Dhar, Madhya Pradesh
The district of Dhar lays in the Malwa region of west Madhya Pradesh in central India. The historic town of Dhar is an administrative headquarters of the district. It is surrounded by the districts of Ratlam to the north, Ujjain to the northeast, Indore to the east, Khargone to the southeast, Barwani to the south, and Jhabua to the west. It is part of the Indore and division of Madhya Pradesh. Pithampur is a large industrial area under the Dhar District. The town is located 908 ft above the sea level. It is situated amid beautiful lakes and trees barren hills and possesses, besides its old ramparts, many fascinating buildings of both Hindu and Muslim cultures, few of the temples have the remains of cultural and historical significance.
Location & Geographical Area :
Dhar is located in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh state in central India. It is the administrative headquarters of Dhar District. The town is located 33 miles (53 km) west of Mhow, 908 ft (277 m) above sea level. It is picturesquely situated among lakes and trees surrounded by barren hills, and possesses, besides its old ramparts, many interesting buildings, both Hindu and Muslim, some of them containing records of cultural and historical importance
The Vindhya Range runs east and west through the district. The northern part of the district lies on the Malwa plateau. The northwestern portion of the district lies in the watershed of the Mahi River and its tributaries, while the northeastern part of the district lies in the watershed of the Chambal River, which drains into the Ganges via the Yamuna River. The portion of the district south of the ridge of the Vindhyas lies in the watershed of the Narmada River, which forms the southern boundary of the district.
The district extends over three physiographic divisions. They are the Malwa in the north, the Vindhyachal range in central zone and the Narmada valley along the southern boundary. However, the valley is again closed up by the hills in the south-western part.
The northern half of the district lies on the Malwa plateau. It covers the northern parts of Dhar, Sardarpur and Badnawar tahsils. The average elevation of the plateau is 500 metres above the mean sea level. The land is undulation with a few scattered flat topped hills roughly aligned between the valleys from south to north. The general slope is towards the north. The valleys are covered with black cotton soil of varying thickness, mostly adapted for cultivation. The mounds may bear gravels or the underlaying sandstone rocks may have been exposed. The plateau covers an area of about 466,196 hectares in the district.
A part of the range extends in the district in a crescentic belt generally from south-east to north-west. The range is represented by a strip of hilly area 5 to 20 kilometres in width. It is about 5 km wide near village Dhani near the south-eastern boundary. Near Mograbav in the centre, it is about 10 km further widening to 20 km west of Tanda. To the west of Bagh and Kukshi the range stands disconnected by the valleys of the Mahi and Hatni.
It restarts along the Narmada in the south-west. The northern spur (peak 543.76 metres) froms the boundary between the Sardarpur tahsil and Jhabua district. It extends from the peak of Gomanpur a (556.26 metres) to Bajrangarh in Jhabua. Another spur extends to wards Jhabua in the north-west. The great Vindhyachal range extends generally from west to east and scarps at most of its length towards the south. In Dhar also the south-ward escarps are well marked, the wall rising from 400 to 600 metres. However, in the western part their faces have been eroded back into long and deep rugged valleys of the tributary hills of the Narmada. In fact the strong currents of the small streams on the steep southern side have cut back at their heads. The numerous streams of the Narmada valley find their sources on the Malwa plateau. The main line of the highest peaks has been left to the south of their present courses.
In the eastern and central parts of the Vindhyachal in Dhar the main hill range is continuous but in the west it is dissected by deep channels of the rivulets. The range slopes towards the north and gradually meets the Malwa plateau. Numerous spurs also extend over the Malwa plateau in the north. But in the western half in the district one may also find a series of denuded ridges alternating with the parallel stream-channels and running for some kilometres from local confusion, unless one tries to trace the line of the main peaks.
The hightest peak of the district, Mograba (751.03 metres) lies in the central part. Nilkanth (702.26 metres) lies further east and the Shikarpura hill rises up to 698.91 metres. The famous historical fort of Mandugarh towers the flat-topped hill about 600 metres, from the mean sea level.
Below the Vindhyachal scarps lies the narrow valley of the Narmada. It occupies the sourthern part of the district in Manawar tahsil and the south-eastern part of Kukshi tahsil. The width of the valley is 15 to 30 kilometres. The elavation varies from 275 metres in the northern part of Manawar tahsil to 150 metres in the low plain of Nisarpur in the south-west. To the east between Khalghat and Bakaner the valley is undulation wider, more open and fertile with alluvial cover. Proceeding westwards the valley is studded with hills alternatively cut up by numerous streams which join the Narmada along the southern boundary of the district. The result is that there are few stretches and pockets of alluvium along the streams.
