Banswara: Rajasthan through districts
Rajasthan through districts/Banswara/Rajasthan/GK
Rajasthan General Studies/Rajasthan GK for RPSC RAS/RTS Exams
Banswara, literally meaning the “Bamboo Country” is famous for its bamboo plantations. The city is located in South Rajasthan. The erstwhile princely state is also known as the “City of Hundred Islands” due to the presence of numerous islands alongside the Mahi River. The district is largely populated by tribals. It is rich in wildlife and known for its ancient temples. Udaipur is 165 km from Banswara.
Banswara is situated in the southern most part of Rajasthan, at an average altitude of 302 meters. It is the small district with area of 5037 sq. km and lies between 23.11° N to 23.56° N latitudes and 73.58° E to 74.49° E. longitudes. The district boundary in the east and south coincides with the state boundaries of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat respectively; whereas the northern-eastern and western boundaries of Banswara coincide with district boundaries of Pratapgarh and Dungarpur districts, respectively.
As per 2011 Census, Banswara has total population of 17, 98,194. The main occupation of the people, especially of tribals, is agriculture. The tribals live in small one-room houses, known as “tapra”, which lie scattered all over the area. The main dialect spoken in the district is Wagri, a mixture of Gujrati and Mewari.
Banswara has been land of tribes. Around 1400 BC, Bhils and Minas roamed and ruled the land. The princely state of Banswara was established by Jagmal Singh after defeating and killing a Bhil ruler Bansia or Wasna. The district is said be named after the same Bhil ruler or probably for the “bans” or bamboo forests in the area. The rulers of the state bore the title ‘Maharawal’ from 1688 onwards. Banswara State became a British protectorate on 16 November 1818. Banswara district forms eastern part of the region known as Vagad or Vagwar. Another popular name of Banswara is ‘Little Kashi’ or ‘Lodhikashi’, due to the presence of 12 and a half Swayambhu Shivalinga.
Geographical/Historical Places of Banswara
1. Tripura Sundari : Tripura Sundari is the temple, devoted to Goddess Tripura Sundari or Turita Mata, which has beautiful idol of black stone having 18 hands each carrying a symbol, while the Goddess is seen riding a tiger. The exact date of construction of this temple is unknown but, it is said to have been built before Samrat Kanishka (Kushana time), who ruled here. It is one of the ‘Shakti Peeths’ of the Hindus.
2. Mangarh Hill (Jallianwallah Bagh of Rajasthan): It was on Mangad hill, six years before the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, that over 1,500 Bhil tribals that were gathered for a peaceful meeting under social reformer Govindgiri and Punja were killed by British forces on November 17, 1913. In 2016, CM of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje declared that a national museum will be built at the martyrdom site.
3. Paraheda: Paraheda is a famous Shiva temple located in Garhi Tehsil. It was constructed by King Mandlik in the 12th century and is approximately 22- kilometres from Banswara. Shri Raj Mandir or more popularly known as the City Palace, situated on a hillock overlooking the town, is built in Rajput Architecture style in the 16th century.
4. Beneshwar Fair: The biggest tribal fair is held at Beneshwar (in Dungarpur) at the confluence of Mahi, Som and Jakham. A number of tribals from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan gather to immerse the mortal remains of the dead. They worship, sing and dance on Magh Purnima, which falls in the month of February. The mela is held between Magh Shukla Gyaras and Magh Krishna Panchami.
The mineral wealth of Banswara district, is constituted mainly by non-metallic minerals like rock phosphate, limestone (Oda-bassi, Kalinjara), marble (Tripura-Sundri), dolomite, soapstone, graphite etc. The metallic minerals occuring in the district include manganese (Leelwana, Talwada), iron (Loharia), lead-zinc and copper ores. Recently presence of gold is reported in Jagpura-Bhukia, Neemrana Mata, and Khamera-Undwala area of Banswara.
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