Bhilwara District: History, Geography, Places to See
Bhilwara is famous as the ‘city of textiles and looms’. The city is also home to the world renowned Ramdwara of Ramsnehi Sampraday. The founder Guru of the Sampraday, Swami Ramcharanji Maharaj, preached to his followers here and later decided to move to Shahpura. The present day headquarters of the Ram Snehi Sampraday, known as Ram Niwas Dham are located in Shahpura.
The Name – ‘Bhilwara’
It is not on the record as how the name of Bhilwara was ascribed to the geographical region which now forms the district. As per a traditional story, the area got its name from the Bhils (tribal people) who lived there during the days of yore. These Bhils were eventually driven away towards the hilly tracts and interior places of less importance by the ancestors of the peasant settlers.
As per another story, city had a mint where coins known as ‘BHILADI’ were minted and from this denomination was derived the name of the district.
History of Bhilwara
In Indian mythology, Bhilwara finds mention in Mahabharata where Arjuna, while going to Dwarika with all Gopis, is said to have fought here during the Mahabharata period. Bhilwara’s cultural history can be traced back to the Nagar Brahmins mentioned in the Skanda Purana.
In ancient times the Bhilwara was part of Guhil and Chouhan rulers of the state. According to the ancient Chronological description, it is believed that Bhilwara town was found at some stage in 11th century, at the same time when a “Bhil” tribe constructed a shrine for Lord Shiva at the region of the “Jataun ka Mandir”.
During the Mughal period Bhilwara was part of the kingdom of Mewar under the Shahpura principality. Historical records show that Mandal served as the military base of the Mughals when they had attacked Chittaurgarh. A watch tower that was built on a small mound in Mandal is now a Devi temple.
Mewar state had also set up a mint (Taksal) in Bhilwara, where coins known as ‘BHILADI‘ were minted and from this denomination was derived the name of the district.
In 1858, a fierce battle was fought at the Sanagner village in Bhilwara, between renowned revolutionist Tantya Tope and the British.
The Mewar State and Shahpura Riyasat merged in “Syunkt Rajasthan”and district of Bhilwara came into existence in 1949.
Fairs & Festivals of Bhilwara:
|Name of festival||Descriptions|
|Sheetla Shaptami||Sheetala Saptami is celebrated on the 7th day of the dark fortnight in the months of Chaitra and Shravan according to the Hindu calendar. Sheetala Mata is considered to be the Goddess of children.|
|Rang Teras festival is celebrated on the 13th day of the dark fortnight in Chaitra month. It is celebrated like the festival of “Holi” and the special attraction is Nahar Nritya celebrated in Mandal|
|Gote mar holi||The people enjoy this festival with colors.|
|Navratra||Navratri is popular across all states of India. It is celebrated in Bhilwara with great zeal.|
|Gangaur||Gangaur is celebrated in all the districts of the state with equal excitement. Gangaur literally means the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Gangaur festival is celebrated in the Chaitra Month (March) every year.|
|Phooldol Mahotasav||Phooldol Mahotsava fair is organised every year in Bhilwara for five days at the famous Ramdwara temple in the Shahpura region of the district.|
Geography of Bhilwara:
The district of Bhilwara is situated on an elevated plateau. The eastern part of the district has a cluster of hills. The district is intersected by the Aravali ranges at several places. The hill ranges in North-East corner of the district extend upto jahajpur tehsil. The ranges are also predominant in the south east in Mandalgarh tehsil. Occasional inselberg, low-lying hillocks and chains of ridges break the monotony of peneplained tract. The area of the district generally slopes gently except in western & northwestern part where slope is high.
Soils of Bhilwara:
The soil of the district varies from sandy loam to heavy loams. Soils of the district are classified as follows:
- Clay loam or medium black: This type of soil is found in the hilly areas in the central parts of the district.
- Loam: This type of soil is found in the entire district.
- Sand and sandy loam: This type of soil is found mostly near the banks of rivers and nallahs.
- Loam pebbly & stony: These types of soils are met within the hilly areas of the eastern blocks of the district.
Climate of Bhilwara:
The district has a hot dry summer and bracing cold winter. The cold season is from December to February and is followed by hot summers from March to the last week of June. The south-west monsoon season which follows, last till about mid September. The period from mid September to about the end of November constitutes the post monsoon season.
Rivers of Bhilwara:
Though there is no natural lake in Bhilwara but there are number of ponds and dams. Many rivers meander their way through the Bhilwara district of Rajasthan. Bhilwara district falls in the Banas (9157.2 sq km), Chambal (1164.9 sq km) & Luni basins (133.0 sq km).
Major River of the district is Banas, which flows in northeast to easterly direction. It enters near village Doodiya in Bhilwara tehsil in the west flowing towards east and takes an abrupt turn towards north-northeastern direction near Bigod downstream of the confluence with Berach River and again takes an easterly turn near Kanti and finally flows towards northeast till it enters Tonk district. Total length of the Banas River is 142 km in Bhilwara district. Channel pattern of Banas is sinuous and changes to more or less straight between Bigod and Rajamahal indicating structural control on the drainage pattern. Important tributaries are Berach, Kothari, Unli, Mendi, Nakadi, Chandrabhaga and Khari River. All these are ephemeral.
Natural Places of Bhilwara:
- Meja Dam: The Meja dam is one of the biggest dam of the district and famous for green mount park.
- Triveni Sangam: This is holy place where many people worship here. It is the Sangam of three rivers Banas, Bedach, Menali. At this place the ship temple is also situated.
- Hameergarh Eco-Park: This Eco-park is situated at Hills of Hameergarh far 18 km from Bhilwara. The park is famous for “Chinkara”. You can see Blue Bulls, Jackles, Foxes, Vultures and many other wild animals. The “Mansha Mahadev” famous Shiv Temple is situated here.
- Samriti Van
Location, Area & Administration:
Bhilwara is located at an altitude of 421 meters from sea-level with coordinates 25.35°N Latitude and 74.63°E Longitude. Bhilwara is bounded by Ajmer district from north, Bundi district from east, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Madhya Pradesh from South and Rajsamand district from west.
Bhilwara has an area of 10508 Square Km. and for administration has been divided into 16 tehsils namely Asind, Banera, Badnore, Bhilwara, Beejoliya, Hameergarh, Hurda, Jahazpur, Kareda, Kotri, Mandal, Mandalgarh, Phuliya Kalan, Raipur, Shahpura and Sahada.
Natural Resources of Bhilwara:
Bhilwara district was well known for mica mining in the country for considerable long period but after the discovery of huge deposit of lead-zinc near village Rampura-Agucha by state department, this district has attained national importance. Other important minerals available in the district are copper ore, soapstone, clay, quartz, feldspar, garnet, dolomite, clacite, limestone, silica sand, marble, granite and sandstone.
Population of Bhilwara:
According to the 2011 census Bhilwara district has population of 24,10,459 out of which 78.72 percent belong to rural areas & 21.28 percent belong to urban areas. The decadal growth rate of population from 2001-2011 has been 19.60 percent. The district has a population density of 230 inhabitants per square kilometer. Bhilwara has sex ratio of 969 females for every 1000 males, and overall literacy rate of 62.71%.
How to Reach:
- By Air: The nearest airport is Udaipur Airport- 148 kms
- By Train: Bhilwara is well connected to Ajmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Kota, Indore Junction, Ujjain and Delhi by rail.
- By Road: National Highway No. 79 and National Highway No. 76 pass through Bhilwara.