Dhar is an administrative district of Madhya Pradesh with its head quarters at Dhar town. The district is bounded by the districts of Ratlam to the north, Ujjain to the northeast, Indore to the east, Khargone (West Nimar) to the southeast, Barwani to the south, and Jhabua to the west. It is part of the Indore Division of Madhya Pradesh.
Founded by the very same Raja Bhoja who did the honours at Bhopal, Bhojpur and Mandu, Dhar is best visited enroute to Mandu. It is about 33km from Maheshwar and was the capital of Malwa until Mandu gained prominence.
Dhar tourism boasts of a rather well-preserved fort which offers great views from the ramparts. The greatest curiosity of Dhar is the Bhojashala Mosque with – hold your breath - ancient Sanskrit inscriptions on it! Another point of interest is the tomb of the Muslim saint Kamal Maula.
The district extends over three physiographical divisions. They are the Malwa in the north, the Vindhyachal range in central zone and the Narmada valley along the southern boundary.
The district has an area 8,153 km².It is part of the Indore Division of Madhya Pradesh. The population of the district is 1,740,577 (2001 census), an increase of 24% from its 1991 population of 1,367,412. Pithampur is a large industrial area comes under Dhar District.
|Dhār is located in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh state in central India. It is bounded by the districts of Ratlam to the north, Ujjain to the northeast, Indore to the east, Khargone (West Nimar) to the southeast, Barwani to the south, and Jhabua to the west. Dhār is located at 22.6°N 75.3°E. It has an average elevation of 559 metres (1833 ft).|
History of Dhar:
The town of Dhār, the name of which is usually derived from Dhārā Nagara ('city of sword blades'), is of considerable antiquity, the first reference to it appearing the Jaunpur of the Maukhari dynasty. So far, however, nothing has been found at Dhār which pre-dates the time of the Paramāra dynasty. The historic parts of the town are dominated by an impressive sandstone fortress on a small hill. It is though to have been built in the time of Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Sultan of Delhi. One of the gateways, added at a later time, dates to 1684-85 in the time of 'Ālamgīr. Inside the fort is a deep rock-cut cistern, probably of great age, and a later palace of the Mahārāja of Dhār incorporating an elegant pillared porch of the Mughal period that probably belongs to the mid-seventeenth century. In the palace area is an outdoor museum with a small collection of temple fragments and images dating to medieval times.
On the over-grown ramparts of the medieval city, overlooking the old moat, is the tomb of Shaykh ‘Abdullah Shāh Changāl, a warrior saint. The tomb has been rebuilt, but the inscription, now incorporated into the compound gate, is written in Persian and dated 1455. A record of great historical importance, it recounts the Shaykh's arrival in Dhār in the 13th century and his conversion of king Bhoja to Islām after the local people committed an atrocity against the small community of Muslims who had settled in the city.The story probably refers to Bhoja II, the last Paramāra king who ruled around 1285.
The Lā Masjid or 'Pillar Mosque', to the south of the town like the tomb of Shaykh Changāl, was built using some temple spolia as the Jami' Mosque by Dilāwar Khān in 1405.It derives its name from a pillar made of iron which is supposed to have been set up in the 11th century.The pillar, which was nearly 13.2 m high according to the most recent assessment, is fallen and broken; the three surviving parts are displayed on a small platform outside the mosque. It carries a later inscription recording a visit of the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1598 while on campaign towards the Deccan. The pillar's original stone footing is also displayed nearby.
