Jamnagar Travel Guide
places of interest
Places of Interest
Darbargadh (Maharajah's palace), the old royal residence of Jam Sahebs and the most important historical complex in Jamnagar, reflects the fusion of Rajputs and European style of architecture. The semi- circular palace complex consists of a number of buildings with very fine architectural features and detailing. It has some fine examples of stone carvings, wall paintings, fretwork jali-screens, ornamental mirrors, carved pillars and sculpture. The walls outside have carved jarokha balconies in the Indian tradition, a carved gate and Venetian-Gothic arches. The earthquake in 2001, has caused significant damage to the Darbargadh.
This small palace, on an island in the middle of the Lakhota lake, once belonged to the Maharaja of Nawanagar. This fort like palace has semi-circular bastions, turrets, a pavilion with guard-rooms housing swords, powder flasks and musket loops. An arched stone- bridge with balustrade connects the Lakhota Palace with the town. Today it houses a small museum. The fort museum has a good collection of sculptures that spans a period from the 9th to18th century and pottery found in ruined medieval villages from the surrounding area. The museum is reached by a short causeway from the northern side of Ranmal Lake and is open daily except on Wednesdays.
The impressive Willingdon crescent was constructed by Jam Ranjit Singh, inspired by his European journey. It comprises arcades of cusped arches, larger on the ground floor and smaller on the upper storey, pilasters on the curving walls, and balusters on the parapet. The statue of Jam Saheb is situated in the centre of the crescent. Gujarat Earthquake in 2001 has caused only a slight damage to this shopping area.
Pratap Vilas Palace
The beautiful Pratap Vilas Palace, built during the rule of His Royal Highness Jam Ranjitsinhji, is a distinct place to visit for a variety of reasons. It has European architecture with Indian carvings that give it a totally distinct appeal. It was built as a mimic of Victoria Memorial Building of Calcutta but the domes built on it are according to Indian architecture, out of which 3 domes are made of glass. Carvings of creepers, flowers, leaves, birds and animals on the columns make the palace lively. Damage in the 2001 earthquake has caused a costly loss of some parapets, and the separation of some upper walls at the roof level in some corners. Timings : 10 am to 5 pm.
The Kotha Bastion is Jamnagar's prize possession. It has a fine collection of sculptures, coins, inscriptions and copper plates and the skeleton of a whale. One of its most interesting sights is an old well where the water can be drawn by blowing into a small hole in the floor.
Dhanvantri Mandir (Ayurvedic University)
Dhanvantri Mandir was built under the personal supervision of Dr. Pranjivan Manekchand Mehta, Chief Medical Officer of Guru Govindsingh Hospital. After independence it gained the status of Ayurveda University. It has a good library, workshop and been a place of research and international seminars on Ayurveda- an ancient Indian medicinal system.
Also known as the Ranjit Institute of Poly-Radio Therapy, the Solarium was built by Jam Shri Ranjitsinhji during his rule by bringing in an expert from France. This slowly revolving tower provides full daylong sunlight for the treatment of skin diseases. With the destruction of two similar solaria in France during World War II, this is probably now the only one of its kind in the world, and certainly in Asia. It is open to visitors after working hours.
Bhujio Kotho enjoys a distinct place among the tourists because of its height and circumference. It is on the bank of the Lakhota Tank, near Khambholiya Gate. This monument having five floors was believed to be constructed for protection during the invasions. On the first floor there are guns placed in each directions and in the walls, holes are made to place the rifles. On the upper floor a tank is constructed to store water and on its peak a dancing peacock is placed. Timings : 10 am to 5 pm.
The Bohra Hajira is also worth a visit, on entering Jamnagar city by road on the Rajkot Highway, one can see this magnificent Structure on the banks of the river. Permission has to be taken before visiting the place. Many years back boats used to sail in this Rangmati & Nagmati rivers, but presently the water level is low; often the river dries up and the river bed is used for hosting the Shravan Month Fairs
Bala Hanuman Temple near Lakhota
Mota Ashapura Maa Temple
The Goddess (Kuldevi) of the Jadeja clan of Rajputs who ruled this place. The temple is located in the east part of Jamnagar from where the entrance (Gate) to the city and its close to Darbargadh in old city area.
Shantinath Mandir is situated, south-west of Bedi Gate, in Jamnagar. The temple has intricate carvings and the walls are adorned with fine murals, which depict the life of Jain saints. The floor is made of marble and decorated with distinctive Jain patterns in yellow, black, white and red.
Vardhman Shah’s Temple
Vardhman Shah’s Temple is a delightful shrine and one of the four main Jain temples in Jamnagar. The foundation stone of this shrine was laid in 1612, during the reign of Jam Jasaji I and was completed in the year 1620. Fifty two very small temples or ‘Deri’ were built around the temple in 1622.
Bala Hanuman Temple
The Bala Hanuman Temple is on the south-eastern side of Ranmal Lake. The temple is famous for the continuous 24-hour chanting of the mantra 'Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram', since August 1, 1964. This devotion has earned Bala Hanuman Temple a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Thousands of devotees visit the temple every year. Early evening is particularly a good time to visit the temple.
 Parks and Gardens
Khijadia Bird Sanctuary
Khijadia Bird Sanctuary, located 10 km north east of Jamnagar, represents the combination of seasonal freshwater shallow lake, inter-tidal mudflats, creeks, saltpans, saline land and mangrove scrub. The place is a known breeding ground of the Great Crested Grebe. Apart from it, Little Grebe, Purple Moorhen, Coot, Black-winged Stilt and Pheasant-tailed Jacana are also recorded breeding here. Raptors, including harriers, eagles, hawks and falcons are also spotted here. The sanctuary also shelters migratory birds such as swallows, martins, wagtails and various waterfowls. It is considered as an important site for ecological research and education.
