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Mandvi – The Port City That Was the Hub of International Trade
A Peek into the History of This Port Town
Mandvi is a historical port town located in the Kutch district of Gujrat. The town is believed to have been established by the first Jadeja king of Kachchh, Rao Khengarji I, in 1574 AD. The town is known for its ancient ship building industry which is believed to be 400 years old and is still operational although it now constructs only small ships. It is said that during the 18th century, a group of merchants in this port town collectively owned no less than 400 ships which were used for trading with East Africa, Malabar Coast and the Persian Gulf. Being located on the junction of two major trading routes, Mandvi naturally became a prominent business centre for both. In its heyday, Mandvi was a rich and prosperous town as it flourished greatly on the revenue earned from the export and import of various goods. It is said that during the initial phases of the British rule in India, the Maharao’s of Kuchchh were given much respect by the Mughals, as Mandvi was the only port which they could use for importing and exporting goods as well as for going on pilgrimage to Mecca. 

 Places of Tourist Interest in Mandvi
For many people a visit to Mandvi is a way of remembering the good old days when most journeys were carried out through sea. However, apart from that there are several other places of tourist interest, which can ensure a fun filled and thrilling vacation for visitors. Listed below are some of major tourist hot spots of this ancient town.

The Vijay Vilas Palace: Located nearly 8 kms away from Mandvi, the Vijay Vilas Palace was built in 940 by Rao Vijayrajji and acted as summer resort for the Maharao of Kutch. The Palace complex covers an area of nearly 700 acres and is famous for its domes shaped like umbrellas as well as the cupolas, which are constructed in accordance with Bengali and Rajasthani architectural styles.  The Palace itself is situated amidst beautifully laid garden having water channels and marble fountains. Hunting trophies and paintings belonging to the era of Rao Vijayrajji still adorn the walls of the Palace and enhance its beauty even further. The palace also has its own beach which is perfect get away for people seeking solitude amidst the pristine beauty of beach front.

Koday: this place is located at a distance of 10 Km from Mandvi and acts as the house of a complex of Jain Temple where there are 72 different Shrines

The Mandvi Port: This old ship building centre, which was once major job provider for countless skilled people, is a popular tourist destination of Mandvi. Located in the Gulf of Kutch, on the banks of River Rukmavati, the building dates back nearly 400 years and was major point of international sea trade for the rulers of Kutch. The building is operational even today and numerous items of everyday use are imported and exported from here.

Mazar-e-Noorani: This Mazar where the 37th Dai-al-Mutlaq Syedna Noor Mohammed Nooruddin, belonging to the Shia Islamic subset of Dawoodi Bohra Community, was finally laid to rest. The place is held in high esteem by the devotees of Dawoodi Bohra community and is visited in large numbers by them to offer prayer and homage to the revered leader.

The Shyamji Krishna Varma Smarak: This Smarak or memorial located near Lohana Mahajan Wadi is dedicated to Shyamji Krishna Varma, who was a famous scholar and a great freedom fighter. Shyamji Krishna Varma played a significant role in the setting up of the India House in United Kingdom, which eventually became a major foreign centre for the nationalist activity related to the Indian freedom movement. Apart from that, India House also provided great help and support to Indian students who went to Britain for higher studies.
Some other important places of visit include Kasi Vishvanath Beach, Kharva Na Mama Temple, Ashapura Mata Temple, Light House, Shitla Mata Temple and many more places are there to visit in Mandvi.


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