Barda Hills Wildlife Sanctuary
Bileshwar Shiva Temple
Sri Hari Mandir
Porbandar Bird Sanctuary
Welcome to Porbandar,
Porbandar is a coastal city in the Indian state of Gujarat, perhaps best known for being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. The home of Gandhiji's childhood, known by the name of Kirti Mandir is one major attraction of the place. Kasturba Gandhi, Gandhiji's wife, was also born in Porbandar. It is also a port in the state of Gujarat.
A chronological history on the life of the Mahatma Gandhi is listed in the museum at Kirti Mandir. According to Hindu mythology, Porbandar is the place associated with the friendship of Lord Krishna and Sudama. Some of the famous places are Barda Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Huzoor Palace, Sudama Temple, Porbandar Bird Sanctuary etc.
Barda Hills is located at a distance of 15 km from Porbandar. The hill of Barda is famous for its woods, which is spread over an area of 190 square km. The River Bileshvary and the river Joghri flows through the Barda Hills Wildlife sanctuary. There are two dams situated at this place namely Khamdala and Fodara, which are picnic spots. Barda hills is also ideal for trekking.. This hilly terrain is with patches of flat plains at places.
Barda Wildlife Sanctuary is located at about 15 km from Porbandar, which faces Arabian Sea. Barda was a private forest of the ex-princely State of Ranavav (Porbandar) and Jamnagar and, therefore, it is still popularly known as Rana Barda and Jam Barda. Entire area is the reserve forest and had been notified as Sanctuary in the year 1979. The settlement of the area has been completed, but final notification is yet to be issued.
The Sanctuary is distributed in two districts i.e. Porbandar and Jamnagar. The hilly terrain with patches of flat plains at places, the crisscrossing of numerous rivulets and streams and existing dams impart a divine look to the forest. One may hardly abstain from thinking that here is the place, where the saints in ancient times must have attained 'moksha', the ultimate liberation. The Sanctuary area is a green oasis, surrounded by agriculture fields, wastelands and forest.
The Sanctuary hardly has 192.31 sq. km area, but has one of the most diverse floral compositions and therefore a potential source of remedies of many ailments, and therefore deserves to be safeguarded. The terrain of Barda is almost hilly and undulating with an altitude ranging from 79.2 m to 617.8 m. above sea level. At places, there are gentle slopes with exposed rocks. The two main ephemeral rivers are Bileshvary and Joghri. Khambala and Fodara are important dams in the Sanctuary.
Pictures, sculptures and symbols and portraying Indian culture and religion have been exhibited in this place. It is the mirror of Indian tradition.
Bileshwar Shiva Temple is an ancient temple since early 7th century, situated at a distance of 15 km to the east of Porbandar Bileshwar Shiva Temple is built in Gujarati architecture style. The building of the temple is multi storied, made in pyramid like shape rather than a spire. The exterior of the temple is embellished with arc like theme.
Porbandar's coastal line is just half a kilometre away from the city. Popularly known as Chowpatty, it is one of the main attractions for the local population as well as tourists, to visit and enjoy the beautiful scenery throughout the year.
Darbargadh, the fortified palace was built by the Rana Sartanji. This palace has a huge carved stone entrance gate flanked by high turrets and massive wooden doors. It is a typical example of such royal enclosures situated within the town of Gujarat. The nearby edifices on the left of the entrance are also good examples of large mansions with courtyards and intricately carved wooden elements.
At a short distance from Huzoor Palace, there is monument called Daria Rajmahal. It was built by Maharaja Bhavsinhji with the assistance of designs from state engineer Phulchand Parekh, in late 19th century. Daria Rajmahal represents the architecture of Arab and Italy. The Rajmahal has Italian styled facades with amalgamation of Renaissance and Gothic detail. The palace houses chandeliers, European furniture and paintings that reflect the royalty of Maharaja.
In the picturesque wooded valley at Ghumli, a few kms. further inland there are ruins dating back to the Solanki period. The Vikia Vav is one of the largest step wells in Gujarat. The pavilions were constructed over the steps with one at the entrance. All were richly carved. The well also served a religious purpose as a water sanctuary.
Gop is situated about 50 kms. north east of Porbandar and midway on the Porbandar-Jamnagar road. The 6th century temple dates from the Maitraka period (6th - 8th centuries) and is a rare example of an early Hindu temple. The sanctuary is on a raised platform and has a pyramidal roof with an amalaka topping off. The whole is in a dilapidated state.