Devi Ahilyabai Holkar National Airport is a prominent airport in the Madhya Pradesh state of India and is situated in Indore. The Airport offers good connectivity from major cities of India.
There are at least 5 airlines operating in Indore: Deccan, Indian, Jet Airways, Jet Lite and Kingfisher.
Dhar does not have a raliway station. Convenient railway stations are located at Ratlam andIndore.
Indore is connected to major indian cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Howrah, Bhopal, Ujjain, Gwalior, Bhind, Jabalpur, Bilaspur, Khandwa, Lucknow, Varanasi, Patna, Ambala Ct, Jammu, Dehradun and Trivandrum.
Four major Railway Tracks pass through Ratlam, these are along Mumbai, Delhi, Ajmer and Khandwa, among which the railway track along Khandwa is a Meter Gauge track.
Buses ply between Dhar, Indore, Mandu, Mhow, Ratlam, Ujjain, and Bhopal. Rental car/taxi service is also available from Indore, Mhow, Ratlam, Ujjain and Bhopal.
National Highway 59 (NH 59) connects Ahmedabad in Gujarat with Indore in Madhya Pradesh passes through Dhar.
National Highway 79 (NH 79) links Ajmer in Rajasthan and Dhar in Madhya Pradesh.
Mandu "The City of Joy"
Mandu is home to India's finest examples of Afghan architecture, clinging to the edges of a ravine-riddled 20-sq-km plateau overlooking the hazy plains. With-in this well-defended plateau is wealth of palaces, pleasure pavilions, mansions, tombs and mosques. The hill range is endowed with a very attractive natural scenery, which is at its best during the rainy season, when on all sides, it is clothed in green with a number of brooks and torrents, rushing down into the ravine winding about its sides below. The beauty of which is further enhanced by about a dozen lakes and ponds interspersed on its top.
Emperor Jehangir who journeyed all the way from Delhi to spend time here wrote "I Know of no place so pleasant in climate and so pretty in scenery as Mandu during the rains." It was called by the Muslim rulers as Shadiabad, "The City of Joy".
he 45 km parapet of walls that encircle Mandu are punctuated by 12 gateways. Most notable of these is Delhi Darwaza, the main entrance to the fortress city, for which the approach is through a series of gateways well fortified with walled enclosures and strengthened by bastions such as the Alamgir and Bhangi Darwaza, through which the present road passes. Rampol Darwaza, Jehangir Gate and Tarapur Gate are some of the other main gateways
This 120 mt long "Ship Palace" built between the two artificial lakes, Munj Talab and Kapur Talab is an elegant two storeyed palace. With its open pavilions, balconies overhanging the water and open terrace, Jahaz Mahal is an imaginative recreation in stone of a royal pleasure craft. Viewed on moonlit nights from the adjoining Taveli Mahal, the silhouette of the building, with the tiny domes and turrets of the pavilion gracefully perched on the terrace, presents an unforgettable spectacle. Jahaz Mahal There are some historians who believe the Jahaz Mahal was built by Sultan Giasuddin as his Harem Mahal. Whereas there are some who believe it was the summer resort of Malwa King Munjdeb.
Tomb of Hoshang Shah
Bagh Caves -
The Bagh Caves are a group of nine rock-cut monuments, situated among the southern slopes of the Vindhyas in Kukshi tehsil of Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh. These are renowned for mural paintings by master painters of ancient India. The use of the word "cave" is a bit of a misnomer, since these are not natural, but instead examples of Indian rock-cut architecture. The Bagh Caves, like those at Ajanta, were excavated by master craftmen on perpendicular sandstone rock face of a hill on the far bank of a seasonal stream, the Baghani. Buddhist in inspiration, of the nine caves, only five have survived. All of them are 'viharas' or monasteries having quadrangular plan. A small chamber, usually at the back, forms the 'chaitya', the prayer hall. Most significant of these five extant caves is the Cave 4, commonly known as the Rang Mahal (Palace of Colors).
Bagh caves are famous for its paintings. Paintings are the traces of the fully matured pictorial art of the country which have their parallels only at Ajanta in Maharashtra. Bagh caves will for ever be remembered for the famished glory of the painting which has left its shadows traces on the walls and ceilings of these caves. Their colours are faded and subject matters are disfigured. The visitor who pauses, ponders over and dives deep into significance with patience and imagination, looks upon these wall-paintings as the highest achievements in the world of art of that time.
Jheera Bagh Palace