Palanpur – Ideal For Art Lovers
Palanpur is a city and a municipality of Banaskantha district in the Indian state of Gujarat. Palanpur is the administrative headquarters of Banaskantha district. Palanpur is the ancestral home to an industry of Indian diamond merchants.
Palanpur in early times is said to have been called Prahladana Patan or Prahaladanapura after its founder Prahladana, mentioned in Jain texts. It was afterwards re-peopled by Palansi Chauhan from whom it took its modern name. Others say that it was founded by Pal Parmar whose brother Jagadev founded nearby Jagana village.
An aerial view of Jorawar Palace, 1936
The Jain texts mentions that Prahladana, brother of Paramara Dharavarsha of Abu, founded Prahladanapur in 1218 and built Prahladana-vihara dedicated to Pallaviya Parshwanatha. The town was re-peopled ruled by Chauhans around thirteenth century. At the start of the seventeenth century, the Palanpur State was taken over by Jhalori dynasty of the Pashtun Lohani tribe which was founded in 1373 and ruled from Jalore (Rajasthan). The dynasty came into historical prominence during the period of instability that followed the demise of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in the early 18th century. It was overrun soon afterwards by the Marathas; the Lohanis followed the trend of seeking recourse in the British East India Company against them and finally entered the subsidiary alliance system in 1817, along with all other neighbouring states, becoming a British protectorate. After independence of India in 1947, Palanpur State was dissolved in 1949 and merged with Union of India as a part of Bombay State. Subsequently Palanpur became the capital of Banaskantha district of Gujarat.
Places of interest
In 1750 (Samvat 1806), Bahadur Khan built a brick and mortar city-wall, the Nagarkot of Palanpur. It was 3 miles round, 17 to 20 feet high and 6 feet broad with seven bastioned gateways, and, at the corners, round towers armed with guns. The gateways of the city-walls were Delhi Darwaja, Gathaman Darwaja, Malan Darwaja, Mira Darwaja, Virbai Darwaja, Salempura Darwaja, Sadarpur Darwaja or Shimla Darwaja. Only Mira Darwaja survives today.
Sher Muhammad Khan attended the coronation ceremony of King George V in Delhi in 1910 and built a club named after him in 1913. In 1918, his successor Tale Muhammad Khan constructed Kirti Stambh, a 22 metre tower near the railway station commemorating the gallantry of his father and the history of town and his dynasty. He also built Balaram Palace between 1922 to 1936 and later Jorawar Palace (Currently used as Judicial Court) also. In 1939, he also built Shashivan, formerly Jahanara Baug, a garden to commemorate his second marriage with a daughter of an Australian businessman.
The old marketplaces are Nani Bazar, Moti Bazar and Dhalvas. Apart from Shahshivan, Chaman Bag is a major public garden in the town. Early Jhalori ruler Malik Mujahid Khan built Mansarovar, a lake dedicated to his queen Manbai Jadeja, in 1628.
Mithi Vav, a stepwell is the oldest surviving monument of town. It is situated in the eastern part of the town. The five storey stepwell can be entered from the west. Based on its architectural style, it is believed that it is constructed in late medieval period but the sculptures embedded in the walls may belong to earlier period. The sculptures include that of Ganesha, Shiva, Apsaras, dancing figures, worshiping couples and floral or geometrical patterns. A worn out inscription found on one sculpture embedded in left wall can not read clearly but the year Samvat 1320 ( 1263 AD) can made out.
Palanpur has several temples dedicated to Hinduism and Jainism.
The Chaulukya dynasty ruler Jayasimha Siddharaja of Anhilwad Patan is believed to be born in Palanpur. His mother Meenaldevi built Pataleshwar Temple dedicated to Shiva. Other Hindu temples are Lakshman Tekri temple, Mota Ramji Mandir, Ambaji Mata Mandir.
- Kirti Stambh : The 22m(72 feet) high Tower of Fame was built by a wealthy Jain merchant in the 12 century A.D. and is dedicated to Adinathji (Rishabhnatha), the first of the Tirthankaras. The tower is decorated with Jain Pantheons.
- Motu Derasar : The Pallaviya Parshwanath Temple, also known as Mota Derasar, was built by King Prahaladan which is dedicated to Parshwanath, 23rd tirthankar.
- Nanu Derasar
Things To Do: Sightseeing, photography
Places To Visit: Shri Pataleshwar Mahadev Mandir, Mahadev Temple, Bhagyabhumi Nabhashchandra
Places To Stay: Balaram Palace Resort, The Grand Radiance, Hotel Respite Inn
How To Reach: The nearest airport from Palanpur is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport which is two and a half drive away from the city which you can cover by taking a taxi or a cab.
Famous For: Architectural shrines