Sheopur is a city in Madhya Pradesh state of central India. It is the administrative headquarters of Sheopur District. Sheopur is linked by rail to Gwalior. The town is traditionally famous for its wood carving. This is the western most town of Madhya Pradesh, Chambal River is just 25 km, which forms the boundary between Rajasthan and MP states.
Sheopur can be reached via train and buses from Gwalior which is 240 km from Sheopur.Sheopur is located at northern part of Madhya Pradesh. Some of the main locations are Vijaipur, Karahal and Badoda. Major tourist attraction is Palpur (kuno) wildlife sanctuary. The well-known Kaketa reservoir is located in this district. The art of woodcarving has flourished in district Sheopur and the beautifully embellished wooden ceilings, doors and lintels with finely carved designs are silent testimonials of its glory. The wood carvers of Sheopur, with great sensitivity and skill transform different varieties of wood. The crafts persons of Sheopur make pipes, masks, toys, doors, stands, windows, wooden memorials, flower vases, bedposts and cradle posts etc.
The important rivers like Chambal, Seep and Kuno drain the district. The Chambal, which originates in the Indore district, forms the northwestern boundary of Madhya Pradesh with Rajasthan.
There is no conclusive documented source available that traces the historical origin of Sheopur Fort. However a Jain pillar edict dated 1026 A.D. refers to the existence of the Sheopur fort. The 11th A.D. the famous poet Khadag Rai of Gwalior in his renowned work Gopanchal Akyan mentions Sheopur. According to his account the king of Nareshar Ajay Pal (1194–1219) had declared Sheopur as his capital.
In 1301 A.D. Alauddin Khilji capturing the Ranthambhor fort, captured the Sheopur fort as well, which fort was under king Hammir Dev at that time. In 1489, Sultan Mahmood Khilji of Malwa captured it and established it as an integrated part of the Malwa Sultanate.
In 1542, Sher Shah Suri captured the Sheopur fort. During his time a prayer ground (idgah) and after the death of his commander Munabber Khan a grand mausoleum made by his son Islam Shah is the interesting example of architecture of that time.
After that Surjan Singh Hada the King of Bundi captured Sheopur fort. In 1547, Akbar captured the fort and consequently it because part of Gwalior Maharaja Daulat Rao Scindia had to fight the Gaur king Radhika Das to capture the fort the Gaurs of Agra had been awarded the Sheopur fort as karad kings by Mugals and generations of Vats Raj Gaur continued to rule from it, before succumbing to the Scindias.
The 225 years history of the Sipahad kingdom as it is called a saga of untold valur[clarification needed] and forcefully independent cultural identity. This is reflected there architectural remains, which are individual thriving tradition of performing art, paintings, sculpture and highly artistic style of living. The individual palace of Narsingh Gaur, Rani mahal or Goojri mahal are striking examples of Gaur architecture. The chhartries built as a mark of respect for the king Indar Singh Gaur & and Kishor Das Gaur after the demis is silent and solemn examples of symmetrically well-crafted architecture. The Scandias remained in control of the fort till India acquired independence. They contributed of the grandeur of the fort by adding new dimensions to its resplendent remarks. The late Maharaja Madavrao Scindia built a Diwan-A-Aam, The Darbar Hall, and a state guesthouse presently the Diwan-A-Aam.
On the site is a Sahariya Museum, which is a window on the world of Saharia life partners, who rank as one of few existing primitive tribes of India. A few portion of the fort have been taken over by the M.P. Archeological Department for protections and conservation.
About 50 percent of the geographical area is available for cultivation. About 58.74 percent of the cultivable area in the district is irrigated. Canal is the major source of irrigation. Wheat is the most important food grain grown in the district. Mustard is the most important oil seed grown in the district. In Sheopur District there are total 156 running small scale industries, based on pipes, masks, toys, doors, stands, windows, wooden memorials, flower vases, bedposts and cradle posts etc.
The Rani Mahal, Darbar Hall and Saharia Museum are some attractive sites in the fort to visit. Baradari, PWD Guest House and some pathways are also the points of interest for the people visiting the fort.
In Sheopur district, there was a city in the Chambal valley of Sheopur tehsil at some distance from river Kuno known as `Dom`. It was the capital of Kachhwaha Kingdom. Here stands 81 feet high, large and square `Chaubisi of Jain Tirthankaras`, which is still worth seeing. The pillars standing on the `Kalash` remind us of the art of their architects. In the middle of the Chaubisi, one could see a kund where the statues where sunk. Since then, it is called Doob Kund. Outside it, there are the remains of Har Gauri Temple. This statuary group was built in the 11th century.
It is situated at the bank of Seep river, near to the fort of the sheopur. You can easily reach here by local transport system. the temple was built in the 15th century and is famous for ram-janki statue. The mahant of the temple is shri Rambharos ji maharaj. Every year a big celebration is held on the occasion of Ramnavami, which is the main attraction of the temple.
Sangam Of Rameshwar:-
It is situated at the sangam of the rivers Banas, Seep and Chambal and has many natural beauties. It is 959 feet high from seashore. Since rivers Banas, Seep and Chambal join here, the place is known as the Sangam of Rameshwar. A local fair is held here every year. It is an attraction for the tourists especially for the people of Rajasthan. Lord Parushram meditated here for long 12 years after killing his mother.
At the bank of river Kunari, there stands a fort known as Majhola durg. Vijay Singh, the King of Karauli, built it.