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Idar City Guide

"The invincible natural fort"
StonescapeIdar is classic example of a naturally protected hill fort, located at the southern edge of teh Aravalli range. It was the capital of the Idar State under the rule of the Rathore Rajputs in the Mahi Kantha agency, at the time of British Raj.

Idar is an ancient fort, known as `Ilva Durga' and finds mention in Mahabharat and in the travelogue of the Chinese traveller Hiuen-Tsing.

Idar town is situated at the foothills and was once fortified with a high brick wall, which now lies in ruins. The places of interest can be classified in two parts- in the town and in the fort. The entry to Idar town is through a three storeyed clock tower cum entrance gate, with a huge arch and semi circular dome at the top. The road, with a colourful bazaar on both sides, leads to the tower and ends at the foothills of Idar fort.

At the foothill, one can see the ruins of an old palace, a fine specimen of architecture in stone with delicately carved balconies. The design and ornamentation of architectural elements like pillars, brackets, foliated arches and frescos remind one of the royal buildings at Jodhpur and Bikaner. On the side of this palace, there is a huge water tank, Rani Talav, fed by rain water from the hill. An avenue of old trees at the edge of prefectly arranged stone steps and the reflection of the massive stonescape makes an interesting composition.Old Palace At Foothills

At the foothills, the other interesting buildings are Swami Narayan Temple (19th century), Vallabhacharya Temple (19th century) and Khokhanath Mahadev.

A flight of about 700 steps leads to the fortress plateau, with the famous Dolat Niwas Castle is located midway. Dolat Niwas Castle was built by Maharaja Dolatsinhji (1922-28 AD) and offers a commanding view of the picturesqure Idar town. The palace is now an abandoned structure, but one can imagine its past grandeur. It is seven storeyed structure with a maze of staircases, terraces, balconies and countryard. The cool breeze and commanding view make it the prefect resting place after a long journey to the top.

As the edge of the kund, there is a ruined structure a pavilion with 3 beautifully carved arcs and a well with a water channel and an elephant statue. In the past, it might have been a beautiful Royal pleasure garden a miniture version of the Mughal Royal Gardens.

Dolat Niwas CastlsFurther along the way are two Jain temples, Shantinath Temple and Sambhavnath Temple. The most interesting elements of Shantinath Temple are two huge carved marble panels, depicting the sacred geography of Girnar adn Palitana - two important pilgrimage centers of this are also noteworthy.

Shirmad Rachandra Vihar, a memorial of guru of Gandhiji Shirmad Rajchandra, is about 3 km from the town, on a hill. There are several temples of Shiva, besides a Maha Mandir, a Laxmi Narayan Temple, 8 Jain temples and 4 mosques. Idar is famous for its handicrafted wooden toys- using simple forms, bright colours and lacquer finish.

Excursion:
Roda ( a group of five beautiful temples of 8th century, a large broken kund with scupltures in picturesque location) 20km, Khedbrahma ( One of the few Brahma Temples of India, Nana Ambaji Temple) 27 km, Polo (14 temples of Hindu and Jain religion from 11th-16th century, spread over area of 10sq km of forest, most interesting are: Saraneshwar Temple, Lakhena Jain Temple, Shiv-Shakti Temple) 40 km, Ambaji (famous temple of Goddess Ambaji) 73 km, Kumbhariya (famous Jain temples)67 km.

Travel Information:
Air:
Nearest Airport is Ahmedabad
Ancient Water TankRail:
Idar is a Railway Station on Ahmedabad-Khedbrahma Railway line
Road:
Ahmedabad (107 km), Khedbrahma (27 km),Vijaynagar (38 km)
Local transport:
Non-Metered Autorickshaws, Jeeps
Accomodation:
Dharmshalas and Guest Houses
Food:
Local eating Joints



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