"The Hub of Diamond Industry"
Located at the southern tip of Gujarat peninsula, Bhavnagar is known as the cultural centre of the state of Gujarat. Literary achievers like Govardhan Tripathi, Kavi Kant, Narsihm Mehta and Ganga Sati have their roots in Bhavnagar. While on one side, you'd see the careless waves of Gulf of Khambat, on the other hand, you can see the busiest port of ocean trading in India.
It is located at a distance of 98 kilometres from the capital of Gandhinagar. This region has a rich legacy dating back to the 18th century. It was a major port city and had trade links with different countries across the globe. Presently, Bhavnagar is known for housing the diamond cutting and polishing industry in India.
Bhavnagar also houses one of the oldest educational institutions, Samaldas Arts College. In 1884 Mahatma Gandhi was the student of this college. Bhavnagar is one of the finest examples of architectural brilliance and houses iconic monuments that originated in the 19th century. Some of the major tourist attractions include Nilambag Palace, Takhteshwar Temple, Barton Library, Victoria Park, Bhav Vilas Palace and more.
Places To Visit In Bhavnagar
1. GauriShankar lake
A beautiful lake flowing amidst the hills, the view of this place is soothing. Sit by the lake side with your feet dipped in water, as the clear water of the lake flows through under your feet, the coldness of its touch makes you forget all your worries and surrender to the beauty of nature.
2. Nilambag Palace
Built in 1859, this palace has now been converted to a heritage hotel. The architectural design of the palace shows a fusion of Indian and western architecture done with sheer brilliance.
3. Victoria Park
Victoria park is a popular tourist place and is known as green lung of Bhavnagar. It is a man made forest situated in the state of Gujarat, Bhavnagar. It was established on 24th May 24, 1888. It is spread over an area of 500 acres, and well known for its water birds.
4. Takhteshwar Temple
Situated on the hill top near the railway station, the beauty of this temple is beyond words. Dedicated to lord Shiva, Takhteshwar is built of white marble and makes for a prime tourist spot.
5. Water lock gate
Located in the city dockyard, Water Lock Gate was constructed a 100 years ago. Visitors need special permission to visit the site.
6. Gandhi Smriti
This poignant memorial, located in New Delhi, is where Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead by a Hindu zealot on 30 January 1948, after campaigning against intercommunal violence. This memorial was constructed to honour his death and is now a major tourist attraction of the capital city.
7. Barton library and museum
The oldest library of the city, Barton has a huge collection of books from the genres of history and culture. With the fast paced life today, not many youngsters can be spotted in the library, you will mostly spot adults and elderly people coming over to the library with their newspapers and help in its maintenance.
A small town located in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, Palitana is noted as a popular pilgrimage site among the Jains. Another famous thing about Palitana is that the town strictly follows vegetarianism which makes it the first city in the world to abide by the vegetarian diet legally. It is no surprise that the town has listed selling of animal products (Fish, meat and eggs) or activities that involve the killing of animals to be illegal.
9. Bhavnagar Blackbuck National Park
Bhavnagar Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar is located in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, India. This national park is known to provide a magical experience to its visitors. The wilderness of this national park is unrivalled. From grasslands to mud flats Bhavnagar Blackbuck National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers. Know that this sanctuary has been primarily declared for the conservation of Blackbucks. You can, however, find a horde of other mammals and birds.
Best time to visit Bhavnagar
October- January are the best months to visit Bhavnagar. Bhavnagar experiences hot and dry summers. June experiences heavy rainfall which adds to the high temperature resulting in humidity. Winters begin from October and go on till January- February. It is thus considered best to visit Bhavnagar during winters.
Food of Bhavnagar
Bhavnagar has, to its acclaim, some of the best and most delicious, tasty vegetarian food dishes to boast off in all of Gujarat. Starting from Fafda Ganthiya which is a crispy fried snack made with gram flour, topped with carom seeds and black pepper to Pav-Ganthiya, which is a speciality of Bhavnagar and can be found at Lachhus Cart, the city is every foodies delight. The 'khougali' at Ghogha Circle which is flocked by hundreds of people on a weekly basis, a testimony to that. Spend an afternoon here, indulging in a variety of food dishes and devouring street food like the Bhungda Bateta. Bhungda means deep fried yellow fryums and bateta means hot and spicy, potato garlic curry which are prepared separately but served together, making it lip smackingly delicious. If the spiciness gets to you, have some thirst quenching soda or a healthy milkshake made from dates and almonds, also available in and around Ghogha Circle.
The other must try are the local dishes of the state. Khakra, Thepla, Dhokla, Khandwi. These dishes might be available in the rest of the country too but they taste the best here.
The Gujarati Thali consists of various dishes like ringana methi nu shak, Gujarati khatti mithi daal, undhiyu, bhindi sambhariya, aloo rasila, steamed basmati rice, badshahi khichdi, Chapati, methi na thepla and bhakhri with kachumber salad along with various types of chutneys and buttermilk. There are many restaurants in Bhavnagar that make Gujarat's best a whole lot better!
How to Reach Bhavnagar
Bhavnagar city is well connected with all major cities and towns of India via air, rail and road. The Bhavnagar airport is the closest local airport, which is about 4 to 6 km from the city and can be covered through a 10 to 15-minute drive.
The Bhavnagar Railway Station, also known as the Bhavnagar Terminus at Madhia in Kumbharwada is about 2.6 to 3.2 km from Bhavnagar city. It can be reached via a 10 to 13-minute taxi or auto drop off.
There are quite a few bus stands in Bhavnagar. The Bhavnagar State Transport Bus Stand is about 2 to 4 km from the city and can be covered either through a 10-minute drive or a 30-minute walk.
Bhavnagar is an ancient city in Gujarat with volumes of history to speak throughout the city. Amid the amalgam of modern and ancient sites inclusive of religious and historical marks, Bhavnagar also hosts an array of national parks and ecological sites.
Some of the prominent picks of the several attractions in Bhavnagar are the Victoria Park; a secured wildlife forest, the Nilambagh Palace; a preserved colonial mansion-turned-hotel, Gaurishankar Lake; the city's major supply of water and a local sightseeing spot.
Home to over 1000 blackbucks, the Velavadar National Park is another popular haunt. The hilltop Takateshwar temple, Shri Adeshwar Temple and the Khodiyar Temple are some of the major religious sites in the city. The Gandhian remnants and relics at the Gandhi Smriti of the Barton Museum and the Barton Library are other significant mentions.