Often the summer loving birds spread out their wings in the coastal destinations in the west of India. Amongst these best tourism destinations is Gujarat, that has always been in the highlights for its sandy landscape and effervescent festivals. And there’s one coastal city in this West India state that along with boasting a heaven-like destination for beach lovers also takes pride in being the home to Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and the epitome of friendship, Sudama (Friend of Lord Krishna). Hence, there is something very special about this travel destination of Porbandar. Seeping spiritual vibes in every single corner are the temples that are just perfect for a pilgrimage tour. This must visit place in Gujarat is a celestial city graced with heritage attractions as well. Interestingly, while you spend your solo tour, honeymoon or family vacation along the coastline of Porbandar you will come across tons of places to visit and things to do that will fill your holiday with bliss.
In this blog you will read about what to see and where to go to clinch some of the best travelling experiences in this one of the important Gujarat tourism destinations.
How to reach Porbandar?
By Air: The coastal city houses its own Airport by the name Porbandar Airport.
By Rail: Deboard at Porbandar Railway Station to explore the city.
By Road: NH-8b and NH-8e connects it with Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Dwarka and Veraval and Bhavnagar. There are state buses and private run buses.
Relive your stolen moments and stand by the white sea shore of Chowpatty Beach, one of the best picnic places in Porbandar. Snuggling the southwest coast of Gujarat, between Dwarka and Veraval, this must visit place is dotted with globetrotters who come here not just for the annual fair on Janmashtami but to accompany the glowing red and pink flamingos and other loving birds. Along with that, one thing that is not to be missed while here is the ancient port where you can see a number of ships and boats winding and unwinding.
Making its mark at the highest point of Porbandar is the 3-storey high Sartanji Choro also known as Darbargadh Fort. Built by Maharaja Sartanji, the best way to witness the beauty of it is by entering the through the Darbari Bari. If you look close enough then you might figure out that the shape of the fort resembles to that of a treasure box. This must visit places in Porbandar is also famous for another reason i.e., its rich ambiance and the way it has been sculpted out of a big stone and the presence of four main gates namely Kathiawadi Darwaza on the east, Porbandar Gate on the west, Halar Gate on the north and Junagadh Gate on the south.
A small detour from the city can land you in the Ranavav taluka, the place where the cave along with a Shiva Temple and Samadhi of Guru Ramdas Ji is situated. Simply put, this tourist attraction is best known as the resting place of the warrior Jambuvan, who had his own special role in both the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. As per Ramayana, Jambavan was the King of Himalayas who helped Lord Rama find his wife Sita. Jambavan was also bestowed with immortality and the power of 10 million lions by Lord Rama. The legend regarding this famous cave is that Prasena the brother of Satrajit was the proud possessor of a precious gem named Syamantaka which had mystic powers. Once he went out in the forests for hunting wearing the jewel and was attacked by a lion to obtain Syamantaka. Later, the lion gets killed by Jambuvan who takes the precious stone from him and gives it to her daughter. On the other side, Satrajit accuses Lord Krishna for killing his brother just to gain the gem. On hearing this, Lord Krishna goes on the lookout of the actual killer and finally finds Jambuvan with whom he battles for 18 days. Recognizing Lord Krishna and his powers, Jambuvan withdraws from the fight and gives the gem and his daughter to the Lord.
Sheathed in the galore and grandiose is the Huzoor Palace, built in early 20th Century by the last Maharaja of Porbandar, Rana Natwarsinhji. Since the palace is still used as residence for the successors of the Maharaja, entry to this palace is not allowed, however, travellers can enjoy the beauty of this tourist place from outside which can be seen in its architecture emblazoned in European style of architecture with Neoclassical colonnades. Mysticism and the clear blue Arabian Sea accompany you while you are around this tourist attraction of Porbandar. Around the time of Navratri, the natives of the city crowd round the palace to sing praises of the Maharaja and Maharani, which is definitely a sight to savour.
