India TravelGujaratMandvi: Port Capital of Gujarat

Mandvi: Port Capital of Gujarat


Kutch, one of the largest regions in Gujarat, is known for several reasons. The Great Rann of Kutch, Bandhan saree, Dholavira archeological site, and beaches are prominent reasons. Although there are many beach towns in Gujarat, one of the most underrated beach towns there is Mandvi.

Mandvi, a town situated on the banks of the Rukmavati River once served as the Port city. Founded in 1574 by Khengarji, the king of Kutch, Mandvi served as an important trading center until Mumbai came into the picture.

Historically, the town was known for the handcrafted shipbuilding center whose remains can be still found in the town.

Places to Visit in Mandvi

Mandvi has a range of places that one can visit from beaches to temples to historic places like Vijay Vilas palace and Wind Farms Beach. Let’s take a brief look at these places.

1. Mandvi Beach

Mandvi Beach - Mandvi
One of the Main attractions of the town is Mandvi beach. Known for its golden-brown sand, Mandvi Beach is located at the southernmost point of Kutch. The best time to visit the beach is either in the morning or in the evening to witness the sunrise or sunset respectively. Snack vendors are also present there to take care of your stomach. Due to the lesser crowds on this beach, it is an ideal location for long walks with serene surroundings. However, do make sure to maintain the cleanliness of the beach.

2. Vijay Vilas Palace

Vijay Vilas Palace - Mandvi

Home to the Royal family of Kutch, the Vijay Vilas palace stands to the testimony of the Royal grandeur. The Palace was built by Maharao Shri Khengarji{¡¡¡} of Kutch as a summer resort for his son and heir to the Kingdom in 1929. The Palace is spread over 450 acres. The Architecture of the Palace is largely inspired by the Palace of Datia and Orchha and is an eccentric blend of Bengali, Mughal, Rajput, and Victorian gothic style architecture. The Palace rose to fame when the iconic movies of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Hum Dil de chuke Sanam, and Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Lagaan were shot here. The Palace is in the middle of well-laid gardens with water channels and a marble fountain. The Balcony at the top gives the view of the entire palace and its surroundings. It has a privately owned beach and also offers air-conditioned tent accommodations. The Palace is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and the Cost of entering is ₹70/- per person and ₹100/- with cameras.

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3. Shyam Krishna Varma Memorial

Shyam Krishna Varma Memorial - Mandvi

Shyam ji Krishna Varma, born on 4th October 1857, was an Indian revolutionary and freedom fighter who organized a revolutionary center in “India House” in London. He propagated the cause of India’s freedom through his writings in his publication journal called “The Indian Sociologist”. The Shyamji Krishna Varma memorial is a replica of the famous Indian house, a library, and a research center to study the contributions of various Indian revolutionaries in India’s independence. Furthermore, the memorial is filled with the paintings of these revolutionaries created by renowned artists. There is a self-service Cafe on the ground floor with movable seats and other facilities like a wheelchair and first aid for emergencies. The memorial also contains a shop where one can buy stunning and traditional handcrafted Kutchi Jewellery and Decorative show-pieces. Situated at the Salaya-maska road, the memorial is open to all visitors 6 days a week from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. It remains closed on Thursdays’.

4. Tower of Wagers

Tower of Wagers - Mandvi

Situated on the Banks of the Rukmavati River, The Tower of wagers is a small visit to the Past. Earlier, When Mandvi served as a Port city, traders and Ship-owners used to gather at this place and scan the Horizon waiting for their Ships that were returning from Africa. They would bet their money on their ship with which ship was returning first. Mandvi still boasts a 400-year-old ship-building yard where even today the Ships, known as a dhow, are manufactured. These ships, manufactured today, are used as fishing boats.

5. The Wind Farms Beach


Situated near Mandvi Beach, the Wind farms beach was Asia’s first Windmill, founded in 1983. Earlier, it was also the Largest wind farm in Asia. The windmills are lined up at the end of the beach and generate electricity for the area around. One can witness these Windmills when they go to Mandvi Beach.

5. Roha fort

Roha Fort - Mandvi

Situated at a distance of 48 KM from Mandvi, the Roha fort is on the outskirts of Roha village in Nakhatrana Taluka of Kutch. The Fort is on Roha hill which is 800 feet above sea level. The fort covers an area of 16 acres, the fort appears like a temple, built with the use of stone and baked bricks. Parts of the fort are in ruins due to poor maintenance and Earthquakes. There are two temples as well, one on the top of the hill and one on the bottom. The times of the fort are 6 AM to 6 PM.

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5. Topansar Lake

Topansar Lake - Mandvi

Topansar Lake is one of the popular tourist spots for Mandvi residents. The lake, which rejuvenates itself with rainwater, lies in the heart of the city center. People come in the morning to enjoy the the cool breeze and to watch the migratory birds that settle near the lake.

Other than this, Mandvi is also home to one of the oldest bridges in India known as the Rukmavati Bridge. Not only history, but Mandvi is a haven for Photographers and birdwatchers as the town hosts several species of birds including lesser flamingos. The Rukmavati delta region is an unknown halting ground for these birds.

Dabeli of Mandvi

Dabeli of Mandvi - Mandvi

Dabeli, a popular Gujarati snack, also known as Indian burger, finds its roots in Mandvi, Kutch, Gujarat. It was first invented by a man named Keshavji gabha Chudasama also known as Kesha Malam, in his shop in the 1960s. Even today, His shop, run by his family members, continues to sell Dabeli in Mandvi.

When you reach Mandvi, do try this snack as it is surely going to give a sweet and spicy treat to your taste-buds.

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How to reach Mandvi?

There are no Railways or Airports in Mandvi, so Roadways are the only way one can reach the town.

Roadways are well maintained and connect mandvi to every corner of Gujarat. Both private and public buses, including AC, non-AC, sleeper and deluxe, provide services through the city.

However, tourists can reach the towns near to Mandvi by Railways or Airways and then can use road vehicles to reach Mandvi.

The nearest Railway station from Mandvi is Bhuj which is 64 km away. This is an “A grade” Railway station due to its impeccable cleanliness and maintenance. Once you reach Bhuj, the town is only an hour away by cab or bus.

Similarly, the nearest airport is the Rudra mata Airport in Bhuj. The Airport is operated by the Air force and Airport authority of India. It takes an hour to reach Mandvi from the Bhuj Airport.

Since Mandvi is a small town, there is no issue of traffic. And you will find less hustle-bustle around the city. Tourists can avail bus services and auto rickshaw services. For more enjoyment, one can avail the special rickshaw services known as Tuk-Tuk. If you are looking for comfort rides then private cabs are also available.


Mandvi is a small heritage that houses some of the most underrated places when it comes to picturesque views. If you are looking for a two-day trip then Mandvi should be on this list. Although lesser in number, Every place houses some charm in it that will definitely make for a memorable trip. Also, do not forget to ride through the roads of Mandvi by a tuk-tuk and savour the popular delicacy of Mandvi, Dabeli.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the right time to visit Mandvi?

Mandvi has sunny weather and a humid climate, it is best to visit the town during winters.

How many days does it require to visit the whole town?

The town does not have many tourist spots but it does have some exquisite places that may take a day or two to explore. It will not take more than two days to finish the entire trip.

How much does it cost for three people while raveling to Mandvi?

It costs approximately around ₹2500/- for three people including the travel expenses.

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