The northern district of Aravalli has been carved out of Sabarkantha. Despite its name,the district has little presence of the Aravalli range,as the major portion of the mountain in Gujarat is in Sabarkantha district.
According to government records,Arasur branch of Aravalli range covers Danta,Khedbrahma,Idar and Shamlaji. Though officials say that the range passes through Modasa,local Congress MLA Anil Joshiyara says,The district is just a namesake of Aravalli. No one can even trace a stone of the worlds most ancient mountain range in the district headquarters,Modasa. Sabarkantha district collector Banchhanidhi Pani,however,rubbishes this and says that Aravalli does pass through Modasa and Shamlaji.
As per the original plan of the state government,Khedbrahma,Idar and Vijaynagar were to be part of Aravalli district. However,due to some reasons these places considered major attraction of the Aravalli range in Gujarat remained with Sabarkantha.
The district has been formed with six out of the 13 talukas of Sabarkantha.
The new district has communally sensitive Modasa town as its headquarters. Modasa hit the headlines in 2008 following a blast near a mosque.
The district consists of seven talukas: Modasa,Bhiloda,Malpur,Meghraj,Bayad,Dhansura and Patnagar. Bhiloda,Malpur and Meghraj are tribal dominated areas.
The biggest attraction of the district is the Shamlaji Temple located in Bhiloda. Thousands of pilgrims visit the Vishnu temple throughout the year. It is also the only major tourist attraction of the new district.
There are no major industries here,except some small scale industrial zones in Modasa,Bhiloda and Dhansura. Needless to say,the administration will have pay attention to the industrial development of the new district. For the past several years,the locals have been demanding Mazum as the name of their district,instead of Aravalli. Mazum,the name of a river that flows through the region,is also one of the two big dams located about 10 km away from Modasa town.
Aravalli doesnt have a single BJP MLA in the Assembly. The new district has three Assembly seats,all represented by the Congress legislators.
Local residents say that with the formation of the new district,they will no longer have to travel to Himmatnagar,the district headquarters of Sabarkantha,for official work.