Dewas is a city located in the West-central part of Madhya Pradesh. Situated on the Malwa plateau, the city is about 143 km southwest from the state capital Bhopal, and 35 km from Indore, the commercial capital of MP.
There are several stories as to how the city derived it name ‘Dewas’. Some people believe that the name is derived from the Devi Vaishini hill in the city, commonly known as Tekri. The hill has a temple of deity Devi Tulja Bhawani, Chamunda Mata and Kalika Mata. Another story goes that the word Dewas is a conjunction of ‘Dev’ which means deity and ‘Vas’ meaning abode, thus making Dewas the ‘abode of the deity or god’.
Dewas was formerly the capital of two 15 Gun Salute princely states during the British Raj – Dewas Junior and Dewas Senior, which were ruled by the royal Maratha Puar Dynasty. The original state was founded in the first half of the 18th century by the brothers Tukaji Rao (Senior) and Jivaji Rao (Junior). They hailed from the Puar dynasty of Marathas, who advanced into Malwa with the Maratha Peshwa, Baji Rao, in 1728. The Puar dynasty is now sustained by Vikram Singh Puar, son of Late Maharaja Srimant Tukoji Rao Puar.
Dewas is home to many mid-sized and small industries, which are providing employment to thousands of industrial workers. The largest companies include Tata, Kirloskar, Arvind Mills, S Kumars, Tata – Cummins, Gajra Gears, Gabriel India, Sun Pharma Industries, Caparo Tubes, John Deere and the Government Bank Note press, which is the largest of its kind in Asia. These large companies are delivering substantial profits to Dewas.
The industrialization of Dewas took place during the late 70s and early 80s, and picked up pace with encouragement from members of the Puar dynasty. Also known as the ‘Soya Capital of India’, Dewas runs a major part of the soya bean processing industry in India.
Apart from being an industrial city, Dewas also has spots of tourist interest. While places of religious importance like the Devi Tekri Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple and Pushpagiri Digambar Jain Tirth attract thousands of pilgrims, people looking for adventure, prefer visiting the Kheoni Wildlife Sanctuary, Kavadiya Hills and Gidiya Khoh waterfall. Mother Nature has been kind on Dewas, and these spots are proof enough.