|"In the serene setting of Sahyadri foothills"|
Dharampur is situated on the banks of the Swaragavahini river and is surrounded by the Sahyadri mountain range on east, west and south sides. Due to its location, the town enjoys a very pleasant climate, all throughout the year.
Dharampur, situated in south Gujarat, was a capital of the former princely State of Dharampur. Originally, it was known as Ramnagar. The present day Dharampur dates back to 1764 AD and was founded by King Dharmedvji.
Dharampur was ruled by the decendants of the Sisodia Rajputs of Chittod. After the fall of the Delhi Sultanate in south Gujarat, the State of Dharampur flourished and gained a very significant and powerful position by controlling at least seven strategic forts in the region. The Dharampur State was surrounded by the Muslim states of Khandesh, Ahmednagar and Gujarat Sultans, but because of its strategic importance, was never attacked by the Muslims. Even the Parsis found political patronage under the Dharampur kings. The Dharampur kings had cordial relations with Portuguese traders from the south Gujarat ports and used to receive tax revenue from them.
The city of Dharampur had two major phases of development the first in the late18th century, when the Rana undertook the construction of Raj Mahal, public buildings, stepwells and temples. The second phase was in the late 19th century, when as a part of the Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee celebrations, the Anglo Vernacular School, jail and hospitals were constructed. King Mohandevji (1981-1921 AD) studied at Rajkumar College and introduced many reforms. Under his patronage, Mohan Vilas Palace, Pramod Bhavan, State Guest House and several temples were constructed. Roads, water tanks an dbridges were built to imporve the infrastructure of the state.
King Vijaydevji, on his accession to kingdom in 1921, constructed museum and dedicated it to Lady Wilson. Vijaydeviji undertook extensive travelling to collect rare and genuine art objects for display in myseum. He was a great partron of art and music and a well known musician,w ith equal command over both Indian and western classical music. He wrote a treatise on mucic `Sangeet Bhav' in six volumes, with Gujarati, Hinidi, English and French notations. He was also fond of hunting and constructed a hunting lodge at Audha and residences at Wilson Hills as summer retreats.
Raj Mahal, the original residence of the royal family is now in a ruin condition, but there are other interesting structure in the town. The Radha-Krishna Temple, Japanese Garden and Nagarsheth Bunglow are worth visiting.
The Japanese Garden (Gandhibag) has an imported clock from Japan- a novelty in those days. The Radha-Krishna Temple is designed more like a residence in colonial style with decorative plaster work and sloping roof.
The town has a very beautiful entrance gate (Rajya Rohan Gate) done in European style with life size statues in Greek style adorning the top. Bandstand and gymkhana building are located, near the gate. In the old days, the State Band used to play music in the evening for the citizens of Dharampur, at the Band Stand.
Lady Wilson Museum and Jubilee Hall are examples of early 20th century architecture. The museum has the following sections: anthropology, tribal, toys, industrial, arts and music. The music section has a fine collection of Indian, western and tribal music instruments and miniature paintings of Pahari style depicting various musical compositions-Indian classical ragas.
The District Science Centre at Dharampur is one of such three centres in India. It is successfully involved in spreading scientific education among the tribals of this region.
Excursions :Wilson Hill (hill station 750 m high, marble chhatri dedicated to British Governor Wilson, offers picturisque view of hills and sea) 27km
Air: Nearest Airport is Vadodara (266km), Mumbai (217 km)
Rail:Nearest Railway station is Valsad (32 km)
Road: Ahmedabad (379 km), Mumbai (217 km), Vadodara(266 km) Local Transport: Non-Metered Autorickshaws
Accomodation:Local Guest houses
Food: Local eating Joints.
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