The town of Danta was once a princely state of the Paramara dynasty who were the descendants of the Agnivansha Rajputs. It is situated on the border of Gujarat and Rajasthan and hence sees a mix of both cultures here. There are many ruins and temples in this town that is believed to have been built by the Rajput kings who once ruled here.
Though there is not much to explore in this small hamlet, Danta is filled with many Jain temples and hence has many Jain devotees coming here. There are also few ruins that date back to the Paramara dynasty, and is a hub for archaeologists and historians who come here to learn more about them. Here is a guide to the city of ruins Danta.
Mehsana is a small city that is known for its various industries such as those of oil, natural gas and dairy. There are many temples found in this region and they belong to both the Hindus and the Jains. Travellers coming here can explore this quiet town and also visit the many temples here.
A Jain Temple at Mehsana
Photo Courtesy: Anirudh Bhati
Modhera Sun Temple
The ancient Modhera Sun Temple portrays the beauty of the Indian temple architecture. It boasts of a 900 year old history and is situated about 25-30 km away from Mehsana. Built in 1026 AD the temple is dedicated to the Sun God - Surya and is an architectural wonder. It lies on the Tropic of Cancer, and is so placed that the first rays of the Sun on equinoxes fall on the image of Surya while lighting up the temple. This temple sees a large crowd of devotees and tourists who come here to pray to the Sun God and also to marvel at the architecture of the temple.
The rock cut Modhera Sun Temple.
Photo Courtesy: Sudhamshu Hebbar
Vadnagar is yet another interesting place that tourists can visit while in Gujarat. Present here is a Buddhist monastery and Buddhist antique objects belonging to the 2nd-7th century AD. The monastery included two stupa antiquities and an open court yard constructed with nine cells around that is presently in ruins. And the arrangement of these cells is such that they form a swastik pattern. It is perched on a hillock, that was artificially formed due to an array of layers of buildings constructed and destroyed during the ancient times.
The architectural ruins of Vadnagar
Photo Courtesy: Gujarat Tourism
Taranga and Kumbharia Jain Temples
The Kumbharia Jain was temples built by Vimal Shah during the 12th century and are five different temples dedicated to the Jain Tirthankars - Mahavir, Neminath, Sambhavnath, Shantinath and Parshwanath. Artistically built with white marbles, these five temples are the only ones left out of the 360 Jain temples that were built. These temples are located at a distance of 40 km from the Taranga hills and portray extensive artistic carvings of gods, goddesses, angles, horsemen and musicians.
The Taranga Jain Temple is located on the three peaked Taranga Hill that takes its visitors into a different world. Many monks can be found walking up and down the thoroughfares, and present atop is a little shrine devoted to Devi Taranamata - a Buddhist goddess.
Admire the architecture of the Kumbhariya Jain Temples.
Photo Courtesy: Gujarat Tourism
Built in the year 1978, the Dharoi Dam is a major dam built on Sabarmati River. It is a haven for nature lover, photographers and bird watchers, as you get the best view of the surrounding regions from atop the dam. It is a also perfect for heading out on a picnic with your family.
How to Reach Danta
By Air: The nearest airport to Danta is the one at Ahmedabad that lies at a distance of about 150 km. It is well-connected with all the major cities in the country.
By Train: The Palanpur railway station is the nearest one connecting to Danta. It is connected to the other railheads in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
By Road: Many buses ply to Danta from Ahmedabad. Travellers can avail both private and state transport buses to reach this town. You can also take an open auto to take you through the town.
So, when are you travelling to Danta?
Photo Courtesy: Meena Kadri