Tonk: History, Geography, Places

Location, Area & Administration:

The district of Tonk is located between latitudes 25°42′ to 26°34′ and longitudes 75°07′ to 76°19′.  It is bounded in north by Jaipur district, in the east by Sawai Madhopur district and in the south by Bundi, Kota and Bhilwara districts.

Tonk has an area of 7194 Sq. kms. and comprises six tehsils namely, Malpura, Niwai, Deoli, Tonk, Uniara and Toda Rajsingh.

Imagesource: MapsofIndia
Imagesource: MapsofIndia

History of Tonk:

The history of Tonk is very old as it is connected with Bairath culture & civilization. It was known as SAMWAD LAKSHYA in Mahabharat period. In the regime of Mauryas, it is under mauryas then it was merged in to Malvas. Most of the part was under Harsh Vardhan.

In the regime of Rajputs, the parts of this state are under Chavras, Solankis, Kachvahs, Sisodiyas and Chouhans. Later during Mughal period, Jaipur’s King Man Singh conquered Tari & Tokra Janpad in the regime of Akbar. In 1643 twelve village of Tokra janpad were given to Bhola Brahmin. Later Bhola gave a name to these twelve villages as ‘Tonk’.

Later, it was under the regime of King Holkar and Sindhia.

In 1806, Amir Khan conqurred it from Balvant Rao Holkar. Later, British government gained it from Amir Khan. As per the treaty of 1817, British government returned it to Amir Khan.ON 25th March 1948, when Nawab Mohd. Ismile Ali Khan was the ruler; Tonk was merged in to Rajasthan including an area of Tonk and Aligarh Tehsils of old Tonk State Newai. Malpura, Toda Raisingh and Uniara of Jaipur State, Deoli of Ajmer, Marwar and 27 villages of Bundi.

Tonk has been called Rajasthan ka Lucknow, Adab ka Gulshan, Romantic poet Akhtar Shreerani ki Nagri, Meethe Kharboojo ka Chaman, Hindu Muslim Ekta ka Maskan and as result of which Tonk could keep an isolated status in Rajasthan.

Historical Places of Tonk:

Arabic Persian Research Institute

Arabic Persian Research Institute in Tonk is the premier Indian Institute engaged in promotion and furtherance of Arabic and Persian studies. This institute was established by the Government of Rajasthan in 1978 with the objective of preserving and conserving the sources of Persian and Arabic Manuscripts available in Rajasthan.

Sunhari Kothisunehari-kothi

Sunhari Kothi (Mansion of Gold) is a magnificent hall,built by Nawab Mohammed Ibarahim Ali Khan (1867-1930), the Nawab of Tonk. The hall in within the old palace complex, white walls and ceilings are one sumptuous expanse of enamel mirror-work, gilt and painted glass illuminated through stained-glass windows. The entire effect is that of an exquisite piece of enamel jewellery blown up to the size of a hall.

Hathi Bhata

Carved out from a single stone this is a stone elephant which attracts tourists from all over to this place.

Bisaldeo Temple & Bisalpur Dam

bisaldeoBisalpur or Vigrahapura was founded by the Chahamana ruler Vigraharaja IV in the twelfth century A.D. Bisalpur was preceded by a still older city called Vanapura, which seems to have been ruled by the Takshakas (Nagas) of Todarai Singh. The importance of Bisalpur is due to its temple of Gokarnesvara, also known as Bisal Deoji’s temple, constructed by Vigraharaja IV or Visala, who was a devotee of Gokarna. The temple (22.20 m x 15.30 m) has a pancharatha sanctum, antarala, square mandapa and portico with sikhara. The sanctum enshrines a linga. The temple surmounted by a hemispherical dome, is supported on eight tall pillars carved on the lower section with floral festoons, chain-and-bell and circular medallions. There are several short inscriptions which record the visit of pilgrims from time to time. The earliest of these is dated A.D. 1154-65 and the inscription is important for mentioning the Chahamana chief Prithviraja III.

Hadi Rani Baori, Todrai Singh

hadi_rani_baoriThe step-tank is rectangular on plan with double-storeyed corridors on the western side, each having arched doorway. Below the lower storey, there are images of Brahma, Ganesa and Mahishasuramardini which are enshrined in niches. On all the three sides, steps are arranged in sets of thirteen each at higher level and five each at lower level, going up to the water level.  It is datable to circa twelfth-thirteenth century A.D.

Diggi Kalyan ji, Temple

digi-kalyan-jiThis is a very old temple, the antiquity of which is fabulous. The pinnacle of the temple (Shikhar) is magnificent. There are sixteen pillars supporting the Shikhar which has become extremely attractive because of the statuettes incurved thereon. The Sanctum Sanctorum, circumbulatory path, Jagmohan there in are a fine example of elegant architecture in marble. Adjacent is the temple Laxmi Narayan Ji. On the front gateway beautiful figures and statuettes have been incurved.

Geography of Tonk:

Tonk district has the shape of kite or rhombus with its eastern and western sides bending some what inward and the south-eastern portion protruding between Sawai Madhopur and Bundi districts. The district is flat at a general elevation of about 214.32 meters above sea level with rocky but scrubby hills.

The district mainly comprises a flat peneplain with thick alluvium cover. The Rajkot Baneta hills in the eastern part of Rajmahal- Toda Raisingh ridge in the southern part of the district with isolated hills, Tordi and Chansen are the main hill ranges of district.

Banas is the only perennial river which flows through the district. It enters Tonk district at Negdia in Deoli Tehsil and from this place it takes serpentine course, diving the district in roughly two third to its west and north and one third to its east and south. Its total length is 400 Kms.

Manshi the principal tributary of Banas travels along the borders of Jaipur and Tonk district between the Tehsils of Malpura and Phagi unitl it turns south to join the Banas at Galod village. The Sohadra is another important river as it feeds the Tordi sagar Tank, the biggest irigation tank in Rajasthan. It joins Mashi near village Dundia and thereafter meets, Banas River near village Galod. Other small river are khari, Daian , Bandi and Galwa which join Banas and Mashi river at Negdia , Bisalpur , Chaturpura and Chouth-ka-Barwara respectively.

Natural Resources of Tonk:

Tonk district is known on the mineral map of the state for its important occurrences of garnet and aquamarine. Other important mineral occurrences of the district are silica sand, mica, andalusite, corundum, soapstone and building stones.

Aquamarine

Aquamarine is one of the semiprecious varieties of beryl with sea-green to greenish blue in colour and transparent in nature. The occurrences of aquamarine are found near Toda Raisingh, Bagre, Rampura, Jhonparia, Botunda, Tharel and Hamirpur areas. It is found within or at the contact of pegmatite with the schist. 

Garnet

Tonk district enjoyed top position in Rajasthan in the production of gem garnet. The almandine variety of gem garnet is found between Rajmahal and Kalyanpura through Bisalpur. Many of the garnet quarries now fall into the catchment area of Bisalpur Dam.

Population:

According to the 2011 census Tonk district has a population of 1,421,711. The district has a population density of 198 inhabitants per square kilometer. Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 17.33%. Tonk has a sex ratio of 949 females for every 1000 males,and a literacy rate of 62.46%.