Banswara is a city situated in the southern part of Rajasthan state. It is the district headquarter of Banswara district, which is spread over 5,307 square kilometers. Banswara is situated at an average height of 302 meters, which was a princely state in ancient times, whose foundation was laid by Maharawal 'Jagmal Singh'. This place has got its name from the forests of bamboo here. This city is also known as "City of Hundred Islands" because the 'Mahi' river which flows from here has a large number of islands.
District Banswara was earlier a princely state, and it was ruled by the Maharawals. They shaped the eastern part of this area, which was known as the Vagad. According to folklore, this region was ruled by Bhil ruler 'Bansia', who gave it the name of Banswara. Later he was defeated by Jagmal Singh and was killed and then Jagmal Singh became the first Maharaj of the state.
In 1913, under the leadership of social reformer Govindgiri and Pānja, some nihilist Bhils revolted against the ruling government. However, their rebellion was suppressed, but hundreds of naysayers, who were holding a peaceful meeting on Mangarh hill, had been shot dead. This incident is known as mini Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The place where this incident took place on the Maangarhhill turned into a sacred place and now it is known as Mangarh Dham.
After India's independence in 1949, Banswara State and Kushalgarh Sardari merged with the state of Rajasthan and Banswara was nominated out as a separate district. Apart from Bhil, Bhil Meena, Damor, Charpota and Anima, other prominent castes such as Patel, Rajput, Brahmins, and Mahajan live in this area. Vaagdi, which is a mixture of Gujarati and Mewari language, is a popular language spoken here.
Tripura Sundari, Mahi Dam, Kagdi Pick Up Weir and Madareshwar Shiva Mandir are some of the popular tourist attractions of this area. Currently, some other tourist attractions like Abdullah Peer, Anand Sagar Lake, Bhim Kund, Anandeshwar (Jain Temple) and Cheech Brahma Temple are included in Banswara district.
Udaipur Airport, which is located 157 kilometers from this district, is the nearest airport to Banswara. Regular flights are available from here to Jodhpur, Jaipur, Mumbai, and Delhi. Bus service is available to reach Banswara from Ratlam, Dungarpur, Dohad, and Jaipur. The best time to visit Banswara is considered from August to March.
Mahi dam in Banswara was built as a part of the Mahi Bajaj Sagar project. Since there are a large number of islands inside the catchment area of Mahi Dam, Banswara is also popular as the "City of 100 Islands". This dam is situated at a distance of 16 km from Banswara district and can be reached easily by road.
Tripura Sundari Mandir is situated at a distance of 19 km from the headquarters of Banswara district. This temple is dedicated to Tripura Sundari Devi, also known as Mother Turtia. An idol of goddess carved on a black stone is distinguished in the temple. According to folklore, the temple was built even before the rule of Kushan dictator. This temple is famous as a 'Shakti Peeth' and it is a sacred place for those who worship Hindu Goddess 'Shakti' or Goddess 'Parvati'.
Anand Sagar Lake is a beautiful artificial lake situated in the eastern part of Banswara. It is said that this lake was built by Lakhchi Bai, the wife of Maharaja Jagamal. The cenotaphs or the monuments of the former rulers are located near the lake. The holy tree is known as 'Kalp tree' which, as believed, caters to the wishes of the visitors is also situated near this lake. The lake is situated at a distance of 3 kilometers from the District headquarters and can be reached by buses and taxis.
Arthuna in Banswara is one of the most visited places of the district, a site of great and famous archaeological significance. There are many temples constructed in the complex, in the 11th and 12th centuries, of the finest textures. Several religious places have been excavated here, which reveal the glorious past of India's rich heritage. Though there is a large number of temples here, Arthuna is often referred to as the village of old and broken-temples. This area has been the capital of Parmar rulers in ancient times.
Andeshwar is a famous Jain temple which contains rare inscriptions of the 10th century. There are two Digambar Jain Parshvanatha temples in this compound. The idol of Lord Parshvanath is 30 inches high and black in color. The main temple is managed by Digambar Jain Panchayat of Kushalgarh.
Bhim Kund is a beautiful place situated 30 km from the district headquarters. According to folklore, Pandavas (Mahabharata) lived in this place during their exile. There is a tunnel here, it is believed that it ends up in a place called Khotia Amba and the Pandavas used it to avoid the rain.
Cheech Brahma Temple is a 12th-century temple dedicated to Lord Brahma. The statue of Brahma kept here is carved on black stone and its height is equal to the height of an average man. This temple is situated at a distance of 18 km from the district headquarter and can easily be reached by bus, taxi, and tempo.
Diablo Lake is situated at 1 km from the district headquarters and is a popular tourist attraction, thanks to its natural beauty. This lake is partly covered with beautiful lotus flowers which further enhance the lake's attraction. On the banks of the lake is the former residence of the previous rulers. known as Badal Mahal. People can enjoy boating at the lake during the summer season.
Kagdi Pick Up Weir, which is situated on Ratlam road, 3 kilometers from the district headquarters of Banswara, is a major tourist attraction. Beautiful gardens, fountains, and water spread in a large area, together they make a 'hotspot' for tourists.
Madareshwar Shiva temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This famous temple is located on the top of the hill in the eastern part of the city, inside a natural cave. Since this Shiva temple is inside a cave, devotees coming to this temple compare it with the great pilgrimage of Amarnath. Maha Shivratri is an important occasion when Rudra Abhishek is worshiped here. This temple is the starting point of the Kawadi journey which ends in the Baneshwar temple. This journey is on foot and it includes bringing water of the Mahi river and organizing pooja. The temple is situated at a distance of 4 kilometers from the district headquarters and can be easily accessed by taxis and two-wheelers.
Paraheda is a famous Shiva temple which takes us back in the 12th century. This temple is situated at a distance of 25 km from the headquarters of Banswara District and was constructed by Raja Mandalik. There are a large number of inscriptions which are evidence of the existence of Parmara kings.
Ram Kund is also called 'Phati Khan' because it is in the form of a deep cave under a hill. Surrounded by hills from all sides, this place is a remedy for nature lovers. A pool of cold water is located nearby, it is a unique pool because it never dries up. People believe that Lord Rama spent some time at this place during his work, hence the name was Ram Kund.
Shri Sai Baba Temple, built on the top of the hill, is a famous temple dedicated to Sai Baba. It is situated at a distance of 1 km from the district headquarters, and can easily be reached by taxi or tempo.
Shri Raj Mandir, also popular as the City Palace, is a charming palace of the 16th century. It is spread over a large area which is a symbol of old Rajput architecture. This monument is owned by the royal family of Rajasthan and tourists can visit it only on invitation.
Talwara is a city located 17 km from Banswara District Headquarters, which is famous for the ancient temples of Sun God and Lord Amalia Ganesha. Other popular temples such as Laxmi Narayan Temple, Temple of Dwarkadhish and Jain Temple of Sambhavnath are also present here. When tourists walk on the streets of Talwara, many Sompura artists can be seen making beautiful designs on stones.