Perched on the Northeastern stretch of Indore, is Dewas, an 18th-century city that was found and ruled by the Puar clan of Maratha, under the British Raj. After India acquired independence, Dewas was integrated into Madhya Bharat, a state that came into existence in 1950. Although originally, the city got its name from the Devi Vaishini hill, the name itself is derived from two words, Dev and Vas, meaning the residence of Gods. Today, Dewas has transformed into an industrialised zone and is widely recognised for its pilgrimage landmarks, as well as, the government bank note press. Situated on a plain of the Malwa plateau, Dewas gently rises to river Kshipra and the Vindhya Range, offering a splendid view of the mountains. (Best spotted through the newly launched ropeway ride) While this Malwa municipality is a small province, there are multiple landmarks you can visit, while you are here. Read on to learn about the top sightseeing spots of Dewas that you can explore in a day.
1. Mata Ki Tekri
Dewas is synonymous with “Mata Ki Tekri,” or as they call it Maa Chamunda Ki Tekri, which is a 300-foot conical hill. Dewas lays at the base of this hill. Wherein, on top of the hill, is the shrine of Chamunda which is a prominent pilgrimage landmark of the region. There are three ways of reaching the temple. One, you can take the stone stairs, second you can drive up the slopy hill and third, you can take the ropeway ride that transports you to the hill in 4-minutes for INR 83 per person. Inside the temple, you will find Devi’s impression carved inside a cave wall, which is known to be the goddess’s residence.
This abode is how Devas got its name! (Other stories suggest that the name could have been taken after Dewasa Bania, the original founder of the city) While you are here, also pay a visit to the shrine of Badi Mata or the Tulja Bhavani Mata.
2. Historic Sayaji Gate
Sayaji Dwar (Gate) is a historic landmark of Dewas that was built in the 18th-century by the Marathas. It is one of the most prominent gates of the city, along with, three others namely Shukrawaria gate, Pathan Kuan Gate and the Nahar Darwaza. Even though the history of the Sayaji Gate is unknown, back in the ancient times, these gates were constructed by the rulers to mark the city’s or a fort’s entrance.
Which, is why the gates were further, beautified with peculiar topography, lush plantations, armour or even stone structures. A glorified golden statue of former King Tukojirao Pawar was installed at Sayaji Gate in 2018 as a tribute to the original founders of the city.
3. Ropeway Ride Adventure
There is no better way to explore Dewas Tekri than to experience it from inside a cable car. Also, the ropeway ride covers a large distance in just about 4 minutes which leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy the scenic beauty and yet, traverse through the hill and visit numerous temples.
4. The Impressive Pawar Chattries
To truly experience the magnificence of Maratha architecture, you must take a trip to the impressive Pawar Chattries. These Chattries are located near the Meetha Talab of Dewas, epitomising the iconic Maratha architecture. Overwhelmingly massive, these Chattries symbolise the lifestyle of the Pawar kings and suggest an antiquated, baroque endeavour that may have augmented royal pride. Walk inside, and you will find yourself in an enriched world of regal opulence.
5. Keladevi or Kailadevi Temple
Situated close to AB road, Kailadevi or Keladevi Temple is the largest in Madhya Pradesh and certainly deserves a visit for its religious splendour. This modern temple was built by Mannulal Garg (businessman) in 1995 and was designed by multiple South Indian artists. The temple houses a 51-foot tall statue of Lord Hanuman.
6. Kheoni Wildlife Sanctuary
Rooted in Kannod Tehsil of Dewas, is the widespread Kheoni Wildlife Sanctuary stretching across an area of 132 square kilometres. Flourishing with Bamboo, Teak and Tendu, this deciduous forest also houses tigers, said to have migrated from Ratapani. Other animals present in significant numbers are jungle cats, Leopards, Jackals, Hyenas, blackbuck, nilgai, spotted deers, wild boar, Sambar, four-horned antelope and palm civet. Additionally, the forest houses 125 species of birds, including plum-headed parakeet, laughing dove, black drongo, chestnut shouldered Petronia, Eurasian collared dove, and MP’s state bird, Indian paradise flycatcher.