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India >> West >> Gujarat >> Mandvi
Mandvi Gujarat, West
  Overview   Holiday Ideas 
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Mandvi is a picturesque town dotted with old buildings with stone carvings and plaster decorations in Kachchh district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It was once a major port of the region and a summer retreat for the Maharao (king). In the 1540's, the Jadeja Rajputs became ruler of Kutch. Times were turbulent until the arrival of the British who brought the kingdoms under their umbrella. By then Kutch was one of the largest princely states in India.

 

During the seafaring days, Mandvi prospered and was known for it's superb sailors and prosperous merchants. The cargo vessels from its harbour sailed between Zanzibar in Africa and Calcutta in eastern India with port of calls at Arabia, Persian Gulf and the western coast of India. The main cargo from India comprised of cotton, rice, salt and pottery which were traded for ivory, cloves and rhino hide from Africa. Even Vasco Da Gama is said to have used sailors from Mandvi to navigate the stretch from Mombasa to Zanzibar. The Maharaos, Rajput rulers of Kutch, maintained a huge flotilla of ships which included cargo, passenger and war ships. Mandvi was an important trade route for Mughal India and an important harbour for the Indian Muslim pilgrims on their pilgrimage to Mecca.

 Orientation

Mandvi a mystical paradise with the finest beach is located on the banks of the Rukmavati River, barely a kilometer away from the Arabian Sea at the Gulf of Kutch. This small beach town with very pleasant climate all year round, is beautiful and peaceful. The crystal waters of the sea are perfect for swimming and a haven for adventurous water sports. A fabulous spot for trippers, loving nature with a dash of adventure.

 

The establishment of Mandvi dates back to 1581 AD. Originally a fortified town, with fort walls of about 8m high and 1.2m wide stone masonry, several gateways and 25 bastions. Today, most of its walls have crumbled and disappeared. The bastion on the southwest is largest and acts as a lighthouse.

 

This port town, famous for its sailors and merchants who sailed the high seas and made Kutch a maritime power, is also known for its 400 year old ship building centre. Even today, the local carpenters make ocean going Dhows, vey much in the  same way as their ancestors did, keeping the centuries old trade still alive. Its a great experience to see these men at work, shaping wonderful vessels of varying capacities between 250 tons to 1000 tons, out of seasoned timber with handheld tools. Hand crafted models of these dhows can be purchased from the local artisans.

 

The Vijay Vilas Palace built on a sprawling estate along the coast near the town is fabulous. The palace of His Highness Maharao Vijay Singhji, who ruled over Kutch in the 1940's, is a harmonious fusion of Indian and European architectural styles with umbrella-domes, jarokhas and cusp-arches, Victorian Gothic arches and classical columns.

 

Mandvis market is treasure trove of excellent Kutch handicrafts. One is spoilt for choice, as there a variety of things to choose from - embroidered, patchwork, bandhini and block printed fabrics, pottery, metalwork, silver jewellery, stone crafts, wood carvings, mashru fabrics, handloom rugs and shawls, and other handicrafts from region.

 Getting there

Location & Distance

60 km southwest of Bhuj and 380 km west of Ahmedabad

 Fast Facts
Name Mandvi Best Time To Visit October to March
Location Gujarat   West   India   Destination  
Open From 0000-00-00  To 0000-00-00 Type Beach Destination
Temperature Summar   40-44C      Winter   10-15C      Rainy   32-40C
 Map
 
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