Tourist Attractions in PorbandarPorbandar situated on the western coast of in India in the state of Gujrat may not be a very big city but has much to offer to the tourists. This port city attracts thousands of tourists each year who come to visit the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi.
It has wonderful beaches along with temples, historical sites and wild life sanctuaries to keep everyone entertained. Shopping here is also fun. Tourists purchase a lot of ‘Bandhni’ fabric and many other trinkets from this small city in the western coast of India.
Sightseeing in PorbandarAs Porbandar is mainly an industrial town there are not many things tourists can do other than visit the sightseeing places. One can visit the numerous temples, the Nehru planetarium, the Darbargadh Fort, walk along the beach.
Close to the city is the Barda Hills Wildlife Sanctuary which will be enjoyed by the lovers of nature. You can shop in this city for good Bandhani fabrics and carry home some unique local handicrafts.
To give you an idea about which all places you must visit during your trip to Porbandar here are some details regarding the tourist destinations.
Kirti Mandir in PorbandarKirti Mandir as it is known today is the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi. It is now a museum which displays many of his possessions, photographs and houses a library filled with books that are written on him and many that were written by him. The library presently has a collection of almost 20,000 books.
The structure of the building is E-shaped. It has domes, terraces and balconies. There is a shikhar or a dome that is about 33 meters high. Interiors are made up of marble and remind of the Gaekwads.
Kirti Mandir also comprises of spinning hall, a prayer hall and a nursery for the children. Prayer services for all religions are regularly organised in the prayer hall.
The building also houses a planetarium that holds shows on astronomy. There is a photo gallery at the very entrance of the planetarium. It showcases photos of various historical events. You could easily get drifted into the past by looking at these photographs. People who are interested in history are sure to have a wonderful time travelling down the memory lane.
Mahatma Gandhi was born in a room on the ground floor of this building. The floor here has been marked with a ‘Swastik’. The floors higher up feature rooms where Gandhiji spent his days. There are 79 oil lamps or ‘Diyas’ which are placed along the walls of Kirti Mandir. These ‘Diyas’ have a special significance and symbolise the age of the Mahatma during the time of his death. Neighbouring the Kirti Mandir is the Navi Khadi, the place where Gandiji’s wife Kasturba was born. On entering the mandir a serene and quiet atmosphere welcomes the visitors. It brings backan image of Mahatma Gandhi and all that you have studied in History when you went to school.
Huzoor Palace in PorbandarThe Huzoor Palace located at the far end of Marine Drive in Porbandar is a major attraction for all tourists who come to this city.
It has an immensely huge campus. This extensive structure which resembles a typical European mansion sees a lot of visitors all through the year. This sprawling palace is a horizontal structure with sloping roofs. It has several wings as well as big wide windows that overlook the Arabian Sea. These wings are intermingled with yards that spread in the front as well as the back. The structure of Huzoor Palace basically has a formation that is zigzag. The building is covered by timber roofs and balcony with delicately designed banister rails.
Gardens and fountains dotted all over the area make it even more beautiful. Huzoor Palace was originally built by Natwar Shah. The construction has pillars that are neo- classical and porticoes that are carved in semi circular design. Terraces are surrounded with beautiful railings and slanting timber roof. This adds glamour to this incredible structure. The fine architecture, amazing beauty and the panoramic sight of the Arabian Sea acts like magnet for the tourists as well as the residents of Porandar.
The Hozoor palace is a fine example of a heritage building in Porbandar. Some other buildings that deserve the status of heritage buildings are Old Raj Mahal which is a college now, The Collectorate, the Public Library, Victoria Jubilee Madrasa, The Bhavsinhji High School and the Natwarsinhji Sports Club
Sudama Mandir in PorbandarThe Sudama Mandir located at the centre of Porbandar is an attractive shrine which is dedicated to Sudama. Sudama was Krishna’s devotee and his best friend. This is probably the only shrine in India which is dedicated to this fervent follower of Lord Krishna. This temple was
Constructed sometime between the years 1902 and 1907.It has significant historical as well as religious value.