The Kamāl Maula is a spacious enclosure containing four tombs, the most notable being that of Shaykh Kamāl Maulavi or Kamāl al-Dīn (circa 1238-1330). He was a follower of Farīd al-Dīn Gaj-i Shakar (circa 1173-1266, see Fariduddin Ganjshakar) and the famous Chishti saint Nizamuddin Auliya (1238-1325). Some details about Kamāl al-Dīn are recorded in Muḥammad Ghauthi's Azkar-i abrar, a reliable hagiography of Sufi saints composed in 1613. The cloak presented to Kamāl al-Dīn by Nizam al-Dīn is still displayed inside the tomb. In the forecourt is the Well of Wisdom, so named because a collection of Arabic books fell in to the well centuries ago. The mosque next the tomb is made of re-cycled temple columns and other architectural parts except for the mihrab and minbar which were purpose-built for the monument. It is similar to the Lā Masjid though earlier in date as an inscription of A.H. 795/C.E. 1392 found nearby records repairs by Dilāwar Khān. A Sanskrit and Prakrit inscription from the time of Arjunavarman (circa 1210-15) was found in the walls of the building in 1903 by K. K. Lele, Superintendent of Education in the Princely State of Dhār. The inscription, which is engraved with exceptional beauty, is displayed inside the entrance. The text includes part of a drama called Vijayaśrīnāikā composed by Madana, the king's preceptor who also bore the title 'Bālasarasvatī'. Although the inscription reports that the play was performed before Arjunavarman in the temple of Sarasvatī, there is no clear evidence whether the inscription comes from the site itself or was brought from elsewhere in Dhār in the 14th century. The other inscribed tablets recovered by Lele, among them a serpentine inscription giving grammatical rules of the Sanskrit language, suggest that materials were collected from old sites over a wide area. The finds, particularly of the grammatical inscription, prompted Lele to describe the building as the Bhoj Shala or 'Hall of Bhoja', because king Bhoja (circa 1000-55) was the author of a number of works on poetics and grammar, among them the Sarasvatīkahābharaa or 'Necklace of Sarasvatī'.The term 'Bhoja shala', first published by Luard in 1908, has enjoyed popular currency although Luard noted that it is a misnomer
In 1933 Shri Raghunath Krishna Fadke was came to Dhar from Mumbai. He is a well Known Murtikar. He was called here by Dhar Maharaja to prepare some Murti's in Chhatri of Maharaja. Shri Fadke had established his studio On Khanderao Tekri Which was called as FADKE STUDIO later On. Shri Fadke was given PADMASHRI for his famous Murti "Tatwa Chintana" in 1961. In 1971 he was also awarded with Doctorate. He was died in 1972. Statues Made by him were established at Dhar, Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Mumbai. Presently also several statues made by him & his successors were plased at FADKE STUDIO. This Statues gives the feeling that as if they were real & will Start to talk with us.Nearly 25,000 people visit to FADKE STUDIO per year.
The old city palace of the Pawar Rājputs at Dhār, now used as a school, is a modest building put up in the late 19th century. Of the same period are a collection of domed cenotaphs of the Pawars on the edge of the large tank known as Muñj Talab. A marble statue of Ambikā, found in 1875 on the site of the city palace and now in the British Museum, was once thought to be the goddess Sarasvatī from the 'Bhoj Shala'. Although the inscription on the pedestal refers to Vāgdevī or Sarasvatī and is dated to the reign of king Bhoja, H. C. Bhayani's reading, published in 1981, shows that the image represents the Jain goddess Ambika. Bhayani's reading coincidentally demonstrates that the Sarasvatī temple at Dhār was dedicated to the Jain form of the goddess as does the testimony of Merutuṅga in the Prabandhacintāmaṇi (completed in samvat 1361/1304-05).
Outside the town, on the road to Mā, the Pawars built a palace at Hazīra Bāgh from the 1860s. Known as the Jheera Bāgh Palace and presently run as a heritage hotel, the complex was renovated by Mahārāja Anand Rao Pawar IV in the 1940s. It is graciously designed in an unpretentious art deco style and one of the most elegant and forward-looking examples of early modern architecture in north India.
A number of sculptures and antiquities from Dhār and its neighborhood are kept in the local museum, a utilitarian stone building in the British style of the late 19th century. The most important pieces from the collection have been moved to Mandu where the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Archives has created a new museum with a wide range of displays.
Educational Institutions in Dhar:
CHAMELI DEVI PUBLIC SCHOOL
DELHI INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
GOVT KANYA SHIKSHA PARISAR
JAWAHAR NAVODAYA VIDYALAYA
KASYAP VIDYA PEETH
|The census returned 49 mother-tongues languages or dialects. The table below gives details regarding the linguistic composition of the population of the district.
Other languages include Malvi, Urdu, Gujrati, Marathi and Marwari. Nimadi is spoken in the Manawar and Kukshi tahsils bordering West Nimar district. The Hindi speakers have shown a steady increase, partly due to the decrease in speakers of Malwi, which is spoken in the plateau region of the district. Bhili/Bhilali is the most spoken dialect of Kukshi tahsil, followed by Manawar tahsil where it is next only to Hindi.
