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Palanpur

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Overview: place & people

History

The town was once heavily fortified with seven gates providing the only means of thoroughfare; these are now in ruins. Of much more recent vintage are the other monuments that dot the town: the 'Keertistumbh' or "victory tower" was erected in the 1930s, as were the Jorawar palace and the Balaram palace. The well-known temple of Balaram Mahadev is situated about 20 km from Palanpur. The Jessore sloth-bear sanctuary, a reserve forest sprawling over 180 km². and home to several endangered species such as the Indian sloth-bear, leopard, wild boar and porcupine, lies about 45 km from the town.There is the famous Temple Ambaji which is 55 km from here. It is also the ancestral birthplace of the majority of India's diamond trading families. India's modern diamond cutting industry was founded by several Palanpuri Jain families who, in 1909, met to devise a means of lifting their village from poverty, eventually settling on the diamond trade. Because of its remote location, the families started their businesses in Bombay and, later, Surat. However, they still maintain close ties to their ancestral home. India's diamond industry, still dominated by Palanpuri Jains, now processes the majority of diamonds used in jewellery. Earlier Palanpur was known as flower city because of scents available here. Palanpur is well known in Gujarati literature with its shayars like Shunya Palanpuri, Agam Palanpuri, Shail Palanpuri. Famous Gujarati poet Chandrankant Bakshi also belongs to Palanpur. This city is also the birth place of several personalities such as Bharat Shah (a Bollywood film Producer and Financer), B.K.Gadhavi(A former Member of Parliament of Congress Party).

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Politics

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