As the story goes there was a severe shortage of funding during the construction of the Sudama Mandir. The devotees did not give up hopes and collected the funds by organizing and performing drama shows.
The temple bears a plaque which depicts this whole tale through the time of depletion till the collection of the money. Vikram Samvat, which is the Hindu calendar, says that a monument was built inside the temple in the memory of Shri Ram Devji Jethwa, one of the rulers in the line of the Jethwa Dynasty.It is heard that he was wounded severely during that time in a deceitful attack.
There is a maze inside the temple. The common belief is that if an individual crosses the maze then all the sins of that person are forgiven. Many Kshatriya couples from Rajasthan come here to visit the temple and seek blessings to lead a happy and successful life after their marriage.
Tara Mandir in PorbandarTara Mandir or the Nehru Planetarium is much visited by the children and the adults. It is one of the most admired tourist attractions of Porbandar. An overhead dome with a round screen projects the celestial bodies inside the Tara Mandir. The technical projection and lighting used for depicting the stars and planets attracts attention of the enthusiastic viewers. Shri Nanjibhai donated a lot of money for the construction of Tara Mandir.
This place not only amuses the children but also attracts the attention of the elders. If you are travelling to Porbandar make it a point to include this in your agenda.
Chowpati in PorbandarChowpati is the coastal line along the city. This sea side wonder attracts the locals as well as the tourists alike. The evenings are very pleasant as the cool breeze can be enjoyed here. The beaches here are covered with white sand and the city centre is just about one kilometre from here. The Huzoor Palace stands close to the Chowpati. Various birds including flamingos and other shore birds visit this coast line often. The bird watchers enjoy watching the birds come and nestle in the shoreline.
Darbargadh Fort in PorbandarRana Sartanji had built the Darbargadh palace and fort, with a grand stone carved entrance which was flanked by high towers and huge doors made of solid wood. This historical building is also known as Sartanji Choro. It is surrounded by gardens on all sides that represent the different seasons.
This architectural wonder is a unique example of a royal enclosure positioned within any town in Gujarat. The edifices that are located close by towards the left side of the entry are good examples of huge mansions with sprawling court yards and finely carved out wooden extravaganza.
The colossal wall that runs around the fort has quite a few bastions, four big gates and three small gates or 'baris'. All the main gates have their names. They are Kathiawadi Darwaja, Porbandar Gate, Halar Gate and the Junagadh Gate. The smaller entrances are called, Bhimji Bari, Sati Bari and Darbari Bari.
Darbargadh of Dhoraji sits at the highest face of the town of Porbandar. Darbari Bari is the gate through which it can be approached. This gate is a beautiful entrance that is adorned by a jharokha. It rests resting on four statues of elephants that stand in different poses. A delicately carved out gate leads the way to the palace of Darbargadh which stands in the centre of a sprawling courtyard.
This fortified palace is a three structure with three storeys. The building is decorated with fine sculptures of sitting lions, musicians, complex geometrical patterns, plentiful of pillars that are carved out from stone and huge windows. It is planned to look like a jewel- box following the similar architectural design of the Navlakha Palace which is located in Gondal.
Places of Interest near PorbandarThere are some places of tourist interest which are located close to Porbandar. Some of them are Dwarka, The Barda Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and the Madhavpur Temple and the Harshad mata Temple.
DwarkaDwarka is situated at a distance of about 28kms from Porbandar. It is placed on the farthest tip of the Gujarat peninsula. This holy town is considered as a site for pilgrimage by the Hindus. It comes alive during the chief festivals of the Hindu like Janmashtami, Dusshera and Shivaratri.
Barda Hills Wildlife SanctuaryThe Barda Hills Wildlife Sanctuary lies at a distance of about15kms from the city of Porbandar. This wilderness supports many mammals including lions, spotted deer, and chinkara. It also houses many reptiles as well as birds. Crocodiles can be seen in plenty over here and if you are lucky you could also spot a crested-hawk eagle.
The thickly wooded hills are ideal for proper trekking experience. In the nearby area there are two dams. They are Fodara and Khamdala respectively. The two dams are well known picnic spots.