Welcome to Porbandar the most prominent coastal heritage town of Gujarat with its long line of temples, beautiful public buildings and edifices overlooking the sea. Known worldwide as the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi- the father of India, Porbandar boasts of many other elements that makes it an attractive tourist destination. To begin with it has a fully operational port of international standards.
If you want to escape from the humdrum of your busy city life, or you just want to be near the sea in Gujarat then consider Porbandar as one of the best options. The beautiful virgin beaches and beach villas of Porbandar are the perfect place to take that long break from the monotony of your workplace. Take a stroll along the coastline popularly known as Chowpatty, and we bet you would feel rejuvenated in amidst nature and history. Once you are there the beautiful flamingoes and other shore birds along with the heritage monuments vie with each other for your attention.
Infact, you should take a long walk even when you are exploring the well planned town setting to enjoy its stone buildings with exquisite mason work and rich carving. The facades of the houses on either side of the streets, with carved windows and gateways, displaying a unique architectural style would surely leave you impressed.
Apart from that, a must see at Porbandar is the house where Gandhi was born. The mid 19th century Haveli of the Gandhi family has three stories around a courtyard with a kitchen, 17 rooms and a wooden shrine. The residence has been converted into a memorial museum with a moving photographic and pictorial display of the life of the Mahatma and his part in the struggle for India's freedom, providing a deeper insight into the life and times of the Mahatma. Make it a point to check out the memorabilia and the library.
Other monuments in Porbandar is the massive the Huzoor Palace with a large garden at the edge of the sea. An architectural marvel, the palace has various wings in a zigzag formation, and railed terraces which offer a fabulous view of the beach and the sea. Other monuments nearby are Daria Rajmahal and Darbargadh Palace. Porbandar has historical significant too in the sense that it was under the rule of the Jetwa Rajputs till the early 19th century.
For the religious visitor to Porbandar, there is the shrine at Purnagiri, 20 kilometers from Tanakpur. It is believed that a visit to this temple lead to fulfillment of one's desires. The other oft visited religious site is the white Manu temple is also an oft visited site. In it, is enshrined a powerful goddess known to bring rain to these mountains if properly invoked. There is also a large swing erected on the field at the base of a flight of steps leading to the temple. It is said that the goddess and her sister from a distant temple swing playfully when the other goddess comes visiting. No one can see them, but the swing moves!
The other tourist attraction of Porbandar is Bharat Mandir, which has a wide range of illustrations of the great Indian men and the religious preceptors.
If you are a lover of traditional handicraft items, then you are in the right place. Porbandar is a renowned center for gold and silver trinkets, fine quality silk and cotton. If you plan to visit Porbandar in the month of Chaitra (March/April), you may collect traditional items from the Madhavrai Fair held to celebrate Lord Krishna's elopement with Rukmini along the coast at Madhavpur near Porbandar.
The temperature of Porbandar is quite pleasant for tourists except during the monsoons (from July to September) when there are heavy rains and even thunderstorm at times.
If you are planning a longer stay at Porbandar, we suggest you explore the tourist sites in and around Porbandar. There is a place called Kuchdi which is just 20-minute drive away from the city center. The place has a bird sanctuary and is quite popular with the bird lovers and photographers. Then there is Ghumli which has one of the oldest Sun temple in India built around the 8th century. You may drive your way 50 km northeast of Porbandar to a place called Gope, which has a 6th century temple with a sanctuary on a platform and the usual pyramidal shikhara roof. The temple is almost in ruins but is important, as it is one of the first to have a roof of this design. Another 30-minute drive from Porbandar takes you to Barda Hills covered with forests where you can find the Khambala Dam with its intricate, decorated kiosks.
Another place you would like to visit, while you are in the city is the Porbandar Bird Sanctuary located in the heart of the city. Though it is pretty small, covering an area of about 1sq. km., it comprises a wide variety of local and migratory birds.
During winters, the lake at its vicinity attracts a wide array of migratory birds like Flamingos, spoonbills, pelicans, avocets, coots, little cormorants, pintails, little grebes, whistling teals, shovellers, herons, jacanas, terns, red shanks and ruffs etc. from different parts of the world. So those of you are avid bird watchers, do make it a point to visit this bird sanctuary to experience the beauty of nature at its fullest.
There are various types of guest houses in Porbandar to cater to different classes of people. Hotel Moon Palace, Hotel Indraprasth, Hotel Kuber, Hotel Sheetal are top class guest houses and Hotel Pushpak, Hotel Anil, Vaibhav Guest House, Hotel Flamingo are medium class guest houses. Some of the standard hotels have a beautiful sea view. Saloni Restaurant, Swagath Restaurant, Indraprasth Restaurant, Kadambari Restaurant, Mezbaan, etc. serve Punjabi, South Indian, Continental as well as Gujrathi Dishes. There are plenty of Parotha Houses, Cafeterias, Cold-drink Parlours, Fast-food Joints in and around the city.
If you plan to travel by Air, then there is Gujarat Air that connects Porbandar with Ahmedabad. And if you wish to travel by rail, then know that Porbandar is a railway station and is connected to many places in Gujarat and western India. The Saurashtra Express links Porbandar with Mumbai.
If you travel by road, then you may take there are a few luxury bus services to Rajkot, Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Junagadh etc. from Porbandar. You may also plan to travel by car.
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