This refers to a loop that guides you through the ruins of the city and temples, the dam and the town of Vijaynagar, with its palace. The best way to explore the nooks and crannies of this area is with a guide, both for the richness of your own experience, and for the protection of the area and its inhabitants. There are various types of guided tours for a range of ages, adventure activities, and camps for students. Contact Mihir Bhardwaj, Tel: +919824677456, who can offer you guide options and conservation information, and connect you to others who dedicate themselves to the preservation and enrichment of the ecology of this area. You can also try Kadoli Farm, Tel: +919375523795, a farm resort which offers accommodation and guided tours.
The circuit includes:
- The recently restored Vireshvar Narsimha temple, 20 km from Idar, off the Vijaynagar State highway, near Vijalsan Vasahat, which stands below a hill in a valley blessed with butterflies, birds, and a perennial (flowing through the year) water spring.
- The ruins of the ancient temple complex known as "Ashram and Antarsumba." There are various idols and other stonework scattered around the temple ruins, sitting on a raised platform, with its spire and central dome collapsed. The largest shrine has a beautifully carved toran. There are more temple ruins off the road to Antarsumba, accessible only by foot, using the dam to cross the stream.
- Remains of the fortification of the ancient city of Polo
- A sun temple, standing between two hills, on a route parallel to a stream. It shares features with the main temple at Antarsumba.
- A camp site where you can stay with permission from the forest officials, and most likely accompanied by guides.
- Chhatris, as memorials for satis, women who immolated themselves for their husbands’ death.
- A beautiful courtyard, further into the forest, with the Shiv Panchayat temple and the remains of a Jain temple. The latter was influenced by Mughal architects but built according to the ancient Sanskrit text Vastu Shastra, taking inspiration from the upright stability and balance of the human body, with great resistance to natural calamities such as earthquakes. It contains a lower chamber in which to hide the idols during raids and attacks on the temple, and two marble pillars, one of which is carved with the story of Mahavir Swami’s mother and the 14 dreams she had before his birth. There are also secondary temples next to the main temple.
- Harnav Dam, also known as Vanaj Dam, in a dense jungle area occupied by various creatures, though some of the previous occupants, the adivasi people, were unfortunately displaced for this project.
- The town of Vijaynagar, where you can visit the Hamis Vilas palace, with permission of its owner, the Maharaj of Vijaynagar, for a sweeping view of the town and the Aravali range of hills behind, and Hotel Vijay Vilas, a heritage hotel built in 1900. See Hotel Vijay Vilas, Vijaynagar.
- To learn more about the town planning and social systems of ancient city of Polo from one of the descendants of the royal family, try calling Maharaj Vijay Vardhan Singh Rathore, tel: +919825605951.
How to get there
By road: Vijaynagar, the nearest town is 120 km from Udaipur and 160 km from Ahmedabad, and is accessible by the National Highway 8. Public transport is available, but ask around beforehand, because it is not always reliable.
No virtual tour available.