Dhar district

Dhar, one of Madhya Pradesh’s lesser-known tourist attractions, is frequently a favorite among adventurous travelers. Before Mandu became the Malwa region’s main metropolis, the city served as the region’s capital. Dhar is a stunning combination of man-made architectural marvels and unspoiled natural beauty, including forts, ancient temples, mosques, waterfalls, and streams.

The cultural and historical importance of Dhar, which is 908 feet above sea level, is what draws visitors from throughout the nation. Dhar is a treasure of renowned buildings. It was ruled by the Paramara Dynasty for the most extended period before being ruled by the Sultans of Delhi during the Mughal Period. The Bhoj Shala, which is a mosque but is named because King Bhoja, who constructed it, was a big admirer of literature, is one such intriguing destination. There are some of his writings are carved on the mosque’s walls. 

An architectural review of location: Dhar district - Sheet1
The Hall of Bhoj in Dhar ©Wikimedia Commons

The Historic marvels of Dhar district

Lath Masjid and Bagh Caves are other notable sights. Particularly the Bagh Caves, which are said to have existed since the Gupta era for thousands of years, are well known for their rock-cut architecture and cave paintings. For its magnificent architecture, Lath Masjid, also known as Pillar Mosque, was constructed by Dilawar Khan in the fifteenth century. Another historical landmark, Dhar Fort, is not to be missed because of its incredible splendor and elegance. Madhya Pradesh is home to some of India’s most majestic forts, and this one is unquestionably one of them. For history aficionados, a trip to the Dhar Museum is a must; it is home to several sculptures and artifacts from the past.

An architectural review of location: Dhar district - Sheet2
The Lath ki Masjid ©Starstruck

Tourists are drawn to the historical sights and monuments in the city of Dhar. Visitors flood its palaces, forts, museums, mosques, and Fossil Park all year round. Roads and trails have been built to about a dozen priceless medieval sites, which were lying there relatively unfrequented for lack of accessible access, to greatly increase the comfort, satisfaction, and flood of tourists. Popular attractions in this area include the Dhar Fort, Chhappan Mahal Museum, Ashmadha Fossil Park, Bagh Caves, Jeera Bagh Palace, Bhoj Shala, Kamal Maula’s Tomb, and Lath Masjid. Dhar District has held a significant position throughout history and culture, in both the ancient and modern eras.

Buddhist rock cut caves of Bagh Caves ©Trip advisor

The cultural significance

It has enjoyed the honor of being the capital city both in the ancient and early medieval periods. It was known as Dhar Nagari in the ancient period and Piran Dhar in the medieval period. The Malwa area, where Dhar is located, was under the control of the Paramaras for 400 years, from the 9th to the 13th century. One of the greatest monarchs of ancient India was Bhojadeva, the most distinguished of the Parmaras. In addition to being a soldier, he also achieved fame in India as a builder, scholar, and author. He is credited with writing several publications on a wide range of topics, including astronomy, poetry, architecture, and asceticism. He shifted his capital from Ujjain to Dhar, where he established a university for Sanskrit studies, known as the Bhoja Shala in which was enshrined the image of Goddess Saraswati. He rebuilt temples,   

Including the magnificent temple at Bhojpur. King Bhoja also constructed a large lake near Bhojapur.

An architectural review of location: Dhar district - Sheet4
The Bhojeshwar Temple Surroundings ©Wikipedia

Ashmadha Fossil Park

Ashmadha Fossil Park near Dhar, Indore, is a fascinating tourist destination. It has a rich mine of fossilized tree trunks and dinosaur fossils that date back more than 6.5 billion years. Here, fossils discovered in the Narmada basin take center stage. Fossils include starfish skeletons, bones, teeth, dinosaur eggs, and more.

The Manawar and Gandhwani Tehsils in the area are rich with priceless plant, animal, and marine remnants dating back to the Jurassic period. Paleontologists from all around the world have repeatedly made journeys to view these magnificent and rare fossils. This unusual museum has been established on the district administration’s initiative on the magnificent rim of the Kakrakhoh falls in Mandu. Ashmadha means “sitting in stone.” The Museum just opened to the public.

An architectural review of location: Dhar district - Sheet5
The Ashmadha Fossil Park entrance ©Incredible India

The demographics of Dhar district

Dhar District contains 2,185,793 people, or about the same as Latvia or the US state of New Mexico, according to the 2011 census. This place has a position of 208 in India (out of a total of 640). 268 people are living there every square km (690 per square mile), according to the census. Between 2001 and 2011, its population grew at a pace of 25.53%.  In Dhar, there are 961 females for every 1000 males and a 60.57% literacy rate. The population was made up of 6.65% Scheduled Castes and 55.94% Scheduled Tribes, respectively. Moreover, the Dhar district is a place of cultural significance and value for India. Therefore it becomes necessary to maintain the historic significance of this district so that it remains for a longer period for the further generations to witness. It is a place of great architectural significance, but sometimes due to some negligence/ freedom to use these places, these places start deteriorating their true value. Therefore these places should be handled with love and care.

Citations

1) Dixit, R. (2022). The Hall of Bhoj in Dhar. [online] www.news9live.com. Madhya Pradesh: News nine. Available at: https://www.news9live.com/state/madhya-pradesh/madhya-pradesh-dalit-couple-son-shot-dead-over-dispute-in-damoh-district-search-on-for-6-accused-203990?infinitescroll=1 [Accessed 25 Oct. 2022].

2) Starstruck (2022). The Lath ki Masjid. [Photograph] Online Image. Available at: https://www.reddit.com/r/muslimiconoclasm/comments/tcny6j/lat_masjid_dhar_madhya_pradesh_india_this_mosque/ [Accessed 30 Oct. 2022].

3) Bagh caves (2017). Buddhist rock cut caves of Bagh Caves. [Online image] tripadvisor.com. Available at: https://www.tripadvisor.in/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g2278124-d3913011-i285622214-Bagh_Caves-Dhar_Dhar_District_Madhya_Pradesh.html [Accessed 25 Oct. 2022].

4) The Bhojeshwar Temple. (2022). [Online image] wikipedia.com. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhojeshwar_Temple [Accessed 25 Oct. 2022].

5) Incredible India (2022). Ashmadha Fossil Park entrance. [Online image] www.incredibleindia.org. Available at: https://www.incredibleindia.org/content/incredible-india-v2/en/destinations/indore/ashmadha-fossil-park.html [Accessed 25 Oct. 2022].

Author

Aniket is an ardent and passionate Young Architect who likes to explore the diversities in the Architectural field. He is a Nature loving person and tries to learn from it. His curiosity and passion for architecture enhance the philosophical aspect of his personality. His love for our field comes from the books he reads, the people he meets, and most importantly his observations of minute details.

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