Historically and culturally, Dhar District has occupied an important place throught its epoch-ancient, mediaeval and morden. Dhar, known as Dhar Nagari in ancient period and Piran Dhar in mediaeval period, has had the privilege of being of the capital city, both in the ancient and in the early mediaeval periods
Mandu, clothed in green, with turbulent brooks and torrents rushing down into the encircling ravines, presents a magnificent spectacle. Thousands of tourists are drawn to Mandu, to have a glimpse of the splendid movements there.
Another place of great national importance is Bagh, where the caves have been excavated on the rockface of a lofty hill, on he bank of the Bagh river. The paintings at Bagh date back to a period between the 5th and the 7th centuries A.D., the Golden Age of Indian Art. Together with the Ajanta paintings, the Bagh paintings represent the finest traditions of Indian Art, which had a far-reaching influence on the Buddhist Art, not only in India, but on the entire Buddhist Art in Asia.
The majority of the population in Dhar District belongs to the Scheduled Tribes. The main tribes in the District are Bhils and Bhilalas. Their highest concentration is in Kukshi Tahsil.
Pagadi or safa, bandi and dhoti among males and kanchli, ghaghara, lugada (lehnga) among females is the dress of common village-folk. School-going boys wear chaddi and shirt and the girls, polka, ghaghri or frock. Tribals wear short dhotis when they come in contact with urban dwellers. In jungles their men-folk are fully satisfied with the shorter langot.
In towns and kasbas, the dress pattern has rapidly changed. Mill clothes have reached interior villages as well. All types of mordern dresses worn in big cities can be seen, though often they are limited to a few educated and well-to-do people. Medium coarse ready-made clothes purchased from the weekly markets are more in use in general. On festive occasions, coloured printed garments, mostly of cotton, are preferred to routine full whites. Tribals people are fond of colourful dresses.
In villages, people wear shoes, manufactured by the village cobbler out of raw leather. They are strong and stout enough to be used while performing agricultural or other hard manual operations. Villagers purchase shoes from the nearby weekly markets.
Wheat, Jowar and maize form the staple food of the peasantry both in the rural and urban areas. Arahar dal is taken along with roti. In the evening, rabdi (ghat or thuli) of maize is relished. It is prepared by boiling maize-thuli together with chhachh (butter-milk).
On festivals puri made of wheat-flour and fried in oil, is eaten. With this, khir made of rice, milk and sugar is also taken.
Tea is popular. In the morning along with tea, usually poha or some other preparation is taken for breakfast. Non-vegetarians prefer eggs or omelettes.
There are many religious place scattered throughout the district where people congregate at annual fairs arranged on auspicious occasions.
Koteshwar, Khakrol and Badnawar in Badnwar tahsil; Bhopawar, Sagwal and Amjhera in Sardarpur; Mandav, Kesur Dhar and Sagor in Dhar tahsil; Lingwa and Kotda in Kukshi tahsil Dhamnod in Dharampuri tahsil, Manawar, Bakaner and Singhana in Manawar tahsil, are a few out of a total about 40 such pilgrim centres.
Hanuman jayanti and Shivratri respectively attract thousands of pilgrims from the interiors of the District and outside, to the places of worship where special worship is offered to the concerned deities.
Gal and Hazrat Biyabani Yatra, Shantinathji ka Mela, Tejaji ka Mela, Ambikaji ka Mela, Urs Kamal-ud-din and Gular Shah Urs attract thousands of followers.
Mother goddess in various forms is worshipped with special reverence. Ambika Devi (Dhar and Dhammod) Mangala Devi (Manawar) Shitalamata Devi (Bakaner) Harsiddhi Mata (Singhana) and Jagni Mata (Jhiriya pura), are a few examples.
Mandu is the famous place where Jehangir came and stayed with Nur Jehan. He was accompanied by Sir Thomas Roe, the English ambassador. Jehangir wrote "I know of no place so pleasant in climate and so pretty in scenery as Manu in the rainy season. Shah Jahan too spent the rainy season of the year 1622 in Mandu. The famous Ram Navami fair is organised here by the mahant of the temple on Chaitra Sudi (March/April), in which thousands of people participate.
