Things To Do In Mandvi, Kutch

After falling in love with the charming fortified town Galle fort in Sri Lanka, we could not wait to visit a similar destination. But this time we chose something closer to home. Over the years, my conversations about Mandvi in Kutch district of Gujarat- my ancestral town have been enveloped in mystery. Not the Sherlock kind that keeps you awake at nights but the one that keeps getting mysterious day by day. Why? Because almost all of my relations described Mandvi in a  peculiar way more and more different than the other. Also, my limited visits to Mandvi ( Err....I had visited Mandvi only twice before) were not helping my travel bugged memory. So, what did I do? I decided to travel to Mandvi to make my own memories.

Once a major port city and a popular summer retreat of the royal family of Kutch, Mandvi stands untouched by overt modernization. Founded by Rao of kutch State- Khengarji I in 1580, Mandvi offers pleasant climate to travelers all year round.

Here are things you should do during your visit to Mandvi: 

Rejuvenate At Serene Beaches of Mandvi:
Welcoming waters and white sandy shores make the beaches of Mandvi a must visit. The Mandvi beach, closer to  town center is usually crowded and offers activities like camel rides and small eats. The Wind Farm beach is named after the Wind Mills located on the beach. We suggest a visit to the more exclusive beach behind the Vijay Vilas palace where you can enjoy some tranquillity.




Visit Shyamji Krishna Varma Memorial:
Born in Mandvi, Shyamji Krishna Varma was one of the most foremost freedom fighters of India and founder of India House. After pursuing a brief legal career in India, Shyamji Krishna Varma moved to England due to differences with the Crown authority. He founded India House (a students residence) and Indian Sociologist (a journal) that became one of the most prominent factors in India's fight for freedom from outside of India. Visit the memorial that remains open to all visitors six days a week from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M (except thursdays) to know more about the life and history of a selfless freedom fighter. 



Walk Around The Magnificent Vijay Vilas Palace:
Bollywood buffs and architecture lovers will be enthralled by the well-maintained Vijay Vilas Palace, built in 1929 by Rao Vijayrajji. Built primarily of red sandstone on a sprawling estate, the palace is 7 km from the center of town. Take a leisurely walk around the areas open to public and marvel at the wonderful Indo-European architectural style. The palace remains open every day from 9am-1pm and 3pm-6pm. 



Know More About The Ship Building Craft:
The prosperous maritime trade of Kutch, made Mandvi an important port town. The local community in addition to the cargo trade developed a new craft of ship building. Even today, along the Rukmavati river, one can watch the 400 year-old traditional craft of ship building mostly kept alive by the carpenter community. The huge ships are entirely wooden and built by hand by local craftsmen which involves a lot of hard work. Watch the craftsmen at work or if you feel adventurous climb up a long ladder and explore the inside of the huge ships amongst rhythmic clanging of hammers as planks of wood take shape into a vehicle of unknown voyage. 



Visit The Beautiful Jain Temple Complex:
Mandvi is well known for 72 Jinalaya (a temple complex with 72 Jain Temples), located 11 km from Mandvi near the Koday village. An important pilgrimage site, 72 Jinalaya offers many basic amenities for travelers like a dining hall and stay facilities in a dharamshala. 



Indulge In The Sights And Sounds of Local Market:
The Kutch region is known for its rich handicrafts and the local market at Mandvi is a good place to treasure hunt through myriad offerings. The narrow by lanes come abuzz during mornings and evenings with afternoons reserved for siestas by many traders. Walk around and shop for traditional bandhej prints known as bandhani, embroidered articles, silver jewellery, mashru fabric, Kutchi shawls and other handicrafts. Do not forget to try the famous "dabeli" also known as double roti a popular street food made with a spicy potato mixture stuffed between soft pao (bread) and topped with spicy chutneys and masala peanuts!





How Do I Get Here:
Many airlines operate flights between major cities to Bhuj airport and Kandla airport located in the Kutch district of Gujarat. From any of these airports hire a vehicle to reach Mandvi. The distance will be roughly 95 kms from Kandla airport and 62 kms from Bhuj airport.

Where Do I Stay:
Mandvi offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from humble dharamshala stays to luxurious resort options.

Things To Do Around Mandvi:
If your visit coincides during the period between late October till March, do visit the Great Rann of Kutch. Other places of interest are Kala Dungar- the highest point in Kutch, Kutch Musuem at Bhuj, Narayan Sarovar- a wildlife sanctuary, The Great Indian Bustard sanctuary and Dhola Vira- an archeological site.

Best Time To Travel:
Mandvi enjoys a pleasant weather all year round and the best time to travel is between October till March.

Comments

  1. Very nice article .Its my native place n ur article made me feel proud.

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  2. Very interesting, and colourful post, will keep this place in mind when I visit Gujarat,love that pic of shipmaking especially

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. Do reach out to us on contactwickedspoon@gmail.com if you need more info

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