Marine National Park
India's first marine sanctuary, the park is situated almost 16 nautical miles away in Great Arabian Sea near Jamnagar and spreads over an area of about 458 km2. Located at about 7 km from the city centre, the park comprises an archipelago of 42 islands noted for their coral reefs and mangroves. It is possible to see dolphins, finless porpoise and sea turtles and a variety of colourful tropical fish. The entire forest have various marine lives. The area also attracts a host of water birds. The best period to visit is October to March. Read more details..
Rozi and Bedi Ports
Rozi and Bedi are two prominent ports along the shores of the mighty Arabian Sea. These attractive seaside picnic spots offer excellent facilities for fishing and angling.
Cremation park is situated 10 minutes north of the city centre. The park holds statues of saints and deities, as well as scenes from the Ramayana. This is an interesting place to visit. The circle of life showing the stages in life of man is also thought to be evoking.
This is the new garden in the city a botanical one is their in the new and modern city area on Palace Road. It is very much used by the daily walkers and joggers of the western part of city area.
Most residents of Jamnagar are Gujarati and speak Gujarati language. A small percentage speak Kachchi language which is written in the Gujarati script but is not mutually intelligible with Gujarati. Kathiawadi Language (which is a variant of Gujarati) is widely used for day to day communication. Major communities include Satvara (Dalvadi), Ahirs (Yadav), Patels, Bhanushalis, Rajputs (Darbars), Mers, Jains, Lohanas etc.
Marine National Park, the only marine sanctuary of India is near Jamnagar - on the coral reef island of Pirotan. Jamnagar is well-known for its four marble Jain temples: Vardhman Shah's Temple, Raisi Shah's Temple, Sheth's Temple, and Vasupujya Swami's Temple. All were built between 1574 and 1622. Bala Hanuman temple in Jamnagar is also very famous and is listed in the Guinness book of world records for the continuous chanting of "Ram Dhun" since 1 August 1964.
Jamnagar is a city and a municipal corporation in Jamnagar district in the Indian state of Gujarat. The city was built up substantially by Maharaja Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji in the 1920s, when the district was known as Nawanagar. The district lies just to the south of the Gulf of Kutch. Jamnagar has shot to prominence as Reliance Industries, India's largest private company, established the world's largest refinery near Moti Khavdi village. It is also home to Essar Oil, another important oil refinery of India, Essar Oil Refinery, Vadinar. The city is also known for featuring India’s only Ayurvedic university.
Jamnagar, historically called Nawanagar or the new city, was one of the most important princely states of Saurashtra. The Jamnagar district, originally constituted as Halar district, is not only recent in its origin but also in its modern set up. But the region comprised therein is of great antiquity and dates back to ancient periods of Jamnagar. According to Pauranik literature, Lord Krishna established his kingdom at Dwarka, now in Jamnagar district, after his migration from Mathura and it is to this great Yadava race that the Jams of Nawanagar trace their descent.
The founder of the princely state of Jamnagar was the Jam Rawal, who descended on the northern coast of Kathiawar in 1535 A.D. Jam Rawal's father Jam Lakhaji ruled in Terabanu in Kutch.
According to bardic chronicles, Jam Lakhaji had two cousins Tamachi Deda and Hamirji Jadeja, they envied his reputation for valor. Their envy was heightened by the fame of Jam Lakhaji at the siege of Pawagadh. So largely did he contribute to its capture by Bahadurshah, the Emperor of Gujarat, that he was bestowed 12 villages by him. As Jam Lakaji was going to take possession of his new fief, he was treacherously killed by his cousins Tamachi Deda and Hamirji Jadeja. Jam Lakhajis son Jam Rawal escaped and on growing up, took vengeance of his father's murder in the same manner by killing Hamirji Jadeja.
Hamirjis two sons Khengarji and Sahibji fled to Delhi and after twelve months of waiting to meet the moghul Emperor Humayun, they got the chance to join the crowd going along with the Emperor for lion hunting.
During the lion hunt, they got the chance to kill the lion just when it was going to attack the Emperor. As a reward, an army of 1,00,000 was sent with them to regain back their kingdom.
When Jam Rawal heard of the two princes coming back to the Kutch with the imperial army, he started getting ready for the battle. On one night, the goddess Ashapura entered his dream and told him that as he had broken the oath taken on her name about not killing Hamirji, even though, he was the person responsible for the death of his father. She should have punished him, but as he had at all other times honored her. So he should no longer dwell in Kutch but cross the sea and take Kathiawar as a dwelling place.
Upon awakening he called his counselors and discussed the dream, they agreed that he must leave Kutch and found for himself a Kingdom across the Gulf. So Jam Rawal and his soldiers and many traders marched out. On the way he killed and conquered the territory of King Tamachi the other conspirator in the killing of his father, and he also conquered the town of Dhrol and its dependencies and gave them to his brother Hardholji, who was later killed in battle during that period, and the State of Dhrol was given to his eldest son, Jasoji.
Thus Jam Rawal made himself master of a great territory and the need for a capital arose. The story goes like this, that once on a hunting trip on the land of present day Jamnagar, a hare was found to be brave enough to turn on the hunting dogs and putting them to flight. Deeply impressed by this, Jam Rawal thought that if this land can breed such hares, if his capital was built on this land, the men born here would be superior than other men.
He consulted his astrologers and wise men, and the day chosen for laying the foundation stone was the 7th day of the bright half of the month of Srawan, VS 1956. (August 1540 AD) on the banks of two rivers Rangmati and Nagmati and named it Nawanagar meaning new town. Nawanagar eventually came to be known as Jamnagar meaning the town of the Jams. A famous statement for people of Jamnagar is "java dhyo ne" means "let go".