The famous Tourist Places in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh include Dhareshwar Temple, Gadh Kalika Devi, Phadke Art Studio – Dhar, Lat Masjid, Jal Mahal Sadalpur, Kharbooja Mahal, Dhar Museum, Dhar Fort, Bent Bilwamrateswar Mahadev Mandir, Dharampuri and Bagh Caves.
About Dhar, Madhya Pradesh
- Historical significance: Dhar has a rich historical past and served as the capital of the Malwa region under various rulers, including the Marathas and the British.
- Location: Dhar is situated in the western part of Madhya Pradesh and serves as the administrative headquarters of the Dhar district.
- Forts and monuments: The city is home to several historical forts and monuments that showcase the architectural brilliance of different eras, such as the Dhar Fort and the Bhojshala Mosque.
- Bhojshala Mosque: Also known as Kamal Maula Mosque, it is a significant religious site for both Hindus and Muslims. Hindus visit the site during Vasant Panchami to worship Goddess Saraswati, while Muslims offer prayers on Fridays.
- Culture and festivals: Dhar celebrates various festivals with great enthusiasm, reflecting the cultural diversity and heritage of the region. Some of the popular festivals include Diwali, Holi, and Eid.
- Eco-tourism: The region around Dhar offers opportunities for eco-tourism, with scenic landscapes, lakes, and natural beauty attracting nature enthusiasts and travelers.
- Local crafts: Dhar is known for its traditional handicrafts, including textiles, handloom weaving, and metalwork, which showcase the local craftsmanship and artistic talent.
- Religious sites: Apart from Bhojshala Mosque, Dhar has several temples, mosques, and Jain temples that hold religious significance for their respective communities.
- Connectivity: Dhar is well-connected by road and rail networks to other major cities in Madhya Pradesh and neighboring states.
- Educational institutions: The city houses educational institutions, including schools and colleges, providing educational opportunities to the local population.
Tourist Places in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh
- The Dhareshwar Temple is located at the center of Dhar city and is the main Shiva Temple in the area.
- The historic temple is believed to have been built by King Munj of the Parmar dynasty. It was constructed around a Shivalingam that was set up here.
- The entire city of Dhar is said to have developed around the Dhareshwar Temple, highlighting its significance in the city’s history and culture.
- The temple has multiple popular anecdotes associated with it, and it holds deep spiritual and religious importance for the locals.
- Raja Bhoj, during his rule, used to visit the Dhareshwar Temple daily before commencing his activities at the court.
- During the auspicious month of Sawan (rainy season), Lord Dharnath’s sawari (procession) also known as Chhabina visits the city and blesses the locals.
- The temple has undergone renovations and now boasts a beautiful landscape with large green lawns and a fountain, attracting numerous tourists.
- Currently, the temple houses idols of Lord Hanuman, Lord Ganesha, and Mata Tripura Sundari, making it a place of devotion and worship for various deities.
- The temple has played a significant role in the religious practices of the people, with sages like Swami Nityanand and Kalyan Baba meditating and receiving powers here.
- Dudharu Baba, a saint in the 1980s, also meditated at the temple and imparted Vedic knowledge and cult education to Brahmin children.
- The Dhareshwar Temple holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Dhar, and devotees visit it daily to pay their respects and seek blessings.
Gadh Kalika Devi
- Location: The Gadh Kalika temple is situated near Devi Sagar pond on top of one of the highest hills in Dhar city.
- Establishment: The temple was established by the Panwar dynasty of Dhar.
- Builder: In the year 1770, Sakwar Bai, the wife of late Yeshwant Rao Panwar I (reigned from 1736 to 1761), built the Gadh Kalika temple after the death of her husband.
- Other Temples: Sakwar Bai also constructed seven more temples in addition to Gadh Kalika temple. Some notable ones among them are Naugaon Ganesh Temple and Mandu Ram Mandir.
- Inspiration for the Idol: The statue of Goddess Kalika installed in the temple was brought from the village Kothe in Maharashtra.
- Architectural Style: The spire of the temple follows the Parmar architectural style, which is a unique feature of ancient Indian temple architecture.
- Black Stone Lamps: In front of the temple, there are beautiful black stone lamps arranged in a series.
- Contributions: Maina Devi, the wife of Anand Rao Panwar (reigned from 1782 to 1807), made significant contributions to the major developmental works at Gadh Kalika temple. This includes the construction of sabha mandap (assembly hall), a dining room, and stairs within the temple premises.
- Worship: The temple is known for the worship of Goddess Kalika in the form of a married lady.
- Kuldevi: Gadh Kalika is considered to be the Kuldevi (family deity) of the Panwar dynasty. The Kuldevi is worshipped by the entire clan, and devotees from across the country also visit to worship Goddess Gadh Kalika.
- Swastik Ritual: A fascinating ritual associated with the temple is that devotees draw a reverse Swastik here. When their wishes are fulfilled, they return to the temple and draw the right-facing Swastik.
- Swastik Symbol: The Swastik is a geometrical figure used as a symbol of divinity and spirituality in Indian religions.
Phadke Art Studio – Dhar
- Birth and Early Life: Raghunath Krishna Phadke was born in Vasai, near Mumbai, in the year 1884. During his early years, he showed a greater inclination towards the art of sculpting rather than academics.
- Recognition in Mumbai: Phadke gained recognition in Mumbai for his sculpting skills, and his statues were highly acclaimed by British officers. He received honors like the Swarna Padak and Wembley Award for his exceptional work.
- Statue of Dhar King: In 1933, Phadke was commissioned to create the statue of Dhar King Udaji Rao Panwar, which further showcased his exclusive workmanship.
- Settlement in Dhar: Impressed by his talent, the Dhar royal family provided Phadke with ample opportunities to create statues. This led him to decide to settle in Dhar.
- Diverse Sculptures: Raghunath Phadke crafted statues of various royal family members, freedom fighters, spiritual leaders, and politicians with great precision.
- Installations: His statues were installed at significant squares, including Juhu Chaupaty in Mumbai, MTH Compound in Indore, and Ghoda Chaupaty in Dhar.
- Accomplished Table Player: Apart from sculpting, Phadke was also an accomplished table player. He had the privilege to perform with renowned artists such as Ustad Vilayat Khan, Heara Bai Barodkar, and Kumar Gandharva.
- Cultural Contributions: Phadke’s contribution to the arts extended beyond sculpting. He established Laxmi Kala Bhawan and Anand Sangeet Vidhyalay in Dhar, which continue to operate to this day.
- Awards and Recognition: In 1961, Raghunath Krishna Phadke was honored with the prestigious Padmashree award by the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. In 1970, he received the D.Lit (Doctor of Literature) from Vikram University, Ujjain.
- Legacy: Even today, replicas of Phadke’s masterpieces can be seen on display at the Phadke studio in Dhar, located on Khanderao Takri.
- Location: The Lat Masjid, also known as the Iron Pillar Mosque, is situated on the outskirts of the city of Dhar.
- Builder and Date: The mosque was built in 1405 A.D. by Dilawar Khan, the Governor of the Malwa province of Central India.
- Naming: The mosque was named after the famous iron pillar that was marvelously erected in its campus during its construction.
- Iron Pillar: The mosque’s campus contains a fragmented wrought iron pillar, which is a wonder in itself. Despite being exposed to air, water, and moisture for centuries, the iron pillar has maintained its shine and glory without any signs of rust or deterioration.
- Commemoration: Lat Masjid is believed to have been built to commemorate the victory of Dilawar Khan.
- Architecture: The mosque’s stunning entrance doors have intricately carved pillars in multiple designs. The interior architecture of the mosque resembles the pattern of the Jami Masjid of Mandu.
- Engravings: The windows and pillars of Lat Masjid are beautifully engraved, showcasing a perfect blend of Mughal and Rajput architectural styles, thus bringing historic moments to life.
- Gates: The mosque has three gates, and the Eastern and Northern gates are adorned with unique inscriptions.
Jal Mahal Sadalpur
- Builder and Date: Jal Mahal Sadalpur is believed to have been built by Sultan of Mandu, Naseer-ud-din Khilji, in the year 1511.
- Location: The monument is situated on the banks of the Bagdi river, along the Mhow-Neemuch national highway, at a distance of 15 km from Dhar and 10 km from Lebad in the Dhar district.
- Purpose: Jal Mahal served as a resting place for travelers passing by the area.
- Architectural Resemblance: The architecture of Jal Mahal bears similarities to the Jahaz Mahal in Mandu, particularly with the presence of a water body (Bagdi river) near it.
- Historical Connection: An inscription on one of the pillars at Jal Mahal states that in 1580, King Akbar stayed at this place during his journey to the south.
- Spectacular Sight: During periods of rising water in the Bagdi river, it enters into Jal Mahal, creating a spectacular sight.
- Architectural Features: The monument features a series of arched pillars and a small pond within its premises, reminiscent of the design seen in Baz Bahadur Palace in Mandu.
- Lighthouse: Jal Mahal has a lighthouse on its terrace, which not only adds to its beauty but could have served as a useful navigation aid in ancient times.
- Impressive Domes: The huge domes of Jal Mahal are visible from a distance, adding to its grandeur.
- Garden: The administration has developed a beautiful garden within the premises of Jal Mahal, enhancing the overall charm of the monument.
- Location: Kharbooja Mahal is located within the Dhar Fort, one of the most well-known attractions in Dhar.
- Name and Dome: The mahal is named after its characteristic muskmelon-shaped dome, which not only adds to its aesthetic appeal but also helps in keeping the palace cool. The dome’s design allows hot air to rise high above the living spaces, maintaining a cooler environment inside.
- Aerial Views: Kharbooja Mahal offers splendid aerial views of the town spread at the feet of the fort’s forbidding walls.
- Structure: This double-storied palace has seven rooms on the lower floor, likely used for receiving more formal visitors, and four rooms on the upper floor, meant for personal use.
- Probable Construction: Kharbooja Mahal is believed to have been built by the Mughals in the 16th century.
- Home to Marathas: Over time, the mahal became the residence of the Marathas, who adorned the interiors with impressive murals, adding to its beauty.
- Significance in Maratha History: Kharbooja Mahal holds a special place in the history of the Marathas and is associated with an important legend. During the Maratha struggle, Anandi Bai, the wife of Raghunath Rao, sought shelter here and gave birth to Peshwa Bajirao II on January 10, 1774.
- Location: The Archaeological Museum is located within the Dhar Fort, showcasing ancient archaeological remains from various eras, reflecting the historical significance of the place.
- Historical Significance: Dhar takes pride in its museum, which beautifully displays numerous sculptures and antiquities from Dhar and its neighboring areas, reflecting the rich history of the region.
- Building Style: The museum is housed in a utilitarian stone building that follows the British architectural style of the late 19th century. This building previously served as Dhar’s state prison, central school, and the office of District Commandant home guard.
- Operational Date: The museum was established and became operational within the fort premises in the year 2010.
- Galleries: The museum currently features various galleries, each focusing on different aspects of art and history. These include the antiquity gallery, coin gallery, inscription gallery, sculpture art gallery, contemporary art gallery, and tribal art gallery.
- Open Courtyard Display: In addition to the galleries, some sculptures and cannons are displayed in the open courtyard of the museum.
- Collection Commencement: The museum’s collection of archaeological remains began in the year 1875. Archaeological artifacts were gathered from debris found near Rajbada in Dhar.
- Construction: Dhar Fort was built in the year 1344 by Sultan Muhammad Bin Tughlaq while returning to Delhi from the South.
- Location and Architecture: The fort is located on top of a rectangular hillock and is constructed using red stone, black stone, and solid muram. It features a unique combination of Hindu, Mughal, and Afghan architectural styles, influenced by Alauddin Khilji’s reign in Delhi.
