Halvad

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Halvad
city
Halvad is located in Gujarat
Halvad
Halvad
Location in Gujarat, India
Coordinates: 23°01′N 71°11′E / 23.02°N 71.18°E / 23.02; 71.18Coordinates: 23°01′N 71°11′E / 23.02°N 71.18°E / 23.02; 71.18
Country  India
State Gujarat
District Surendranagar
Elevation 46 m (151 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 24,323
Languages
 • Official Gujarati, Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Halvad is a city and a municipality in Surendranagar district in the Gujarat state of India.

Geography[edit]

Halvad is located at 23°01′N 71°11′E / 23.02°N 71.18°E / 23.02; 71.18.[1] It has an average elevation of 46 metres (150 feet). Halvad sits on bank of Samatsar Pond. Halvad is protected by a temple of Shiva in all the directions, also considered as chotta (small) Kashi of India.
Name of temples surrounding it:

  • Sharaneshwer : Shiva Temple located at bank of pond. There is Stepwell inside of Temple.
  • Bhavanibhuteshwar
  • Gaulokeshwar
  • Shabaleshwar
  • Kashiwishvanath
  • Dholeshwar
  • Vaijnath

Halvad is village of a Bhramins. The true development of halvad is because of the patel community specially the Patels. They bring a lot of changes in local farming system. Halvad was a former capital of Dhrangadha State and was ruled by Jhala Rajputs. It is and ancient fortified town at the southern edge of the little Rann of Kutch. The yellow earth of this semi arid area and buildings of local yellow sandstone makes the whole townscape glow vibrant golden yellow during the sunrise.

Halvad is famous for gourmet Brahmins and heroic warriors, who fought against past invaders to protect their hometown. Today, one can see several cenotaphs and hero-stones built of sandstone, at the edge of town. The paliyas (memorial stones) remained the visitors of bloody battles fought at the gates of Halvad. They evoke the memories of women who committed sati to protect their honour and men who died fighting against enemies. Newly weds come here to perform the ritual of untying of nuptial knots and pay homage to their ancestors. Even today, once a year, an unusual competition of Laddu eating is organised by Brahmins at Halvad.

The chhatris (15th century) resemble the architectural style of the smaller temple structures of Gujarat, with carved columns, high plinths and corbelled roof in a pyramidal shape. The vast arid landscape, dotted with chhatris, makes a picturesque setting. At the edge of the town, on the bank of the Samatasar lake, stands the finest example of wooden architecture of Royal Palaces of Gujarat. Other similar examples of palaces on the lake-shore, in India are palaces of : Udaipur, Alwar, Datia and Mandu. The Halvad Palace campus has all the elements of Rajput palaces zenana, hall for public audience, temple of family goddess, pleasure garden and administrative offices.

The entry to the Halvad Palace is from the town-side. The beautifully carved entrance gate leads one to a huge courtyard. The formal square plan of two storeyed palace structure, adorned with exquisitely carved wooden columns, brackets, friezes and jalis with geometric patterns defines the courtyard. Four raised pathways, from the centre of each side, meet in the middle of the courtyard at the base of the seven storeyed, octagonal tower, with jharokhas overlooking all eight directions. From the top of this tower, on a clear day, one can see the surrounding villages, therefore it is popularly known as Jhalawad Darshan or EK-Dandia Mahal.

The long facade, with carved stone jharokhas, brings in cool breeze as it overlooks as lake. The jharokhas were the favourite sit-outs of the royal ladies, while on the full moon nights the terrace is used for private Royal gatherings. Even today, one can see beautiful carved sitouts of sandstone on the terrace. In short, the architecture of the palace is a perfect synthesis of two natural materials,stone and wood.

Halvad has four old step-wells and six Shiv Temples encircling the town. The Bhavani Temple and Bhuteshwar Mahadev at the cremation ground are at least 500 years old and are protected monuments. On the west bank of the Samatasar Lake, a famous pilgrim place of the Dawoodi Bohra community dargah of Maula Qazi is located.

Dargah of Maula Qazi

Halvad is a place to visit the wild ass sanctuary at the little Rann of Kutch. The Asiatic Wild Ass is a member of the horse family, with striking white underparts and a deep mane. It is a strong and powerful runner. Other animals spotted here are Nilgai, Chinkara and the birds seen are the Indian Sadgrouse, Hubara Bustard, Lark, Desert Warbler, Desert Wheatear, Indian Courser and Vultures.

Demographics[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[2] Halvad had a population of 26,026. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Halvad has an average literacy rate of 60%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 68%, and female literacy is 51%. In Halvad, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.Today Halvad become an Educational Hub of north-east part of Saurashtra. Mother palace is first high raised residential building. Halvad is famous for high technological agricultural activity. having a huge production of cotton and ranked among top producing cotton region in India. and also have some salt producing units. Nowadays Marketing Yard of Halvad become an one of the large marketing yard of Saurashtra. It has developed in educational field just like ahmedabad. It has lot's of influence of brahmin sampraday. One example of this you can see when you visit this town is that you will nowhere see any shop,hotel or hand lorry serving any non veg recipe or even egg.This is very important town for politics and Hinduism.It has progressed in agriculture field where crops like cotton, groundnut, mustard, castor , onion, watermelon , muskmelon, pomegranate , papaya, kesar mango ,garlic, millet , jowar, tobacco ,etc are cultivated in the outskirts of the town.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Halvad, India". Falling Rain Genomics, Inc. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  2. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.