Fagun nach is arranged by tribals for 3 days on the festival occasion of Holi, in which as many of them as possible participate, regardless of age or sex. Similarly Bhagoria nach is danced on Holi. The time taken ranges from a minimum of 2 hours to a maximum of 24 hours. On Kamlia Purnima, Patal nach is danced by adult males alone for the whole night. Tribals celebrate Bhagoria on the weekly bazar day before Holi. They drink and dance for merry-making in the accompaniment of Dhol. People observe fast on Nav Durga celebrations and dance and act before the statue of mother goddess Durga.
How to reach Dhar?
Nearest Railway Station:
The nearest railhead is Ratlam (124 km) and Indore (94 km) on the Delhi-Bombay mainline.
The nearest airport is Indore, about 100 km away which is connected to Delhi, Bombay, Gwalior, and Bhopal.
Regular bus services connect Mandu with Indore, Dhar, MHOW, Ratlam, Ujjain, and Bhopal.Dhar is located at a distance of 33 km from Maheshwar, 35 km from Mandu and 64 km from Indore. All of them are major towns of Madhya Pradesh and are well connected to various parts of the country through railways and roadways. Once you have reached any of them you can take buses to reach Dhar. Buses ply regularly from and to these places. Here you can avail of autos, buses or jeeps to reach Dhar.
Tourist Attraction of Dhar:
Tourist spots are as follows:
Killa (Old Fourt)
Kalica Mata Mandir (Temple)
Man-Tung-Giri (Jain Tirtha)
Maulana Kamalludin Chisti Dargaha
Bada Ganpati Mandir
A major tourist attraction in the small medieval town of Dhar is the Bhojashala Mosque.
History of the Bhojashala Mosque:
The mosque was originally a temple. It is believed to have been constructed by Raja Bhoj. Later after the accession of Alauddin Khilji to the throne of Delhi, Dhar came under Islamic influence and it was probably at this time that the temple was converted to a mosque.
Description of the Bhojashala Mosque:
There are several Sanskrit inscriptions that can be found in the Bhojashala Mosque which authenticates the fact that it was earlier a temple. A large number of motifs are found. There are inscriptions of conch shells, bells. The architecture of Bhojshala is akin to a typical Hindu Temple. You will surely be impressed by the architectural skills that have been displayed.
How to reach the Bhojashala Mosque:
Dhar is well connected to the major towns and cities of Madhya Pradesh by road. Buses ply at regular intervals. There is no problem in reaching Dhar once you have reached Maheshwar or Mandu or Indore. Indore is the nearest airport and all of them are also well connected by rail to different parts of India.
The Dhar Fort is the most important historical monument in Dhar which was the capital of the legendary king Bhoj. It is situated at a distance of about 3 km from the central area of the town.
History of the Dhar Fort:
When Alauddin Khalji came to power in Delhi, Islamic influence started spreading in Dhar. He took initiative and started the construction of the Dhar Fort. In the year 1344 the work was completed. The Dhar Fort still stands after the passage of so many years.
Dhar was an important centre at the time of the Great revolt of 1857. The Dhar Fort was captured by the Indian freedom fighters and kept in their possession for four months from July to October.
Description of the Dhar Fort:
The fort is situated to the north of the town. It stands on top of a small hill. It was constructed out of red sandstone. The architecture of the fort is a combination of Hindu, Mughal and Afghan style and this is its uniqueness. The Dhar fort in Madhya Pradesh contained the palace of the Raja. The best part is that this fort has been well preserved and you can get great views of the surrounding area from the ramparts of the fort.
Hotels/Lodge/Accommodation in Dhar:
Hotel payal and complex
The hotel rooms in Dhar are usually large and aesthetically adorned. The Dhar hotels rooms are well fitted with colour television with cable connection. You can tune in the channel of your choice while staying in at your cozy hotel rooms in Dhar hotels.
The vast array of Hotels in Dhar provides delectable delicacies form India and abroad, apart from the local cuisines. The hotel rooms are well furnished and offer a luxurious stay. There is something for everyone as far as accommodation is concerned. These hotels in Dhar are located close to the major business and shopping center of the city.
Jheera Bagh Palace - Dhar:
Jhira Bagh Palace is hundreds of acres of private estate away from all kinds of pollution. It is situated in the heart of Malwa, on the plains of Malwa Plateau in Dhar in Western Madhya Pradesh. Jhira Bagh Palace is located outside the city of Dhar and is only 30 kms from the historic and the largest fortified city in the world -- Mandu.
Services & Facilities: