Idar is 38 km from Vijaynagar, this former princely state lies hugged by the Aravali mountain range, which gave it protection from various attacks in its history. In addition to some of the larger temples, look out for the signs of worship of smaller idols scattered up the hills. Take the climb up the hill itself, winding through the rocks, as a way to share the sacred space in the lives.
Idar is also a good base from which to get to other sites such as Himatnagar, pilgrimage site Khedbrahma, Shamlaji and Dev ni Mori, the archaeological site of an unearthed Buddhist seminary, stupas, and viharas.
Idar – The Tale of the city
Situated on the foothills of the Aravallis, the town of Idar was once a fort surrounded by a wall. Today the fort is in shambles. Legend has it that Idar has a story behind its name. There were two devils named Elva and Durg. People used to say about the place as “I – dar – che” which in Gujarati means “Fear is here “. Therefore, the name Idar stuck. Idar, hill fort was the State Capital of Idar and was ruled by the Rathores during the reign of the British. Idar is mentioned in the Mahabharata and also is mentioned by Hieu-en-Tsang, the famous Chinese in his memoirs. The Rathore Rajputs ruled the town. Founded by Raja Anand Singh in 1200 AD with his brother Rai Singh, and few horsemen from Palanpur, Idar was established without any difficulty with the help of the Kolis of Gadwara also. Raja Anand Singh died in 1753. History has it that the State of Idar was considered invincible. Idar was earlier the seat of the princely state of British India.
Idar – Down the Ages
With the town of Idar being founded in the 12th century AD, the place went through a lot of history and down the ages saw the city getting into a princely area. In 1924, Idar, the Rathore Rajput city was made part of the Western India States Agency. It became a part of the Rajputana States in the 1940’s. The city was dissolved in 1949 and was divided between Sabar Kantha district and the Mehsana district. These were part of Bombay then. These became a part of the State of Gujarat when it was formed in 1960.
Idar – A Rendezvous
Lying around 38 km from Vijaynagar, this city of Idar, was always protected by the Aravalli mountains. There are many temples scattered all over the city and the smaller temples are juxtaposed. They climb up the hill and the winding lanes along the rocks give the scenic beauty and the feel here is a great combination. This is a good base from where we can go to other pilgrim spots like Khedbrahma, Shamlaji, Dev ni Mori etc. A folk song “Ame Ederio Gadh Jitya re Aanand Bhavyo”. (We are very happy that we have captured Idar fort) is very famous.
Idar – Travel kitty
Idar, the earlier capital of the princely state of Idar, is famous around the world for its toys and temples. The place where we find a variety of toys in Idar is called the Kharadi Bazaar. This market exports large quantities of toys to other states and countries. This is the only source of income for this place from the tourists. Thus, a tourist coming here would be happy to indulge in the shopping for toys and such stuff. The atmosphere and the ambience coupled with the colorful toys makes Idar a place worth visiting.
Idar – Joie de vivre in the city
With a historical background to boast off and a tale to tell, with innumerable legends about the place doing the rounds, Idar, earlier Ilva Durga, is a place where one finds the perfect combination of the past and the present. The places of interest here are divided into two. One in the town and one in the fort. One enters the town through a clock tower, which has 3 storeys. It has a huge arch and a top, which is semi – circular. A road with a colorful market is there on either side. The road leads to the tower and ends at the foot of the Idar fort. A tourist can find the following places here:
Shree Pavapuri : This temple is built exactly like the world famous Pavapuri temple in Bihar. It is on the highway, on the way to the Ambaji temple and is 110 kms from Ahmedabad. Situated one km away from Idar, it stretches over an area of 20,000 sq.feet. The Rani Talav surrounds it and bridge linking the two. The main temple is around 72feet long, 72 feet high and is built on 72 pillars. The height of the main idol is 72cms and is surrounded by 72 carved figurines.
Besides this, there are the temples of Vallabhacharya, Swami-Narayan Temple and the Khokhanath Mahadev, which are also good pilgrim spots.
Shantinath Temple : Sambhavnath temple and Shantinath temple are two famous temples of the Jain religion. The interesting fact about the temples is the two marble panels that are exquisitely carved in Shantinath temple. This depicts the topography of Palitana and Girnar. These are the two important Jain pilgrimage centers. The marble flooring has floors which are colored and this is also a magnificent piece of architecture.
Roda : This is 20 kms from Idar. This is known for a collection of beautifully carved magnificent temples. This belongs to the 8th century. The kund with beautiful sculptures in a scenic location.
Khedbrahma : This is amongst the Indian Brahma temples. The Nana Ambaji temple is around 27 km away.
Polo : This is around 40 kms from Idar. There are around 14 Jain and Hindu temples built from 11AD to 16 AD. This is spread over a 10 sq km of green area. The Shiva Shakti temple, Lakhena Jain temple and the Saraneshwar temple are very fascinating.
Old palace : There are the ruins of old palaces here. This fine magnificent piece of architecture, has intricately carved balconies and heavy designs and ornamentation on the architecture. The brackets, foliated arches and the frescos all are reminiscent of the ones found in Jodhpur and Bikaner. This is no longer a frequented structure but is abandoned. The past grandeur is visible and the structure with seven storeys has amazing staircases, terraces, balconies, and many courtyards. The view from the top is ecstatic and the cool breeze enhances the beautiful setting.
Rani Talav: This is found on the side of this old palace. It is a huge water tank. Fed by rainwater, the lake looks a beautiful sight. There are trees along the line of the lake and there are stone steps which when reflected on the lake water add to the scenic beauty.
Dolat Niwas Castle : This has 700 steps and leads directly to the fortress. The Dolat Niwas Castle lies midway. It was built by Maharaja Dolatsinhji in 1922 AD. It provides the ideal scenic beauty for the tourist.
Step well :
Well : This is a rectangular kund with a line of step wells leading finally to the water. ruined structure at the edge of a kund. pavilion with beautifully carved arches. well with a water channel and an elephant statue. beautiful elegantly decorated garden. This resembles a Mughal Royal Garden.
Besides, this the other attractions, are the Rutheli Rani no Mahal, the Ranamal Chowki, Dargah of a Muslim saint, and a Shiva temple, Laxmi Narayan temple and a Maha Mandir. 8 Jain temples and 4 mosques are located nearby.
Shrimad Rajchandra Vihar :
This is the memorial of the guru of Gandhiji, Shrimade Rajchandra. This is about 3 km from the town. There are several temples of Shiva, besides a Maha Mandir, a Laxmi Narayan Temple, 8 Jain temples and 4 mosques. Thus, the City of Idar with a lot of bawadis, and toys and the temple atmosphere and architectural monuments, tiles has a lot of magnificent tales and history to relate. As we leave the place, we think, “Idar is Golden.”
Shri Idar Tirth
Shree Pavapuri Jal Mandir Tirth in Idar( North Gujarat )Sabarkatha, Ranitalav is an exact replica of Bihar ‘s world famous Pavapuri Jal mandir. At a very beautiful spot on highway no. 8 going towards Ambaji temple. It is at a distance of one kilometer from the Idar village and one and a half kilometers from the foot of the hill. It is amongst the hills.
Shree Pavapuri Jal Mandir covering an area of 20,000 sq. feet is surrounded by Beautiful Ranitalav covering an area of 110 sq. meter, and is linked with 800 feet long and 11 feet wide bridge. Lord Mahavir’s main mandir is 72 feet long, 72 feet high and is built on 72 stambhs. Height of Lord Mahvir’s Idol is 72 cms, surrounded by 72 putlis (Carved Figures).
Polo Forest Site, Vijaynagar
The Polo Camp site is located in Vijayanagar taluka of Sabarkantha districts and is near to Vanaj Forest area, Harnav River and Damsite. Presently at Polo Campsite Nature Education Camps, Wild Life training and seminars are organized. The area is biologically rich in flora and fauna and the dense forests and river side provide an excellent opportunity to experience nature.
The area is surrounded with archeologically important Shiv Temple at Sarneshwar, Sadevant Savlings Deras, Surya Mandir, Lakhena Temple, Jain derasar, the ancient Polo Jain Nagri. Harnav river, a small perennial stream, rocks and diversified flora and fauna, dense multistoried forests have been attraction to the visitors, tourists, Research scholars, students as well as natural lovers.
HOTELS IN GUJARAT