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Palanpur is one of the largest cities of Banaskantha district in Gujarat and also the administrative headquarter of Banaskantha. If we look at chronology of Palanpur, it dates back to Parmar dynasty of Rajputs when the city was developed by one of the members of the dynasty; Prahladan who received the area as gift from his brother Chandravati.
During that time the city of Palanpur was called Prahladanpur based on the name of its founder. During that time the city was completely fortified with only thoroughfare being the 7 darwajas which were built in different directions. The gates or Darwajas were called as Delhi darwaja, Gathaman, Shimla, Meera, VirBai, Malan and the Saalampur Darwaja.
Rule of Nawab of Jhalore
In 1572 Gujarat was conquered by Akbar and the city of Palanpur also came into control of Mughal empire. Afterwards Nawab of Jhalore married foster sister of Mughal emperor Akbar and as a wedding gift, Akbar gave the Nawab the city of Palanpur. 31 years later in 1616, the Nawab moved into Palanpur and brought along with him several craftsmen, traders and officials to properly run administration of the city. The Nawabs settled well into this city and ruled it for another 330 years.
Prosperity and Jain Administrators
At the time Nawabs shifted to Palanpur, many Jain families also moved to this city along with other people. According to local historians prosperity of this city can be attributed to Jain administrators who were members of those families which came with the Nawab and were responsible for maintaining day to day activities and finances of the city. Actually these people were of Rajasthan and Kshatriya Rajputs who believed in Jain munis and had gradually become devoted Jainism followers. In Palanpur Jains received excellent patronage from Nawabs and were their key advisors during that time.
Merger of Nawabs with the Indian Union
In 1948 the Nawabs voluntarily stepped down and Palanpur became one of the foremost princely states to get merged with Indian Union. People still remember the rule of the Nawabs with fondness due to the compassionate way in which they ruled the city and helped many cultural developments. Palanpur also became quite well known for its attars, craft and Gujarati ghazals during that time.
Palanpur in Jewelry Business
Palanpur is famous all over India for diamond business and its diamond merchants who mainly are from the Jain community. But it all started during the regime of Nawabs when Nawabs Sher Mohammed Khan asked and encouraged some members of the Jain community to move into jewelry business since administration of the city was not large and it was becoming difficult to employ the increasing number of people from the Jain community who were coming to live here.
The Nawab was quite generous and even introduced as well as recommended these new jewelry merchants to other royal families in the country and also in Nepal. Many of the Palanpuris started moving to Bombay hoping to make a name for themselves in the jewelry business, especially as diamond merchants. Palanpur with passage of time has become so famous for diamonds that it is called as city of diamonds.