The Huzoor Palace of Porbandar is situated at the end of Marine Drive. This palace was built in the European style of architecture by Natwar Shah. It faces the Arabian Sea and its surroundings comprise gardens and water fountains. This structure basically has a zigzag formation, which is topped by trussed timber roofs and balustrade terraces. It also has several neo-classical pillars with semi-circular porticoes.
The temple of Khimeshwar is located at a distance of 15 km from Porbandar. The temple is standing on Dwarka road, sea side. It is believed that Pandavas lived here. The temple is famous for its fair that is organised in the month of June or July every year.
Kirti Mandir was the house of the Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba, his wife. This place is situated near the place where the Mahatma Gandhi was born. This place is now a small museum and also has a Gandhian library and a prayer hall. The site of Gandhi's birth has been converted into a small museum about him now, with an exhibit of old photographs, some of his very few possessions and a nice library of books either by him or relating to Gandhian philosophy and practice.
Porbandar Bird Sanctuary is located amid the city of Porbandar flaunting the co-existence of man and nature. Spread over an area of 1 square kilometer this unique water dwelling, surrounded by trees and plants was affirmed as a sanctuary in the year 1988. Varied species of birds in all shapes and sizes fly in every year enlivening the area with varied colors; patterns and making this zone a home and their nesting ground. Water birds are often seen splashing in the freshwater lake while the sky touching flights of certain birds bedecks the firmament.
Flamingos, Grebes, Pelicans, Ducks and geese, Avocets, Coots, Cormorants, Herons, Egrets, Bittern, Storks, Ibis, Spoonbill, Cranes, Whistling Teals, Gulls, Terns, Jacanas, Ruff, Red shanks, Indian roller and many other varieties of winged creatures are seen in this area.
Rana Sartanji built Sartanji Choro, the three storey summer pavilion. This palace was built in the Rajput style as a retreat in the middle of the garden. Each side of the garden represent a different reason. The pillars with images of musicians, profusely carved foliated arches and a single dome at the top gives an idea of bygone days, when Rana Sartanji used to compose poems in Braj language, sitting under this pavilion.
The Sri Hari Mandir, also referred to as the Sandipani Vidyaniketan was established in the year 1992 with 85 acres of land. This monument has a length of 105 feet and its entire complex comprises a total of 66 pillars. The deities of this temple are believed to be the incarnation of Pujya Bhaishri's faith. The temple houses deities of Shri Lakshmi Narayan, Shri Radha Krishna, Karunamayi Maa Goddess, Shri Janki Vallabh, Lord Hanuman, Lord Ganesha, and Shri Veda.
As per Pujya Bhaishri's view, the temple was built to provide practical training for executing Hindu rituals to Rishikul students. At present, the temple is one amongst the premier educational institutes providing Vedic Education. The temple was completed in the year 2006 and an event called 'Sandipani Mandir Mahotsav', was conducted to mark the inauguration of Mandir. The temple has an auditorium with a seating capacity of 2000 people; it is used for cultural and spiritual activities.
According to Hindu mythology, Sudama was a dear friend of Lord Krishna. The friendship of two is an example sited between friends even today. To pay homage to the great soul, a beautiful temple was built in the center of Porbandar. This temple is the only temple in the entire country that is dedicated to Sudama.
The Tara Mandir is one of the main attractions of Porbandar. It is a planetarium, which is built by the donation of Shri Nanjibhai. It is also one among the first two planetariums in India that were started by Shri Jawaharlal Nehru. Tara Mandir has an overhead round screen with celestial bodies made on it. Here, the stars and planets are projected with special effects and explained in detail.
- Some Temples : Chadeshwar Mahadev and Ajani Mataji's Temple, Shri Hari Mandir, Bhutnath Mandir, Satyanarayan's Mandir, Sai Baba Dat Sai Mandir, Gita Mandir, Gayatri Mandir, Ram Dhoon Mandir, Rokadia Hanuman Temple etc.
- Public Library, Old Raj Mahal(now a college), Victoria Jubilee Madrasa, Natwarsinhji Sports Club, Miyani Beach, Porbandar Beach, Sandipani Vidyaniketan, Many vandis(community centres), Rana Bapu's Mahal, Kamla Nehru park, Ram Krishna Mission etc.