Dharampur is situated on the banks of the Swargavahini River
and is surrounded by the Sahyadri mountain range on east, west and south
sides. Due to its location, the town enjoys a very pleasant climate,
throughout the year.
Dharampur, situated in south Gujarat, was a capital of the former princely State of Dharampur. Originally, it was known as Ramnagar. The present day Dharampur dates back to 1764 AD and was founded by King Dharmdevji.
Dharampur was ruled by the descendants of the Sisodia
Rajputs of Chittor. After the fall of the Delhi Sultanate in south
Gujarat, the State of Dharampur flourished and gained a very significant
and powerful position by controlling at least seven strategic forts in the
The Dharampur State was surrounded by the Muslim states of Khandesh, Ahmednagar and Gujarat Sultans, but because of its strategic importance, was never attacked by the Muslims. Even the 'Parsis' found political patronage under the Dharampur kings. The Dharampur kings had cordial relations with Portuguese traders from the south Gujarat ports and used to receive tax revenue from them.
The city of Dharampur had two major phases of development
the first in the late 18th century, when the Rana undertook the
construction of Raj Mahal, public buildings, stepwells and temples. The
second phase was in the late 19th century, when as a part of the Queen
Victoria Golden Jubilee celebrations, the Anglo Vernacular School, jail
and hospitals were constructed.
King Mohandevji (1891-1921 AD) studied at Rajkumar College and introduced many reforms. Under his patronage, Mohan Vilas Palace, Pramod Bhavan, State Guest House and several temples were constructed. Roads, water tanks and bridges were built to improve the infrastructure of the state.
King Vijaydevji, on his accession to kingdom in 1921, constructed a museum and dedicated it to Lady Wilson. Vijaydevji undertook extensive travelling to collect rare and genuine art objects for display in museum. He was a great patron of art and music and a well-known musician, with equal command over both Indian and western classical music. He wrote a treatise on music 'Sangeet Bhav' in six volumes, with Gujarati, Hindi, English and French notations. He was also fond of hunting and constructed a hunting lodge at Audha and residences at Wilson Hills as summer retreats.
The town has a very beautiful entrance gate (Rajya Rohan Gate) done in European style with life size statues in Greek style adorning the top. Bandstand and gymkhana building are located, near the gate. In the old days, the State Band used to play music in the evenings for the citizens of Dharampur, at the Band Stand.
Raj Mahal: Raj Mahal, the Original residence of the
royal family is now in a ruinous condition, but there are other
interesting structures in the town.
Japanese Garden: The Japanese Garden (Gandhi Bag) has an imported clock from Japan- a novelty in those days.
Radha Krishna Temple: The Radha-Krishna temple is designed more like a residence in colonial style with decorative plaster work and sloping roof.
Lady Wilson Museum: Lady Wilson Museum and Jubilee Hall are examples of early 20th century architecture. The museum has sections on various subjects such as anthropology, tribes, toys, industrial, arts and music. The music section has a fine collection of Indian, western and tribal musical instruments and miniature paintings of 'Pahari' style depicting various musical compositions- Indian classical 'ragas'.
The District Science Centre at Dharampur is one of such three centres in India. It is successfully involved in spreading scientific education among the tribals of this region.
Wilson Hill: (27 kms) It's a hill station with a 750 m high, marble 'chhatri' dedicated to British Governor Wilson, and offers picturesque view of hills and sea.
How To Get There
Air: Nearest airport is Vadodara (266 km), Mumbai (217 km)
Rail: Nearest railway station is Valsad (32 km)
Road: There is a well-developed network of roads.
Local transport: non-metered auto rickshaws
There are local guesthouses offering decent accommodation.
Ahmedabad: 379 kms
Mumbai: 217 kms.
Vadodara: 266 kms.