You probably would be surprised to visit this next best tourism place on the list, as it not only brings seraphic smiles on the faces of kids but old people as well. Popularly known by two names, Tara Mandir or Nehru Planetarium, it is one of the top places in Porbandar whose main attraction lies in a theatre which is used for projection of the celestial bodies of our galaxy. Perfect destination to visit with kids or family, Tara Mandir was constructed by the due support of Nanjibhai, an Arya Samaji who employed Dalits in spite of protests by Brahmins.
Let the roads of Porbandar lead your way to the place where the Father of the Nation spent his childhood, Kirti Mandir. Renowned as temple of fame, Kirti Mandir is built just next to the home of Mahatma Gandhi, making it one of the reasons to visit Porbandar. With the end of 1950, the beauteous 79-feet tall temple encapsulating the 79 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s life was built within a span of 2 years by Shri Purushottam bhai Mistry and inaugurated by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Home Minister. Bearing in mind Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of respecting all religions, Kirti Mandir made its place in the hearts of travellers as it is adorned with architecture styles of all 6 of them. Kirti Mandir by far is known for comprising a library, spinning hall, prayer hall and one of the best museums in Gujarat with paintings of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba bai. Time to visit the temple varies but it generally falls within the bracket of 7:30 AM to 7 PM.
Singing the sweet tale of friendship of the Hindu deity Krishna and Sudama, located in the heart of Porbandar is another tourist attraction, Krishna Sudama Temple. As per the legend, it is proclaimed that while this pilgrimage site devoted to Sudama, dear friend and devotee of Lord Krishna was being built between the years 1902-1907, there was a sudden lack of funds, which with great effort was fulfilled by the ardent devotees by performing drama shows. The same tale is carved on a memorial tablet in the temple.
Wreathed by the different colours of Indian culture and its diversity, stands tall the Bharat Mandir in the religious city of Porbandar. Devoted to Bharat of Hindu epic Ramayana, this shrine is shaped just in front of the Tara Mandir, which is another must visit attraction in Porbandar. What might attract your attention the most are the brass covered sculptures and pictures denoting the popular traditions and philosophies in India.
Comfort every inch of your soul in this must visit spiritually enchanting temple of Porbandar, Shri Hari Temple. Nested in Sandipani Vidyaniketan, Shri Hari Temple which was built by the revered Bhaishree Rameshbhai Oza is renowned for its grandeur and makes a special place in the hearts of thousands of worshippers as its carved out of pink stones of Rajasthan. The moment you will enter this one of the best religious tourism places in Porbandar, you will across the beautiful idols of Ganesha, Radha Krishna, Laxmi Narayan, Karunamayi Ma and some other celestial deities.
Finding its essence in the Godhavi Village, this temple namely Harsiddhi Mata Temple is known as the place of worship of Hindu deity Krishna. The Lord of love, compassion and tenderness who is worshipped as the eighth embodiment of Divine Lord Vishnu offered prayers at the same place to Harsiddhi, a heavenly form of Amba Mata to defeat the asuras. In the yesteryears the temple was closely settled on a hilltop named Koyla Dungar and was believed to be built by Lord Krishna.
Can’t deny that simplicity is the key to happiness and guess what, this hamlet near Porbandar offers just that. Gop is a tiny village surrounded by scenic mountains and lush greenery located midway to Jamnagar and Porbandar. And it is widely famous for the Gop Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is the best place for day sightseeing. Erected about 350 metres off the flat surface of Gujarat in Gop Hill, this prehistoric temple is said to be built by the Maitrika Dynasty between 6th and 8th century. You can visit this temple throughout the year but if you want to be culturally struck by the Hindu rituals and festivity, visit Gop and the temple during Maha Shivratri. In addition, make sure to visit between 6 am to 12:30 pm and 4 to 8 pm.
Enrapturing you in the visual beauty of Ghumli, come dwell in Gujarat’s renowned destination that offers a number of ancient sites to explore. Being an important site for archaeological studies in Gujarat, you’ll be mesmerised by all the age-old creations still intact oozing the sweet smell of rusty sandstone walls of temples built with intricate design of miniature artifacts of lady and animal figures. While here, make sure to make a few stops at some of the famous temples like Navlakha temple; Ghumli Ganesh temple; Ashapura temple; Vindhyavasini temple. Amongst them all, Navlakha is most famous Sun temple built in Solanki style of architect. Stepwells like Vikai or Vikia Vav and Jetha Vav are also some interesting heritage remains in Ghumli.
