Dabhoi was established in the early 6th century AD. Its foundation and fortification is ascribed to the great King of Gujarat, Siddhraj Jaisinh (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.
• Hira Bhagol/Gate (East Gate)
Hira Bhagol (named after the architect, Hiradhar, who Punished by king, After stealing Stones, he built a Lake now named as Ten-Talav, which was made by Hiradhar for memory of his wife Ten). It is also told that this gate is knows as Hiragate on account of its beautiful decoration, built in 12th century A.D. The Gate’s eastern side of the citadel with its adjoining right side has a temple of Kalika mata. There are six pilasters on each side, three near each and which supported the elaborate corbelled brackets. Both faces of the gate are full of sculptural representations of Hindu deities like Shiva, Lakshmi, Vishnu, scene of churning of the ocean and legends from the Mahabharata. On the inner side of this gate, is a famous inscription composed by Rajkavi Someshwar Dev.
• Nandodi Bhagol/Gate (South Gate)
The Nandodi gate is in the southern part of the fort having double gates, with an open court between. On its inner sides, figures of Lord Shiva and Vishnu with all his attributes adorn the gate. The Gate is famous for its carved Brackets.
• Vadodara Bhagol/Gate (West Gate)
Vadodara Bhagol was built in 12th century A.D. It has six bracketed support and is on west side of Citadel. There are cornices on the back as well as front. The outer face of the gate was adorned with figures of Hindu details like Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Mother Goddess etc.
• Mahudi Bhagol or Champaneri Gate (North Gate)
The gate had five brackets supports instead of arches springing from pilasters. This is on the north side of the citadel which was built in 12th century A.D. The mythological figures on the walls include Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Narshimhas and Saraswati etc.