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Sailana is located in Madhya Pradesh
Sailana is located in India
Location in Madhya Pradesh, India
Coordinates: 23°28′N 74°55′E / 23.47°N 74.92°E / 23.47; 74.92Coordinates: 23°28′N 74°55′E / 23.47°N 74.92°E / 23.47; 74.92
Country  India
State Madhya Pradesh
District Ratlam
Founded by Raja Jai Singh Rathore
Elevation 479 m (1,572 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 10,903
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Sailana is a town and a nagar panchayat in Ratlam district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is located in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. Sailana is 25 km from Ratlam town and 50 km away from Banswara district of the neighboring state of Rajasthan.

Sailana was once the capital of the Sailana State before it merged into India. A Fort belonging to the former royal family still stands tall in Sailana, and houses the famous Cactus Garden. The Kedareshwar temple, situated 4 km from Sailana is a notable shrine. Sailana is only 130 km away from Ujjain and as such makes a great weekend getaway. The best time to visit is July–August in the monsoons.

Origin of name[edit]

According to tradition, the town derived its name from its location at the foot of the hills (in Sanskrit, anana means mouth and shaila means hills).[1]


Sailana State was founded by Jai Singh, great-grandson of Maharaja Ratan Singh, founder of Ratlam State. In 1716 Jai singh took revenge against his uncle for the murder of his father, he killed him in a pitched battle at sagode and secured Ratlam for his elder brother. The two brothers then divided the state between themselves. Jai singh's capital was initially at Raoti. He built Sailana city as his new capital in 1736. He fought 22 battles in his lifetime, turning Sailana into an independent state.[1] During Raja Mokham Singh's rule, Sailana suffered in war against the Scindias of Gwalior, most of the states eastern and southern lands were annexed. Raja Lakshman Singh of Sailana tried to push the Scindia's out of his kingdom, in 1818 he refused to pay chauth which was regularly levied, the Scindias retaliated by sending an army under Bujang Rao, the Gwalior army which had European arms and was French trained lost its advantage on the hills en route to Sailana and was defeated by Lakshman Singh, the captured soldiers were allowed to leave but all of their guns and artillery were taken. On 5 January 1819, John Malcolm mediated between Gwalior and Sailana upon which Raja Lakshman Singh accepted British protection and agreed to pay a fixed tribute of 42,000 Salim Shahi to Gwalior, in return for Scindia agreeing to refrain from any interference in Sailana. During British rule Sailana saw development under the capable hands of Raja Jaswant Singh and then under his son Raja Dilip Singh, many reforms were introduced over the coming years, with particular attention being paid to education and the provision of vernacular educational facilities. By 1947, education and medical aid were provided free of charge, the local municipality was placed on a democratic footing and the judiciary and executive made independent of each other. Although the economy was primarily agricultural, some limited industrialisation included oil mills, and iron and steel works. On 15 June 1948, Raja Dilip Singh signed the accession to the Indian Union.[2][3]


In the days of raj Sailana was famous for its Hospitality, Cuisine and Wine. The culinary culture dating back from three generations of master culinary expert Raja Sir Dilip Singh Ji K.C.I.E of Sailana excelled in the culinary arts and collected recipes of bygone era from the Nizam of Hyderabad, Maharaja of Kashmir and Begum of Bhopal from where emanated the most exotic culinary recipes.He took pains to translate ancient recipe books in Sanskrit, Urdu and Persian to ensure that these recipes were preserved for posterity.

Cactus Garden[edit]

The Sailana Cactus garden was built by Raja Digvijay Singh Ji. The garden is behind the Sailana Palace and has over 1200 species of cactus out of which 50 are Indian. There was also a Rose garden with over 200 species of roses but it no longer exists.

Kedareshwar Temples[edit]

The Kedareshwar temples (Bada Kedareshwar and Chota Kedareshwar) of Lord Shiva are again famous in Sailana, there are two of them, both are 4 km from the fort (but in opposite directions). The temples are situated in man made caves (carved out from a cliff of igneous rocks). The cliff along with many others surrounds a small valley. From the top of the cliff, a small stream of monsoon rain water forms a waterfall and joins a small pond of water in the valley. From here a river originates and flows down into the plains of Rajasthan.

Sailana Kharmour Bird Sanctuary[edit]

The Kharmour Bird Sanctuary, also known as Sailana Bird Sanctuary, is situated in Sailana Village of the Ratlam District. This sanctuary is spread in a total area of 13 km2 and was established in 1983. This sanctuary is home to and is named after the 'Kharmour' bird, a very rare species; and it is also a major stop for a wide variety of migratory birds. It is also one of the breeding habitats of Lesser Florican in India. The famous ornithologist Salim Ali visited the sanctuary and spotted 89 species of birds, he has also written a book about the birds of Sailana. The best time to visit the place is between the months of July and September. This sanctuary is recognized as a part of the ecoregion of Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests.[4]


Sailana is located at 23°28′N 74°55′E / 23.47°N 74.92°E / 23.47; 74.92.[5] It has an average elevation of 479 metres (1571 feet).


As of 2001 India census,[6] Sailana had a population of 10,903. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Sailana has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 83%, and female literacy is 66%. In Sailana, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.


There are 6 schools in Sailana. The Government College in Sailana was founded in 1989. It is affiliated to Vikram University, Ujjain.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Imperial Gazetteer of India. Vol.21. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1908. p. 385. 
  2. ^ Princely States of India
  3. ^ Sailana through the ages by Jayantilaal Mehta
  4. ^ "Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  5. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Sailana
  6. ^ "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. 

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