Banswara, was a Rajput feudatory state in Rajputana during British India. It borders Gujarat and is bounded on the north by the native states of Dungarpur and Udaipur or Mewar; on the northeast and east by Partabgarh; on the south by the dominions of Holkar and the state of Jabua; and on the west by the state of Rewa Kantha.
Banswara state was about 45 miles (72 km) in length from north to south and 33 miles (53 km) in breadth from east to west and had an area of 1,606 square miles (4,160 km2). The population in 1941 was 258,760.
Banswara district forms eastern part of the region known as Vagad or Vagwar. The district was formerly a princely state ruled by the Maharavals. It is said that a Bhil ruler Bansia or Wasna, ruled over it and Banswara was named after his name. Bansia was defeated and killed by Jagmal Singh who became the first Maharaval of the princely state. It is named so because of the bamboo which were found in abundance in the forests.
In 1913 some Bhils revolted under the headship of a social reformer Govindgiri and Punja which was suppressed in November 1913. Hundreds of Bhils were shot dead at the Mangarh hillock where they were holding a peaceful meeting by the Mewar and Sirohi forces. The place has become sacred and is better known as the Mangarh Dham. With the merger of the princely states in the Union of India, the Banswara State and Kushalgarh chiefship got merged in the Rajasthan in 1949 and Banswara was carved out as a separate district by merging these principalities.
Abdullah Pir, is a Dargah of Abdul Rasul, a Muslim saint and mostly visited by the Bohra Muslim. It’s an important holy place for the Bohras. Abdullah Pir is located in the southern part of the city. Every year “Urs” is held at the Dargah and its very popular with the masses. The people of the Bohara community take part in it in large numbers. This is a Muslim shrine of Bohra saint and is mostly visited by Bohra Muslims who visit this place during URS.
Anand Sagar Lake, This artificial lake has been constructed by Lanchi Bai, the Rani of Maharval Jagami. It is also known as Bai Talab. Anand Sagar Lake is located on the eastern part of Banswara. It is enclosed by the holy trees named ‘Kalpa Vriksha’, famous for fulfilling the desire of the visitors. Nearby lies the chattris or cenotaphs of the rulers of the state.
Andheswar Parshwanathji, Andseshwar Parshwanathji is situated on a hillock in Kushalgarh tehsil of Banswara district. This is very famous Jain temple housing rare Shilalekhs of the 10th century. We can find two Digamabara Jain Parshwanatha temples at this place. The main temple was built by Digamabar Jain Panchayat of Kushalgarh. The main idol of Bhagawan Parshwanatha is being protected by seven hoods.
Arthuna, Arthuna as well as its surrounding areas have clusters of ruined Hindu and Jain temples belonging to the 11th, 12th and the 15th centuries. Among the dilapidated ruins is a beautifully carved conjugated statue of Shiva, Parvati and Ganesh. Lankiya village around Arthuna has Shaivite temples called Nilkanth Mahadev Temples. The temple is an old stone temple having beautiful intricate carvings and sculpted figures of women embedded in the outer walls. The bull Nandi (Lord Shiva’s faithful vehicle) stands guard at the entrance in the temple porch.
Dailab Lake, This is a scenic spot. It is believed that during their exile, the Pandavas stayed here. There is a tunnel here, which is believed to be going upto Ghotiya Amab, a far off place. It is said that the Pandavas used this tunnel as their passage during the rainy season. Dailab lake A part of this lake is covered with beautiful lotus flowers. On the banks of the lake is Badal Mahal, the summer residence of the former rulers. Peoples used to enjoying this place in the summer by going boating. Kagadi Pick Up weir This is the main tourist attraction situated 3 km away from the main city on the Ratlam Road. It’s a place worth seeing, especially for its enchanting fountains, gardens and water, spread over a wide area, which overlooks the Kagdi Lake and is a part of the Mahi Bajaj Sagar project.
Madareshwar Temple, Madareshwar Temple Banswara has a number of ancient Hindu and Jain temples, and In the past was known as Lodi Kashi or the city of temples. This famous temple of Lord Shiva is situated inside the natural cave of a high hill on the eastern part of the city. It presents a sensational natural view. The cave temple provides an Amarnath Yatra like feeling to the pilgrims, due to its typical location. Mahi Dam is one of the major attractions of Banswara. It was constructed on the Mahi river. The dam was constructed under the Mahi Bajaj Sagra Project, various dams and canals have been constructed over a enticingly enchanting scenic surrounding. Near the dam, you could locate the enticing garden with fountain.
Parheada, Paraheada is located in the Garhi Tehsil. It is famous temple of Lord Shiva. It was constructed by the Mandlik. Paraheada is 22 km from Banswara. Shri Raj Mandir or more popularly known as the City Palace was built in the 16th century and situated on a hillock overlooking the town. Covering a huge area it follows typical style of old Rajput architecture. Though lack of funds has made many royal palaces of Rajasthan exchange hands with the government after Independence, this palace is still owned by the Royal family
Bhim kund, It is a place surrounded by hills. People call it “Phati Khan” because it is a deep cave under a hill. There is a pool of very cold water which is found throughout the year. It is said that Lord Ram, during his exile came and stayed here for some time.
Talwara, is another place to visit near Banswara. Its historical significance due to its primeval temples and the devastated of some old monuments.Talwara is the temples of Sun god, Lord Amaliya Ganesh, Laxmi Narayan Temple, and Jain Temple of Sambharnath make Talwara a religiously important site. The idols in these temples are carved in local black stone and are beautiful to look at.