Dabhoi was established in the early 6th century AD. Its foundation and fortification is ascribed to the Chaulukya king of Gujarat, Jayasimha Siddharaja (1093-1143 AD), who made this his frontier fortress. The architectural style and the exquisite stone carving and iconography on the fort walls and gates suggests that it was conceived and constructed in the same period as Rudra Mahalaya and Zinzuwada Fort. It is mentioned as an important city in the Jain inscriptions of Girnar (VS 1288).
It came under the control of Muslim rulers in 1300 AD after the fall of Patan. The fort of Dabhoi is one of the rare surviving examples of Hindu military architecture, based on the shastri traditions described in various Vaastu scriptures.
The famous battle of Dabhoi was fought on 1 April 1731 between Sarsenapati Trimbakrao Dabhade and Bajirao Peshwa.
There are four gates in the town, one in each cardinal direction, having indirect entry, located in the middle of each side of the fort wall. It was altered during the time of Visaldev and the Muslim rule. Hira Bhagol (named after the architect, Hiradhar), the most exquisitely carved gate, is in the east, with Vadodara Gate in the west, Champaner Gate in the north and Nandod Gate in the south. Dabhoi has many Jain and Hindu temples, devoted to different gods and goddesses.
Dabhoi is the place where the great Gujarati poet, Dayaram, composer of many Garbis (devotional songs) and a devotee of Ranchhodraiji of Dakor took his last breath. Many Jain scholars also stayed here in the past and enriched the Jain Granth Bhandar, which has a collection of ancient Jain manuscripts.
It is a major Jain pilgrimage place. There are 6 temples. Shri Lodhan Parshvanath temple is main attraction.
Dabhoi is located at 22.18°N 73.43°E / 22.18; 73.43. It has an average elevation of 99 metres (324 feet).
As of 2001 India census, Dabhoi had a population of 54,930. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Dabhoi has an average literacy rate of 68%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 75% and, female literacy is 61%. In Dabhoi, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Dabhoi is also a major gateway for Narmada Dam, the life line for Gujarat state. At one time the Dabhoi railway station was the biggest narrow gauge railway station in Asia with lines branching to Goyagate(Pratapnagar), Miyagam Karjan, Chandod, Bodeli, Samalaya Jn. The narrow gauge section of Pratapnagar(Vadodara)-Dabhoi-Bodeli-Chhota Udaipur has been converted to broad gauge. The remaining Narrow Gauge lines existing today at Dabhoi are Dabhoi-Miyagam Karjan-Choranda-Moti korel/Malsar, Dabhoi-Chandod, Dabhoi-Samalaya Jn.-Timba Road. It has undergone major changes recently. In the latest Railway Budget plan has been made of Gauge Conversion of Dabhoi-Miyagam and Dabhoi-Samalaya Jn. stretch to reduce the freight traffic at Vadodara Jn but still no action is taken.