Mandvi is a small coastal town that is located at a distance of 60 km from Bhuj. It can be a good one day visit from Bhuj as there are many places of interest. This post will introduce you to the places you can visit during a one day trip to Mandvi.
Ship Building Yard
Historically, Mandvi was an important port town, and it had acted as a gateway for trade with Africa and West of Asia. The port was founded and developed by Maharao Khengarji I in 158. It soon became one of the most important ports for trade in India. As the trade from this port grew, the locals observed a need to build new boats that could be used for the trade. That is the pride of Mandvi today, a 400 year old tradition of ship making.
The ships that are built here are called as dhows by the locals. You will be astonished by the fact that the dhow building is completely hand made. There are absolutely no machineries used (apart from few small tools like hammers, nuts, bolts etc). Today, though the number of people who are into dhow building is greatly reduced, those who are still working on it have really mastered the work. If you visit the ship building yard, you can see several boats of different sizes that are under construction!
Being a coastal town, Mandvi is not short of beaches. The most common (or say commercial) one is Mandvi Beach. This beach is located at a place where River Rukmavati joins the Arabian Sea. Mandvi Beach is very calm and serene. The waves in the beach are very mild and the water is very shallow. This makes Mandvi Beach a perfect place to get into water.
Being very close to the town of Mandvi, the beach has several options for the visitors to spend their time joyfully here. You can opt for a camel or horse ride on the beach while feeling the gentle breeze caressing your face. During the winter months, you can also opt for jet ski ride, para sailing and other water sports.
Vijay Vilas Palace
Vijay Vilas Palace (also called Mandvi Palace) is a summer palace built by Maharao Vijayrajji. Vijay Vilas Palace maybe one of the most recently built palaces as this was constructed in 1929. The palace stands elegantly amidst a 450+ acre beautiful garden and a 2 km long stretch of private beach! Today, the erstwhile ruling royal family resides in the palace after their residence near Bhuj was severely damaged in the earthquake of 2001.
Only a certain portions of the Vijay Vilas Palace are open to visitors. The other portions in the premises is converted into a hotel/resort and are accessible to the visitors staying there. The visitors who stay at the palace also have access to the private beach! The palace was also featured in some of the popular Hindi movies like Lagaan, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam etc.
The palace has three floors that are elegantly designed. You will be awestruck with the art and craft work inside the palace. The exteriors, interiors, domes, arches all have very intricate art work that can leave you amazed. The ground floor of the palace has many large rooms where the furniture of the royal family is kept on display! You can also notice the amazing paintings on the walls when you walk around this floor.
The spiral staircase from the ground floor will take you to the next floor. This floor has an terrace space on all the four sides, and a dome at the center. You can walk around the terrace, and observe the intricacy of the work in some of the structures. Some shelters have been built on the terrace whose design can leave you spell bound.
You can reach the top most point of the palace by climbing up another set of spiral staircase. From this point, it is a spectacular sight to watch the amazing thick lush garden that extends till the Arabian Sea. And all of it is a private property!!
Shyamji Krishna Varma Smarak
This is a memorial made in honour of the famous scholar and freedom fighter, Shyamji Krishna Varma. Shyamji Krishna Varma was one of the freedom fighters in the history of the freedom movement of India. He had organized a revolutionary center in “India House” at London and propagated the cause of India’s independence through his writings in his publication journal called “Indian Sociologist”. The memorial is a tribute to his patriotism and service to the nation.
72 Jinalaya Jain Temple
Jain temples in the region of Gujarat and Rajasthan are known for their immaculate beauty. These temples are mostly built with white marble which gives a very elegant look even from a distance. The intricacy of the work on the walls and pillars, spectacular work on the inner side of the central domes, and several other characteristics are the highlights of these temples. 72 Jinalaya is no exception. See this page for more on this.
72 Jinalaya Jain Temple
Where to stay?
- Mandvi (few resorts available)
- Vijay Vilas Palace (Luxury)
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