Dabhoi is an ancient town originally known as Darbhavati. It
was established in the early 6th century AD. The fortification and its
foundation are ascribed to the great king of Gujarat, Siddhraj Jaisinh,
who made this frontier fortress.
The architectural style and the exquisite stone carving and iconography on the fort walls and gates suggest that it was conceived and constructed in the same period as Rudra Mahalaya and Zinzuwada fort. It is mentioned as an important city in the Jain inscriptions of Girnar. It came under the control of Muslim rulers, in 1300 AD after the fall of Patan.
Dabhoi has many Jain and Hindu temples devoted to different gods and goddesses. Dabhoi is the birth place of the great Gujarati poet, Raskavi Dayaram, composer of many garbis (devotional songs) and a devotee of Ranchhodraiji of Dakor. Many Jain scholars also stayed here in the past and enriched the Jain Granth Bhandar, which has a collection of ancient Jain manuscripts.
Dabhoi Fort: The fort of Dabhoi is one of the rare
surviving examples of Hindu military architecture, based on the 'shastric'
traditions described in various Vastu scriptures. There are four gates in
the town, one in each cardinal direction, having indirect entry, located
in the middle of each side of the fort wall. It was altered during the
time of Visaldev and the Muslim rule.
The Gates: Hira Bhagol, the most exquisitely carved gate named after the architect, Hiradhar, is in the east, Vadodara Gate in the west, Champaner Gate in the north and Nandod Gate in the south.
Dabhoi Railway Station: For a railway heritage enthusiast, a visit to Dabhoi railway station - one of the oldest narrow gauge railway junctions in the world, is a must.
Ten Talav: (10 km from Dabhoi) This well-constructed
octagonal tank with stone steps and embankments is a symbol of a
love-legend of Hiradhar Shilpi, architect of Dabhoi fort and a beautiful
girl, Ten. The legend says that Hiradhar was madly in love with Ten and
while constructing the Dabhoi fort, he was secretly constructing 'Ten
Talav' for his lover. He was accused of misappropriation and was sentenced
to death and buried alive in the fort wall of Dabhoi.
Chandod: (22km from Dabhoi) This picturesque town on the bank of the Narmada, at the confluence of three rivers: Narmada, Orsang and Gupta Saraswati, is an ancient seat of Sanskrit learning for Brahmins. The 'ghats' leading to the pure waters of Narmada and the temples, make it a sacred place for Hindus performing the rituals after death.
Mandvi Mahal, a haveli of the Mahida Rajputs, dating back to the late 19th century, is now a heritage hotel. It is located close to river Narmada, in a serene setting. The 'haveli' offers a picturesque vista of bathing 'ghats', temples with fine carvings and the aquatic life on the river.
Karnali: (24 kms from Dabhoi) Karnali is a twin town of Chandod, on the opposite bank of Orsang. Karnali has several Shiva temples and beautiful ghats. The footprints of Lord Dattatreya lend great sanctity to this town. A big fair is held here on every Chaitra Sud 15.
Sankheda: (20 km from Dabhoi) Sankheda is an internationally known craft centre for furniture and wooden articles. They are made in the Gujarati style, on a lathe, using the generation old secret technique of lacquer work.
Rajpipla: (60 kms from Dabhoi) Rajpipla is situated on the banks of Karjan river and at the foothills of Satpura mountains. It was capital of the former princely State of Rajpipla. Vijayraj Palace (1923 AD) is a famous heritage hotel on an elevated plain, overlooking the picturesque surroundings.
Other Excursions: Jambu Ghoda Sanctuary, Vadodara, Pavagadh-Champaner (Kalika Mata temple, rope way, fortification, Jami Mosque and other beautiful monuments) 75 km, Sardar Sarovar Dam (one of the largest dams of India) 65 kms.
How To Get There
Air: Nearest airport is Vadodara (29 kms).
Rail: Railway station on Dabhoi-Chhota Udepur railway line.
Road: Good road connections with nearby cities.
Local transport: non-metered auto rickshaws.
Local guesthouses are available.
: 142 kms.
Vadodara: 29 kms.