Welcome to Devgadh Baria, a small town nestled in the foothills on the eastern border of Gujarat State, India. This charming municipality is located on the bank of Panam River and is part of Dahod district (formerly Panchmahal) in the state of Gujarat. Devgadh Baria is a hidden gem that often gets overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbors, but it boasts a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering local cuisine that make it a must-visit destination for any traveler.
== History ==
The town of Devgadh Baria was established in 1524 by Dungerpursinh, the younger brother of King Vatai Rawal. The family of Dungerpursinh ruled the Baria State for the twelve generations, until it became a princely state before India’s independence in 1947. Today, the former royal family still resides in the Rajmahal, the original residence of the family.
== HH Maharawal Jaydeepsinhji ==
HH Maharawal Jaydeepsinhji Sobhagsinhji was the 17th Raja of Baria from 1948-1987. He remained active in politics in India from 1961 and 1987, and was a renowned polo player. He built a strong foundation for Devgadh Baria by donating the most of his personal assets to build various academic and sports institutions. The Yuvraj Subhagsinhji Arts and Kantilal Saburdash Commerce College (Y. S. Arts and K. S. Shah Commerce College, Devgadh Baria) is a vibrant center of higher education in the region. The Maharaja Jaydipsinhji Sports complex is famous for training of archery, athletics, gymnasium, hockey, kusti, judo, and swimming. He was a member of the World Olympics and the Gujarat State Government gives the Jaydeepsinh Baria Awards for excellence in sport in the State of Gujarat every year.
== The Present Royal Family of Devgadh Baria ==
RajMata Urvashi Deviji [Princess Bambi], born 22 July 1949 in Devgadh-Baria, Dahod; B.A. (Hons.), Member of the 8th Gujarat Legislative Assembly, married Rajkumar Kanak Singh of Dumraon, and has one son. Maharaja Tushar Singh (Baba Saheb), the current head of the royal family, was born on 19 April 1973 and was educated at boarding schools in Shimla. He is a District Panchayat Member, Chairman of the Panchayat Construction Committee, and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Gujarat from Devgadh Baria. He is married to Maharajkumari Ambika Kumari and has two sons, Kunwar Arunoday Singh and Kunwar Nirbhay Singh.
== Population ==
As of 2001 India census, Devgadh Baria has a population of 19,201. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Devgadh Baria has an average literacy rate of 61%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy is 70% and female literacy is 53%. In Devgadh Baria, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.
== Things to Do ==
Devgadh Baria may be a small town, but it offers plenty of activities for visitors.
– Visit the Rajmahal: The Rajmahal is the original residence of the Baria royal family and has been restored to its original glory. The former royal family moved back into the Rajmahal in 2015, and today visitors can take a tour to see the beautiful architecture and history of the place.
– Explore the Sports Complex: The Maharaja Jaydipsinhji Sports complex is built on the same land given by the late Maharaja and offers training in a variety of sports.
– Discover the Local Cuisine: Devgadh Baria is famous for its mouthwatering local cuisine. Be sure to try the dhokla, a steamed savory cake made from fermented batter, or the thepla, a flatbread made from wheat flour and spices. You can also try some of the local sweets, such as the jalebi or the peda. Don’t miss the opportunity to feast on these delicious dishes.
– Visit the Kolis Rathwa Forest of the Dangs: This forest is a beautiful place to explore nature and see the local wildlife. The forest is home to many endangered species, such as the sloth bear and the Indian pangolin.
– Go to the Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary: This sanctuary is home to over 100 sloth bears and is a great place to learn about these fascinating animals. Visitors can take a guided tour to see the bears up close and learn about their behavior and biology.
– Visit the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and elephants. Visitors can take a guided tour to see the animals and explore the beautiful landscape.
Devgadh Baria may be small, but it offers a wealth of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in exploring the local cuisine, learning about the royal family, or discovering the local wildlife, Devgadh Baria has something for everyone. Come visit this hidden gem and experience the magic of Gujarat State, India.