Danta is located close to the Gujarat-Rajasthan border,
having social ties with the royal families on both the sides. The royal
edifices of Danta reflect the blending of architecture of both the
Danta town is situated at the foothills of Aravalli hill range. The landscape of forest and hills, with huge boulders, make a perfect setting for this town. The entire region is populated by the Bhil tribe and has forests with diverse flora and fauna.
The royal house of Danta was ruled by the Parnar Rajputs. They arrived in Gujarat in the 12th century AD, from Nagarthatta in Sindh and established their first capital at Chandravati, which was later shifted to Tarsang in the Arasur hills. Tarsang finds mention in Mughal history as the rebel Jahangir was given shelter at Tarsang. About 350 year ago, the capital was finally moved to Danta.
The two palaces are located at the lower end of the hill, but higher
than the town. The entire old royal palace campus was fortified in the
past housing several buildings within it. The huge impressive gate leads
one into the royal campus. The old palace is clustered around a series of
courtyards, interconnected by a series of gates. The first court is
surrounded by a low height structure, originally acting as an
In the same court, the other interesting structure is the family shrine of Goddess Ambaji built in the Rajput style of architecture, inspired by the royal architecture of Rajasthan. This four-storeyed structure has the shrine in one corner, but instead of a temple-like structure, it resembles the small Darbangadhs of Rajasthan.
The opaque and plain structure at the lower level becomes more decorative at the top by the sensitive use of several architectural elements like horizontal friezes, carved brackets, delicately carved stone 'jalis', 'jharokhas', decorated parapets and domes.
Bhavani Villa: Another palace, Bhavani Villa, the present residence of the royal family is located on a higher elevation than the old palace. The palace is built at several levels on a hill edge with a skyline of domes, offering a fantastic view of the Aravalli hills. A part of the palace is being converted into a heritage hotel and will be operational soon.The ex-ruler of Danta is a great wildlife enthusiast and also runs a stud farm of Marwadi horses.
(22 kms from Danta) Ambaji is one of the major 'Shakti-peethas' of
India, situated in the Arsasur hills. The Ambaji temples contain no idol,
but an inscribed 'Yantra' in the niche. Ambaji is essentially a temple
town - with a temple dedicated to Goddess Ambaji at the centre.
The Ambaji Temple and the front court 'Chachar no Chowk' are aligned in the same axis of the cave at Gabbar hill- the original abode of Goddess Ambaji. The present temple was constructed a few years ago, maintaining the original architectural style. Millions of pilgrims visit the temple every year- especially during 'Navratri' to seek the blessing of Goddess Ambaji.
Kumbhariya: (30 km from Danta) The Kumbhariya group of Jain temples dates back to the Solanki period (11th - 13th century). The five temples are dedicated to: Mahavira, Shantinath, Parshvanath, Neminath and Sambhavanath. The temples have a main shrine in the centre of a rectangular courtyard, formed by the series of shrines with 'shikharas', dedicated to Jain 'Tirthankaras'.
On each side there is a porch with a balcony, reached by a flight of steps. The quality of workmanship on the marble is excellent and reminds one of the Dilwara Jain temples at Mt. Abu.
Taranga: (27 km from Danta) The Ajitnath Temple (1166 AD) is one of the finest and best preserved examples of Jain temple architecture from the Solanki period. It has a 'shikhara', 'mandapa', pillars and brackets made out of marble with excellent carving.
Tarsang: 32 kms away is Tarsang, which was the previous capital and contains ruins of temples.
How To Get There
Air: Nearest airport is Ahmedabad (184 km)
Rail: Nearest station is Palanpur (38 km) on Ahmedabad - Delhi line
Road: Ahmedabad (184 km)
Local Transport: Non-metered auto rickshaws
Heritage Hotel at Bhavani Villa, Danta.