- Main Entrance and Gates: The main entrance of the fort is on the Westside, guarded strongly by three gates. The third gate was constructed during the reign of Aurangzeb.
- Major Attractions: Within the fort, there are three major attractions – Kharbooja Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, and a museum.
- Bawdi: The presence of a water reservoir (bawdi) within the fort adds to its historical charm and is believed to have hidden many legendary stories.
- Panoramic View: The ramparts of the fort offer a panoramic view of the entire Dhar city, providing a breathtaking sight.
- Historical Significance – Indian Freedom Movement: Dhar has been on the national map of Indian freedom movement since 1857. During the fight for independence, Indian freedom fighters captured the Dhar fort for nearly four months in 1857.
- Battle and Resistance: The Indian fighters displayed courage and bravery during the battle, but eventually succumbed to the heavy artillery attack by the British forces, led by General Stewart.
- Escape of Freedom Fighters: The fearless Indian freedom fighters managed to escape from the fort, leaving the British government empty-handed.
- Canons on Display: The canons used by the British forces during the battle are currently on display at the museum inside the fort.
Bent Bilwamrateswar Mahadev Mandir, Dharampuri
- Temple Location: The Bilvamriteshwar Mahadev Temple is situated on a three-kilometer-long island known as Bent, located between two streams of the Narmada river.
- Sage Dadhichi’s Donation: The temple is associated with the great sage Dadhichi, who donated his bones on this island to create a thunderbolt for the welfare of the world.
- Temple Size: The temple covers an area of 30,000 square feet and is dedicated to Lord Shiva (Mahadev).
- Mausoleum: Near the temple, there is a mausoleum dedicated to Maharishi Dadhichi and his wife.
- Idols: The temple houses idols of Lord Dattatreya and Narmada Devi, in addition to the self-manifested Shivling in the southern part of the island.
- Historical Association: The place has historical connections with the Pandavas, who stayed here during their exile. It was named Dharmapuri after Dharmaraj Yudhishthira.
- Ramayana Period: The Bilvamriteshwar Mahadev Temple is believed to date back to the Ramayana period.
- Sawan Mondays: Hundreds of devotees visit the temple on every Sawan Monday to worship Lord Shiva.
- Fulfillment of Wishes: It is believed that the wishes of all devotees are fulfilled at this temple, as per the beliefs dating back to the Mahabharata period.
- Mahashivratri Fair: A grand fair is organized at the temple on the occasion of Mahashivratri, during which thousands of devotees enthusiastically participate.
- Location: The Bagh Caves are situated on the southern slopes of the Vindhyas near Bagh, in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, India.
- Number of Caves: The site consists of a collection of nine rock-cut monuments.
- Development Period: The Bagh Caves were developed around the 6th century A.D.
- Rock-Cut Monuments: The term “cave” is a misnomer because these structures are not natural caves; instead, they are excellent examples of Indian rock-cut construction.
- Architectural Style: The caves showcase the ingenuity and craftsmanship of ancient Indian master artists who meticulously carved out the structures from the rock.
- Mural Paintings: One of the main attractions of the Bagh Caves is the presence of mural paintings on the walls and ceilings. These paintings are considered significant examples of ancient Indian art.
- Artistic Expression: The mural paintings in the Bagh Caves depict various themes and subjects, reflecting the artistic expression and religious beliefs of the time.
- Preservation: Efforts have been made to preserve and protect the delicate mural paintings, which provide insights into the cultural and historical context of the era.
- Historical and Cultural Significance: The Bagh Caves hold immense historical and cultural importance, providing valuable information about the artistic achievements and lifestyle of ancient Indian civilizations.
- Tourist Attraction: The Bagh Caves are a popular tourist destination for history enthusiasts, art lovers, and those interested in exploring India’s rich cultural heritage.
Disclosure : Source of Information about the Tourist Places in Dhar is https://dhar.nic.in/