Banswara Rajasthan: Banswara stands in the southern-most part of the state of Rajasthan. It covers an area of 5037 Sq km and is located between 23.11° N to 23.56° N latitudes and 73.58° E to 74.49° E. longitudes. Banswara shares borders with Dhariawad of Udaipur district and Pratapgarh of Chittorgarh district on the north; Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh on the east; Sagwara and Aspur of Dungarpur district on the west and Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh on the south. It also touches the boundary of Panchmahal district of Gujrat on the south-west.
Banswara region is interspersed with ridges, flat topped hills and also has the southern end of the Aravalli Mountains closely. Mahi River is the base of the drainage system at Banswara. The Mahi Bajaj Sagar dam on the River Mahi is located at 16 km from Banswara town.
There are two sources to the origin of the name Banswara. As per one source, the name is derived from the name of the Bhil chief Bansia, who ruled the region of Banswara before he was killed by Maharaval Jagmal Singh in 1529 CE. Though Maharaval Jagmal Singh killed the Bhil chief over the possession of the region, he was very moved by the bravery displayed by the Bhil chief Bansia and named the region after him.
According to the second source the name is attributed to the abundance of bamboos in these forest areas, derived from the Bans Vara (the country of bamboos).
Banswara is a beautiful city of Rajasthan located in the district by the same name. The city is outlined by the majestic range of mountains and the ancient temples located on the peaks of these mountains like the Madareshwar Temple make this city worthy of visiting. Banswara is also popularly known as 'City of Hundred Islands', as the River Mahi that surrounds many islands also runs through Banswara. Banswara has been the native place of Bhils historically. The population of Bhils at Banswara contributes to 39% of the total tribal population of India. Nestled amidst the valleys of the Aravalli Banswara is considered to depict the original form of the tribal culture of India. Banswara shares borders with various states. And this impacts the culture of Banswara as it is a mixture of Gujarati, Malwi, Rajasthani and Mewari cultures.
Maize, Wheat, Cotton, Gram are the main crops of Banswara region. Graphite, Soapstone, Dolomite, Rock Phosphate, Limestone and a variety of marbles are found around this region. Jagpura in the Banswara district has Gold mineral deposits as well. Twenty percent of the total district area is covered by forests; however most of the forest area has hills devoid of any greenery.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people, mostly of tribals. Wagri a mixture of Gujrati and Mewari is the most spoken dialect in the district of Banswara. The small one-room houses of tribals known as tapra lie scattered all over the area. A special and intensive literacy campaign in the district has increased literacy percentage by 18.22 and this brought the total literacy to 44.63% as per the 2001census.