Liberate your inner self and stuff it with peace with every step into the Shiva temple, the most popular tourist attraction of Bileshwar. Settled at a short distance of 27 kms east from Porbandar, true to its name, Bileshwar is named after the Bilva leaves that Lord Krishna offered for a son to Lord Shiva. Crafted with love in the seventh century, Bileshwar Shiva Temple is an exemplar of classical temple style in the state and a sightseeing tour for around 30 mins to 1 hour is enough to take in the beauty the temple possesses. Apart from the shivling, the temple also pictures Devi Parvati, Devi Ganga and it is also said that Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva came to serve as the protector of the temple against Aurangzeb’s invasion.
Bewitching the hearts of all the shoppaholics are the gorgeous and colorful authentic markets of Porbandar. Taking up the trends from the state that it itself is nurtured in, you can find a wide variety of cotton fabrics and all the Gujarati styled things that you always wished to possess. From bandhani fabrics turned into sarees, suits and skirts like Gharcholu and odhani to the legit Gold, Silver, Kundan and Jadau jewellery that you can only find while touring the local markets in Porbandar. Besides, you can also try out a variety of shoes and can pick up great deals while buying electronic products. And obviously its mandatory to take back some souvenirs as a keepsake to remind you of the beautiful vacation you spent in Porbandar.
Let not just the overflowing current of the waves rule your heart as there is so much to enjoy in Porbandar, well particularly at Chowpatty Beach. So get ready to laugh your hearts giving Camel Ride a shot on the shimmering sand of the beach. Don’t worry if you have not ever tried camel riding as it is often found guided by the (camel rider) thus, parents, you don’t need to feel scared, your kids are in good hands. So here you are having another reason to soak the sun accompanied with fun at Chowpatty beach in Porbandar.
If you are one of those who like to binge on mouth-watering delicacies, then you can’t go back without trying the Gujarati food. Strictly following vegetarianism, don’t get disheartened by reading this as you would literally fall in love with vegetarian food after this trip. Curating dishes like shrikhand, sev, dhokla, mohanthal, doodh pak, kadhi, suter pherni and undhyo are just some of the dishes you can try for starters. Moreover, you can also try farsan, fafda, papad, khakhra, chivda and for the ones who can’t go a day without the sugary bites try out puran poli, busandi, sutarfeni, shrikhand with puri, ghevar, malpua and halwasan.
Crowned as the only bird sanctuary which brings nature and mankind together is the one and only Porbandar Bird Sanctuary. Offering innumerable opportunities to wildlife fanatics for photography, Porbandar Bird Sanctuary is the smallest sanctuary and runs with a motive in heart to protect and conserve a variety of 150 species of birds and hence is also the only one which provides legal protection to them. Stretching over an area of 1 sq. km, this sightseeing place is settled around a freshwater lake and is home to birds namely pelicans, avocets, coots, cormorants, pintails, little grebes, whistling teals, spoonbills, jacanas, herons, ruffs, terns, and many more.
Apart from visiting top tourist attractions that shine like a gem in the treasure of Porbandar, you can also visit:
Living up to its name, the white city of Porbandar flatters the heart of every single traveler not just by offering some but many sites hence leaving no scope of wishing for a more beautiful destination to spend a splendid family vacation. Surrounded with the inescapable charm of temples, beaches and mystic travel places, Porbandar tops in the list of architecture wonders as well. This tourism destination in Gujarat is so deeply dipped in the Hindu mythologies that you would really have to stay a little longer to experience this kind of happiness. And with Tour My India this journey through the sandy grounds of Gujarat is made even easier. With our best tour packages, that feature all things nice, you will probably love to travel more often. So mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at 9212553106 and give this blog a big thumbs up and share as well!