Banaskantha district is a district in Gujarat state. The region is presumably named after the West Banas River which runs through the valley between Mount Abu and Aravalli Range, entering into the plains of Gujarat in this region and flowing towards the Rann of Kutch.
The administrative headquarters of this district is Palanpur. Banaskantha has a population of 2,504,244 of which 11.00% were urban as of 2001. It covers an area of 10,751 sq.km. Banaskantha borders with Rajasthan state in the North, Sabarkantha district in East, Kutch district in South and Patan and Mehsana district in the South. In the year 2000 parts of this district were broken off for the formation of Patan district.
Palanpur was the capital of former princely State of Palanpur, the city is circled by hillocks in the close vicinity of Aravali Mountains. It derives its name from Palansi Chauhans who inhabited the city in 14th century. The Chauhans were replaced by Muslim rulers who ruled till independence.
There is a Kirti Stambh and a Rajmahal, the old palace of the Nawab, now used for govt. offices. Outside Mira Gate, there are two Dargahs, one of the poet Anwar Kazi and the other of Saint Mursheed, worshipped by Muslims. An ancient stepwell `Mithi Vav' is the best-preserved architectural monument with seven galleries on the wall on either side.
Banaskantha is rich in Marble quarries and Copper deposits. India's diamond industry has its origins in Palanpur. It has got prestigious State Agricultural University Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University, Sardarkrushinagar. Famous Ambaji temple in Ambaji, is at the foot of Aravalli mountains near the mouth of Saraswati river. One of the well-known religious place is Dhima which is 12 km away from Vav and Tharad and has a great Shamlaji Temple. A lot of people visit this temple for worship and especially when it's a full-moon-day.