Previously known as Dharbvati, Dabhoi – A Heritage City of Gujarat is a small town with a historical significance in the history of Vadodara district. In ancient times, Dabhoi was a town surrounded by the four beautifully carved Gates. The Gates are still there but not surrounding the city. The geographic dimensions of Dabhoi today, are quite different from the dimensions of Darbhvati in that time. The Jain inscriptions of Girnar has mentioned about Dabhoi as an important city.
Dabhoi has some not so popular heritage sites to those who do not know the meaning of a heritage site. The heritage sites of Dabhoi have been quite neglected by all. The Heritage sites of Dabhoi, unlike other popular Heritage Sites of Gujarat , lack having proper security personal, not even a dedicated care taker has been appointed to any of the sites of Dabhoi.
The Grand Gates of Dabhoi
The Four Gates namely, Hira Bhagol (Hira Gate) in the East, Nandodi Bhagol(Nandodi Gate) in the South, Vadodari Bhagol (Vadodari Gate) in the West and Mahudi Bhagol (Mahudi Gate) also referred as Champaneri Gate in the North are beautifully carved architectures. They are believed to have been built in the 12th – 13th Century. Each Gate has its own significance. All the gates have different types of brackets, various images of the Gods and Goddesses engraved on the Gates, some historic stories engraved on the walls of the Gates. The beauty of the art used in the carving of the gates is definitely worth visiting Dabhoi at least once.
There is a story linked with the name for the Hira Bhagol. To know more click here.
Saptmukhi Vav (Step well)
Saptmukhi Vaav (Step well) is also an ancient structure in the city. It is located near a small lake behind the local market. There is a shrine in the centre of the Step well. Like the other sites, this place is also not very well maintained.
The governing authorities of Dabhoi must take some measures to preserve the Heritage Sites of Dabhoi and stop the local people from misusing the same. The Gates are used for various purposes by the local people there, sometimes as a short cut way by the passers-by, sometimes as a resting place, sometimes even as a playground by the children. When we visited Dabhoi, the locals were looking at us quite suspiciously. We had even found a few people following us to check what were we upto. The local people there feel it strange to see some outsider keen to know the facts, the folk tales or the ancient history of the Heritage sites of Dabhoi. Believe us, the Heritage Sites of Dabhoi can be a very beautiful tourist attraction, only if it is given the importance that it really deserves. We Indians need to understand the value of such precious belongings.
Dabhoi is also famous for having the World’s oldest and the longest one in Asia, Dabhoi Narrow Gauge. Though it is has had some changes in the recent times, it holds it remark of being the oldest. Dabhoi also has some Hindu as well as Jain Temples, Nageshwar Temple, Kalika Mata Temple and Shri Lodhan Parshvanath temple to name a few of them.