The seat of the Maratha Puar Rajputs, Dewas is widely known as a holy city of Madhya Pradesh and it boasts of a rich cultural heritage dating back to hundreds of years. Maratha culture and architecture is prominent in Dewas. Although the people of Dewas are adapting to the modern ways of living, they are still rooted to their traditions.
Dewas has a population of nearly 1,563,107. Though most of the people follow Hinduism, there is a considerable number of Muslims, Sikhs and Christians residing in Dewas. A large number of people are staunch devotees of Chamunda Devi and Lord Shiva, which is explained by the presence of Devi Tekri shrine in the city. The presence of a large number of temples and shrines in Dewas and the regular fares on festivals attract a large number of pilgrims from the adjoining areas.
Apart from its temples, Dewas is known for its handicrafts. Perfected by centuries of craftsmanship and passed through generations, the terracotta work of Dewas is the specialty of the Malwa region, along with Mojri, carpets and leather works. These handicrafts are the primary source of income for the local artisans, and are hard to be missed by the tourists coming to Dewas.
The musical heritage of Dewas is also notable. Under the patronage of Puar rulers of Dewas and their current heir Vikram Singh Puar, both folk and classical music in the region have flourished. Two National-level Classical Music programs are organized in Dewas every year.
The Government of Madhya Pradesh, in association with Ustad Alladuddin Khan Sangeet Academy, Bhopal, organizes Kumar Gandharva Samaroh in Dewas, where young artists are awarded with Kumar Gandharva Samman and a cash prize of Rs 51,000. Pandit Kumar Gandharva, Ustad Razzab Ali Khan, Babulal Verma and Vasundhara Komkali are some of the well-known personalities associated with the dance and music culture of Dewas.