Located between extreme contrasts: the old Aravalis on one side and semi-arid plains on the other, Godwad region is largely an unexplored area on the south - western borders of Rajasthan. Mount Abu, the only hill station of Rajasthan is located here. Rich in vegetation and natural beauty, Mt. Abu is a popular holiday and honeymoon resort.
The Delwara Jain temples are a unique and outstanding example of Jain temple architecture. Built between 11th and 13th century A.D., these temples are famous for their exquisite carvings in marble. Oldest among these temples is the Vimal Vasahi, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath. Achalgarh fort built by Rana Kumbha of Mewar in the 14th century on the ruins of an ancient fort which belonged to the Parmar rulers is a place of tourist interest. Some beautiful temples situated in this area are Achaleshwar Mahadev and Shantinath Jain temple.
Pali is an ancient town of archaeological importance. Its old name was Pallika. It was a trade center and therefore developed into a thickly populated town. Paliwals both among the Jain and Brahmins originated from this town.
Jalore was also known as Jabalipur in ancient times. It has also been called Swarngiri after the name of a hill. In the ancient and medieval times it was a flourishing town adorned with temples and beautiful buildings. Jalore has a long glorious history of chivalry and sacrifice. It is famous for the impregnable fort built by the Parmar rulers.
LOCATION: Pali is a railway station situated on the banks of the Bandi river on the Jodhpur - Marwar track of Northern Railway.
HISTORY: In the late medieval times Pali was an important trade center. Good from China and the Middle East were exchanged here. The place has also been famous for its dyeing and printing of woolen, silk and cotton cloth.
LESSER KNOWN DESTINATIONS AROUND PALI
LOCATION: The town of Bali is 8 kms., south - east of the Falna railway station.
HISTORY: The town is situated on the left bank of the Mitri river. This walled town was the headquarters of a district having the same name in the erstwhile state of Jodhpur.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: There are various beautifully carved temples within the town. Prominent among these are the temples of Manmohan Parsavnathji, Chandraprabhuji, Vimalnathji, Dharmnathji, Charbhujaji, Mataji, Hanumanji and Thakurji. The old fort of Bali is also worth seeing.
12 kms. South - west of Bali is a village named Beejapur in proximity to which his a site where remains of an ancient city called Hathundi or Hastikundi have been excavated.
LOCATION: Sojat is situated on the left bank of the Sukri river at a distance of 110 kms. From Jodhpur. The old name of this place was 'Sudhadanti'.
HISTORY: Sojat is an ancient town and has a chequered history. The Sojat fort had a number of onslaughts and changed hands over the centuries. Initially it belonged to the Hada Rajputs. According to the Khyats, it passed in to the hands of the Songaras until the Sindhalas occupied it, after which it finally passed in to the hands of Rao Ranmal.
Sojat was known for the manufacture of cutlery, daggers, swords, bridles and saddlery, and is also famous for the cultivation of henna.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: The town has a big reservoir and several old temples and a dargah of Pir Mastan. However the place is more prominently known for its famous fort, namely Sojat fort. This fort is situated on a hill called Nani Sirari. It was rebuilt by Nimba, son of Rao Jodha, around 1460 A.D. The fort is surrounded by a high and massive rampart wall. A small ascent leads to the main gate of the fort, made from two huge semicircular bastions, joined by a portal and a gate cut through them. Upon entering the gate one finds gaping ruins. The ruins reveals a women's apartment and a temple and mosque lying in ruins side by side, echoing the presence of communal harmony.
LOCATION: Sirohi is a district, situated in the south - west of Rajasthan. It is surrounded in the north - east by Pali, on the east by Udaipur on the south by Banaskantha (in Gujarat), and on the west and north - west by Jalore.
HISTORY: It is popularly believed that Sirohi has derived its name from the 'Siranwa' hill, on the western slope of which it stands. Sirohi also means 'sword' and it has led some people to believe that this state of brave Deora Chauhans received its swords. In Puranic traditions, this area has always been referred to. In 1405, Rao Shobhaji, sixth in descent from Rao Deoraj, the progenitor of the Deora clan of Chauhans, built the town of Sirohi, situated in a day of the hills. His son and successor, Rao Sahas Mal, built the new city on a healthier site, on the western slopes of the Siranwa hills, which was also called 'Sinchi'.
LOCATION: Jalore is located on the left bank of the Sukri river.
HISTORY: In the ancient-medieval times Jalore was known as Jabalipur. The city is also referred to as Suvarnagiri after the name of the hill at the foot of which it is situated.
Jalore was a flourishing town in the 8th century A.D. It was ruled by Pratihar kings and consisted of beautiful temples and residential houses. The fort and the places passed into many hands before finally falling into the hands of the rulers of the Marwar. During those times the hindu rulers were great patrons of art and culture. Two of the greatest poetic works in any Indian language, namely, 'Kuvalayamal' and 'Kanhad Dev Prabandh' were composed in Jalore.
MAIN ATTRACTION: Jalore is famous for its fort built by the Parmaras, probably in the 10th century. The places here are simple, without any superfluous embellishment. The fort of Jalore has a proud past aptly expressed in this famous couplet -
"let the sky be torn,
the earth turned upside down,
let the iron armour be cut to pieces,
body fighting alone,
but Jalore still would not surrender."
The fort has four gigantic gates but it is approachable only from one side, after a two mile long serpentine ascent. The fort is built on the lines of traditional Hindu architecture. The enclosure is spacious with the mosque of saint Malik Shah, said to be built by Alauddin Khilji, in the centre.