town is situated at the foothills and was once fortified with a high brick
wall, which now lies in ruins. 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 mention in Mahabharat and in the travelogue of the Chinese traveller Hieu-en-Tsing.
The places of interest can be classified in two parts - in the town and in the fort. The entry to Edar town is through a three storeyed clock tower cum entrance gate, with a huge arch and semi circular dome at the top. The road, with a colourful bazaar on both sides, leads to the tower and ends at the foothills of Idar fort.
Old Palace: 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.
Rani Talav: On the side of this palace, there is a huge water tank, Rani Talav; fed by rain water from the hill. An avenue of old trees at the edge of perfectly arranged stone steps and the reflection of the massive stonescape makes an interesting composition.
Temples: At the foothills, the other interesting buildings are Swami Narayan Temple (19th century), Vallabhacharya Temple (19th century) and Khokhanath Mahadev.
Dolat Niwas Castle: A flight of about 700 steps leads to the fortress plateau, with the famous Dolat Niwas Castle located midway. Dolat Niwas Castle was built by Maharaja Dolatsinhji (1922-28 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.
Other attractions: As one reaches the plateau, one can see at the highest point on the right, Rutheli Rani no Mahal and on the left Ranamal Chowki. There is a rectangular kund with a series of stone steps leading to the water. A Dargah of a 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.
Shantinath Temple: Further along the way are two Jain temples shantinath temple and Sambhavnath Temple. The most interesting elements of Shantinath 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: it is the 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, a Laxmi Narayan Temple, 8 Jain temples and 4 mosques. Idar is famous for its handcrafted wooden toys- using simple forms, bright colours and lacquer finish.
Roda: (20 kms) It is famous for a group of five
beautiful temples of 8th century, a large broken kund with sculptures in
Khedbrahma: One of the few Brahma temples of India, Nana Ambaji temple, it is 27 kms away.
Polo: (40 kms) There are 14 temples of Hindu and Jain religion built from 11th to 16th century, spread over area of 10 sq km of forest. The most interesting ones are: Saraneshwar temple, Lakhena Jain temple, Shiva-Shakti temple)
Other excursions: Ambaji (famous temple of Goddess Ambaji 73 kms, Kumbhariya (famous Jain temples) 67 kms.
How To Get There
Air: Nearest airport is Ahmedabad (107 kms).
Rail: Idar is a railway station on Ahmedabad-Khedbrahma railway line.
Road: it is connected with nearby cities by a road.
Local transport: non- metered rickshaws, Jeeps
One can avail of reasonable accommodation at Dharmshalas and guesthouses.
Ahmedabad: 107 kms
Khedbrahma: 27 kms
Vijaynagar: 38 kms