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Bhilwara India City Guide facilitates its visitors to come closer to the ethnic India tourism and know more about the gret history of Bhilwara. Travel to Bhilwara and visit the magnificent temples nestling on the left bank of the Khari river, built by Sawai Bhoj. Tourism in Bhilwara India also showcases the fort of Badnor on the Asind-Beawar road in the North-West of the town.

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India - Rajasthan - Bhilwara - Historical Information of Bhilwara

Historical Information on Bhilwara

Bhilwara has a quaint story of origin, carefully preserved by the locals. It is said to have come up in the middle of the 11th century when a Bhil tribal, supposedly one of the first settlers, built a Shiva temple on the site of the existing Jataun ka Mandir. This is in the area called Junawas, the oldest part of the town. and if we are to believe this, the town is more than 900 years old.


¤ A Peaceful Past

But if not, then it’s only about 400 years old. and this is according to authentic records. 16th century Rajasthan belonged to the Rajputs. For most of the time these men were building grand forts and fighting amongst themselves or with others for Honour, and at times, for territory. So in keeping with the trend, the Ranas of Mewar (Udaipur), too, were always fighting, especially the Mughals. Bhilwara had nothing to do in this power struggle, except for the fact that it lay on the Mewar-Delhi route. On the occasion of every invasion and Mewar’s resistance to it, the villages and towns here would be plundered. As a result the plains of Bhilwara lay periodically deserted.

BhilwaraBut good times were ahead; the 17th and 18th centuries were more or less peaceful. A treaty had been signed between Mewar’s Amar Singh and Delhi’s Jahangir in 1615. But Amar Singh was so upset with himself for having shaken hands with the Mughals that he gave up his title in favour of his son Maharana Karan Singh. The poor Rajput even left Udaipur and never came back (see History of Udaipur for more).


¤ The Flurishing Trade

After the treaty was signed, Maharana Raj Singh (1654-1710) formally included Bhilwara under his wing. This induced a sense of security and privilege among the merchants and artisans of the town. Not just that, Raj Singh also organized an association of the merchants of the town known as the Panch Mahajans, which was for stimulating the business activity of the area.


¤ The Downfall of the Town

Unfortunately, Bhilwara’s wellbeing was cut short again. This time by the Marathas who plundered the town about 10-12 times in the beginning of the 19th century. The wealth and prosperity that had been accumulated in the past two centuries of peaceful construction was completely lost. So much so that James Tod, the British Political Agent and historian, records that the 6,000 families of 1806 were reduced to zero in 1818, and the place was turned into a ghost city.


¤ Developed as a Commercial Center By Britishers

It was then that the British took up the task of building Bhilwara. They developed it as the chief commercial mart of Central India. and if Tod is to be believed, the present town was absolutely non-existent when they took upon themselves the task of building a bazaar with the required infrastructure that would support it. Both foreign and local merchants were encouraged to settle here, shops and houses were given out at moderate rates and fairs were hosted almost every week in which goods from distant lands were piled up in the streets. The entire project was taken up with utmost seriousness by the British who not only exempted Bhilwara from taxation for a full year but also posted guards to ensure a sense of security among the inhabitants. A kind of democratic set up was allowed for Bhilwara to stimulate growth. This gave Tod opportunity to say: "Bhilwara is perhaps the most conspicuous instance in all India of the change which our predominant influence has effected in four short years… With proper management this place might become the chief mart of Rajputana and ten thousand houses would soon find inhabitants, such are its local capabilities as an entrepot."


¤ Developed as a Florishing Town

Tod’s forecasting was a bit too ambitious, though not completely unjustified. By 1822AD Bhilwara sprouted nearly 3,000 houses which were lived in by merchants, bankers and artisans. A road was also built in an attempt to make transport easy.

But soon the town faced new problems. The merchants from Bhilwara were losing profits, as they were required to pay an additional town-duty of metage. This lead to a lot of discontent among the local merchants. The local governing bodies were also plagued by differences often arising from religious issues. All these problems hampered the efforts made by the British. Trade and industry in Bhilwara did flourish, but not to the scale the British had intended.



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