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An Amazing Entrada
Although the glorious fortunes of its former rulers may have vanished, the culture of Rajasthan, with its numerous forts, palaces, its riotous colours and its romantic sense of valour, honour and courage is still very much alive. The inherent buoyancy and charisma of the land is evident in every aspect of the lifestyle of the people, and also, in the colourful turbans and flowing moustaches sported by the men, and bright mirrored skirts and silver jewellery worn by the Rajasthani women.
About 110 km south of Udaipur is the serene little town of Dungarpur. The Udai Bilas Palace is a very impressive palace located near Gaibsagar Lake. Made from grey-blue stone, the palace has retained an old-world charm and has lots of or neat balconies and pleasant gardens. There's a formal banquet room with a big collection of animal trophies. A feature of this palace is the Ek Thambia Mahal (one pillared palace), a large, exquisitely carved building in the middle of an inner courtyard. Juna Palace is also an interesting palace, its art work, frescoes are worth to see.
The district concieved it's name after the capital o f the former princely state of Dungarpur. Dungar means a hill or a mountain and pur means a town, thus Dungarpur means a hill town. Rawal Veer Singh Dev took over this part of the state from the Bhil Chieftain Dungaria and laid the foundation of the city as well as of the Old Palace on 14 October 1282 AD. The district is wild and rugged being situated in the foothills of the Aravalis.
The terrain though fairly open in the south and east is interspersed with stony slopes covered with low jungle of cactus, jujube trees and salar (Boswellia Servata, gum producing tree). A variety of shrubs and trees which require neither a deep soil nor moisture also grow in this area. In the north and the east the country is rugged and wild but towards the south west border the harsh features gradually become softer.
Dungarpur is famous for its particular style of architecture. The palaces of the Dungarpur princes and the residence ot the noble ones are adorned by stone jharokhas and a new style of jharokhas which was developed by Maharawal Shiv Singh reign (1730-1785 AD). The gold and silversmiths of Dungarpur and Banswara are well known for lacquer painted toys and picture farming.