Places to Visit in Banaskantha (Palanpur)
Banaskantha is a district of the Gujarat state. The district has administrative headquarters at Palanpur, which is apparently its largest city. Banaskantha was named after the “West Banas River”.
Palanpur city in the close vicinity of Aravali Mountains derives its name from Palansi Chauhans, who inhabited the city in the 14th century. It is the beautiful place that one can visit when in Banaskantha.
Ambaji Temple and Gabbar Hill
Ambaji, a famous pilgrimage of Gujarat in India is situated on the borders of Gujarat and Rajasthan state near Abu Road, in the Danta Taluka of Banaskantha District, near the origin of the famous Vedic virgin river SARASWATI. In fact, it is one of the Fifty One (51) ancient Shakti Piths, the leading Centre of Cosmic Power in India.
Balaram Mahadev Temple
The sacred temple of Balram Mahadev situated about 12 km far from Banaskantha district. The palace is in a neo-Classical Baroque style, with arcades and classical columns. Vast gardens, clearly defined contours, landscaped to blend with exotic plants, bridges, and ramps for easy access to the original Nawabi look.
Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary
This Bear Sanctuary is located in the Jessore hills of Aravalli range in a dry deciduous forest. Apart from sloth bear, other fauna found in the sanctuary are leopards, blue bull, wild boar, porcupine, etc. Other endangered species fostered by the wildlife reserve are jungle cat, civet, caracal, wolf, and hyena. Jessore sanctuary has also identified 406 species of plants and birds.
Kirti Stambh (Victory Tower)
A tall pillar saluting the glory of the Nawabs of Palanpur is the Kirti Stambh. In 1918, Nawab Shri Taley Mohammed Khan constructed it near a railway station to commemorate the gallantry of Shri Sher Mohammed Khan. Then, it was built under the supervision of Public Works Officer Sayed Gulab Miyan Abdumiyan at the total cost of Rs.40,000.
Today, it is a potent symbol of the city’s glory providing a record of Palanpur’s evolution, with the list of the rulers of Jhalore and Palanpur engraved on it.
Balaram Palace Resort
Earlier, it was used to be a resting place for the Lohani Nawab of the Palanpur region. Now, used to be a hunting retreat once has now been converted into a palace resort. In between the year 1922 to 1936, 29th ruler of Palanpur, originally built the castle. The unique architectural style of the palace represents a combination of the Baroque and Neo-Classical ancient architecture. The resort covers a land area of 542 sq. km within the region of the Aravalli and the Balaram Ambaji Reserve Forest area.
An ancient step well in Palanpur, Mithi Vav is the best-preserved architectural monument with seven galleries on the wall on either side.
Shri Tirth (Jain Temple)
Built by King Prahlad, this Temple is famous as the temple of Prahladan Parshvanath. Today it is known as the temple of Pallaviya Parshvanath. This brave king melted the metal idol of Delvada in Abu and made an idol of Shiva riding a bull. As per history, it is believed that inflicted by Leprosy, agonized king went to the jungle. There he met Acharyashri Shalibhadrasurisvar. And, out of his instructions and blessings, he made a temple of Lord Parshvanath by which he got cured of his disease. Since, then King Prahlad became a follower of the Jain religion and performed many acts of divinity. He was a scholar and wrote many books. His dramatic work entitled ” Parshva Parakram Vyasang” is famous even today.