Vansada is one of the two former princely states of south Gujarat: Vansada and Dharampur. Vansada town is surrounded by dense bamboo forests and probably derives its name from 'vans', meaning bamboo in Gujarati.
The history of the state of Vansada dates back to at least
750 years. The rulers of Vansada are the descendants of Chalukya Rajput
Clan. Vansada was the capital of the princely state of Vansada, till the
independence of India in 1947 AD.
Maharaval Virsinhji founded the present day fortified town of Vansada in 1781 AD, in a picturesque location, on the banks of Kaveri River, at the southern foothills of the Sahyadri range. Before founding the city, as per Hindu religious traditions, king Raval Virsinhji built three temples namely Vireshwar Mahadev, Vireshwari Mata and Virabhadra Hanuman, to sanctify the site chosen for constructing a new town.
Maharaja Pratapsinhji became the king of Vansada in 1885 AD; soon after his accession, he introduced tax reforms, a banking system and provided generous public charity during the terrible famine of 1890 AD. His able administration over the years resulted in surplus wealth in the state treasury.
He was a visionary ruler and under his patronage several architectural and urban design projects were constructed in Vansada, for the benefit of the public. The Clock Tower, Town Hall, Anglo Vernacular School, Library and Ratankunwarba Hospital have been built during his regime, which changed the skyline of Vansada town forever.
Kings of Vansada were great patrons of arts and they have constructed some beautiful palaces on the vast palace grounds, just abutting on bank of Kaveri River.
Entrance Gates: Vansada town has two entrance
gates. The one near Vireshwari Temple is an imposing structure with a big
plaster decorated arch having motifs of fish on both sides, wooden roof,
cast iron brackets supporting two beautifully carved wooden balconies on
Another gate near the Town Hall is a three-storey high structure with a carved wooden door, receding volumes and a sloping roof. Although both these gates have lost their original function as security gates, they are still the famous landmarks of the town.
Digvir Niwas Palace: The Digvir Niwas Palace is one of the finest examples of royal architecture in the early 20th century. The Digvir Niwas Palace is a low profile linear building, with Ashlar stone masonary. The approach the palace is through a beautiful plaster decorated gate and the octagonal 'chhatris' on both sides of the entrance gate give it an imposing look.
Sushil Sadan: Another interesting building is the royal guest house- Sushil Sadan with a big pediment porch, terraces and central tower capped by Mangalore tiled roof, with dormer windows.
Clock Tower: An important public building is the clock tower made of exposed brick-work. The tall clock tower has four storeys, with four corner pilasters terminating in to 'chhatris' and the central part is capped by a dome.
Sir Pratap High School: Sir Pratap High School is a symmetrical building, with a central porch, central clock tower and sloping roof with Mangalore tiles.
National Park: Famous for its population of Tigers &
Panthers, this park is only 10 kms away.
Unai: (18 kms) Unai is known for its hot water springs the revered Unai Mata Temple.
Saputara: (66 kms) it's a famous hill station, 875 m high. The enchanting Geera falls are an added attraction here.
Purna Sanctuary with its dense forests is 60 kms away.
How To Get There
Air: Nearest airport is Vadodara (297 kms), Mumbai (248 kms)
Rail: Nearest railway station is on Unai Vansada Road (18 kms) on Bilimora-Waghai narrow gauge railway line.
Road: It is connected with Ahmedabad , Surat and Valsad by road.
Local Transport: non-metered auto rickshaws and jeeps.
Accomodation can be availed at the local guesthouses.
Surat: 83 kms
Valsad: 63 kms.
Ahmedabad: 410 kms.