-The invincible natural fort.
Idar is a classic example of a naturally
protected hill fort, located at the southern edge of the 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 mentioned in Mahabharat and in the travelogue of the
Rathore Rajputs in the Mahi Kantha agency' at the time of British Raj.
Idar town is situated at the foothills
and was once fortified with a high brick wall, which now likes 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 done at the
top. The road, with a colourful bazaar on both the 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 ruin
water from the hill. An avenue of old trees at the edge of perfectly
arranged stone steps and the reflection of the massive stones cape makes
an interesting composition.
At the foothills, the other interesting
buildings are Swami Narayan Temple (19 th century), Vallabhacharya
Temple (19 th century) and Khokhanath Mahadev.
A flight of an about 700 steps leads to
the fortress plateau, with the famous Dolat Niwas Castle was built by
Maharaja Dolatsinhji (1922-1928 AD) and offers a commanding view of the
picturesque Idar town. The palace is now an abandoned structure, but one
can imagine its past grandeur. It is a seven-storeyed structure with a
maze of staircases, terraces, balconies and courtyards. The cool breeze
and commanding view make it the perfect resting place after a long
journey to the top.
As one reaches the plateau, one can see
at the highest point on the right, Rutheli Rani no Mahal and on the left
Ranamal Chowli. There is a rectangular kund with a series of stone steps
leading to the water. A dargah of Muslim saint and ancient Shiva temple
are located nearby.
At the edge of the kund, there is a
ruined structure- a pavilion with 3 beautifully carved arches- and a
well with a water channel and an elephant statue. In the past, it might
have been a beautiful royal pleasure garden- a miniature version of the
Mughal royal gardens.
Further along the way are two Jain
temples, Shantinath temple and Sambhavnath Temple. The most interesting
elements of Shantitnath Temple are two huge carved marble panels,
depicting the sacred geography of Girnar and Palitana- two important
pilgrimage centers of Jains. The inlay work of coloured stone in the
marble flooring is also noteworthy.
Shrimad Rajchandra Vihar, a memorial of
guru of Gandhiji-Shrimad Rajchandra, is about 3 km from the town, on a
hill. There are several temples of Shiva, besides a Maha Mandir. Laxmi
Narayan Temple, 8 Jain temples and 4 mosques. Idar is famous for its
handcrafted wooden toys- using simple forms, bright colours and lacquer