Islands’. Other dams worth visiting are Sarvania Dam, Lilwania Dam, Haro Dam and Gaman Bridge.
There are many waterfalls with heights varying between 150 to 200 ft these are seasonal falls, The main falls are Kagdi Fall (11kms), Juandra Fall (35 kms), Fatehpura Amalipada Fall (4 kms), Bhuadra Fall (32 kms), and Jhola Fall (33 kms). All these falls are breath taking during the rainy season.
19 kms away from Banswara is a temple of goddess Tripura Sundari, commonly known as Turtia Mata. It has a beautiful idol of black stone having 18 hands, each carrying some symbol, while the goddess is seen riding a tiger. It is believed that this temple was build before Samrat Kanishka, who ruled here. The exact date of its construction is not yet known. It is said to be one of the ‘Shakti Peeths’ of the Hindu having charismatic divine power.
Andeshwar Tirth near Kushalgarh and Vagwar Sammed Shikhar in Nogama are very famous Jain temples housing rare Shilalekhs of the 10th century. Such temples are also found in Talwara, Kalinjara, Bagidora, Ajna and Banswara