Mandvi is a town with municipality in the Kutch district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It was once a major port of the region and summer retreat for Maharao (king) of the Cutch State. The old city was enclosed in the fort wall and remains of the fort wall can still be seen. The city has a four-hundred-year-old ship building industry, which was started by the caste of Kharva that still builds small wooden ships.
|Founded by||Khengarji I|
|Elevation||15 m (49 ft)|
|• Official||Kutchi, Gujarati, Hindi|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Sex ratio||0.970 ♂/♀ 0.930|
|source:Census of India|
The fortress of Mandvi was built by Raoshri Bharmalji in 1549.[dubious ] It was eight km long, 2.7 metres broad and three metres high with five gates, three windows and seven bastions (kotha). In 1978, Mandvi municipality was handed over the fort under condition that it will preserve the fortress. Later in 1992, the municipality decided to demolish 290 metres of wall to free the land but was opposed by citizens. The appeal was rejected in 1993 and the 300-metre-long wall of west side was demolished in 1993. In 1999, the state archeological department considered it for declaring protected monument but later decided against it. After assessing condition of fort, the court rejected appeals against demolition in 2001. The fort wall was demolished in two phases except four gates and six bastions which were preserved as protected monuments.
Mandvi is a port city located at Rukmavati River meets the Gulf of Kutch. It is about 56 km south of the regional capital, Bhuj. It is approximately 446 km from the major megacity of Ahmedabad. Because Mandvi has no rail transport, the nearest public airport and train station is Bhuj.where the
The climate here is tropical. The summers are much rainier than the winters in Mandvi. According to Köppen and Geiger, this climate is classified as Aw. The average temperature in Mandvi is 27.4 °C. In a year, the average rainfall is 1539 mm.
- The city Mandvi was named after Sage Mandavya (Mahabharata story), who lived here. He was also known as AM BABA.
- When Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama discovered Europe-to-India sea route in 1497, he had a Gujarati by his side to show him the way. Historians and scholars gathered at Gujarat's port town Mandvi are discussing how a Kutchi sailor, Kanji Malam, navigated the commander to Calicut from Malindi on east African coast. Malam hailed from Mandvi, a ship-building hub, where a three-day maritime conference 'Gujarat and the sea' is in progress.Scholars and research institutes from France, Portugal, China, Singapore and Sri Lanka are taking part in the event. At Malindi, Gama's crew roped in a pilot who could guide the expedition to Calicut . Historians have differed over the identity of the sailor, calling him a Christian and a Gujarati.German author Justus says it was Malam(Kharva)and he was a Hindu Gujarati who accompanied Vasco.Italian researcher Sinthia Salvadori too has concluded that it was Malam who showed Gama the way to India. Salvadori has made this observation in her 'We Came In Dhows', an account written after interacting with people in Gujarat. "Malam's role in the Vasco expedition has largely been overlooked by historians. It is high time we studied this," says historian Makrand Mehta, who will address the conference on Sunday. On Saturday, scholars like Lotika Varadrajan, Manuel Joao Ramos, Alok Tripathy, Paul Lunde and Vishwarao Sonawane discussed aspects of Gujarat's maritime history.
- As per chronicles of Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas - many clans of their community, especially, Gohil, Bhatti, Jethwa, Solanki, Rathod clans & also Visavaria Brahmins shifted to Mandvi in between 15th to 16th Century AD, from Dhaneti.
- The establishment of the town dates back to the late 16th century (1581 AD) and is attributed to the first Jadeja ruler of Kutch, Rao Khengarji I.
- In the 18th century, the Mandvi merchants collectively owned a fleet of 400 vessels trading with East Africa, Malabar coast and the Persian Gulf. In the early 19th century, it was a major port of entry for the inland trade with Malwa, Marwar and Sindh.
- Mandvi was at the junction of two trade routes the maritime spice trade-route and the desert camel caravan route, acting as an important trade center.
- Mandvi was originally a fortified town having a fort wall of about 8 m high and 1.2 m wide stone masonry. The fort had several gateways and 25 bastions; but at present, most of the wall has disappeared. The bastion on the southwest is largest and acts as a lighthouse.
- In the heyday of maritime trade, before the arrival of steamboats, Mandvi was a rich and prosperous town, earning four times more revenue from export than import. It was a profit-making center of the Kutch state, surpassing the capital city of Bhuj in terms of wealth. Dr. Manubhai Pandhi, a local social leader, recorded shipbuilding art and collected old documents which is treasured now in Prince of Wales Museum (www.bombaymuseum.org ) in Mumbai.
- As most of the top ports of India were controlled by Europeans, especially the Portuguese, even the Mughals held the Maharaos of Kachchh in high esteem, as they needed the port of Mandvi for exports, imports and also for pilgrimages to Mecca.
- In decade of 1960, the Dabeli is said to have been invented here by Keshavji Gabha Chudasama (Malam)(Kharva).
Mandvi is a unique town which captures the true Gujarat, Kutchi culture. Mandvi also incorporates the neighboring villages of Nagalpur and Moti Rayan. Mandvi is a town of merchants and seamen, both mutually benefiting from each other.
Mandvi has the Lal Bungalow / Arihant Bungalow Built by Khengarji III. It took 16 years to build this palace. with unique architecture and a lavishing of 55 Rooms and 5 Floors with all Teak Wood Ceilings. Lal Bungalow is now a Heritage Site and currently owned by Sanket Shah. It is demolished in 2011-2012. Now there is a new built shopping and residential complex.
Mandvi was one of the towns deeply impacted by the 2001 Gujarat earthquake.
Noted social worker Dr. Chhotalal J. Mehta (1911–1982) and his brother Dr. Prabhudas J. Mehta (1925 - 1959) started first free TB hospital in 1950 in the district if Kutch, and school for deaf and mute children and 1000th Rotary club in the world. Mrs Hiraben C Mehta(1916–2011) started first Baal Mandir and Bhagini Mandal.
Most of the industries in Mandvi are small-scale in nature, mainly in the areas of Bentonite mining, edible oil production, fishing, traditional ship building, cotton products and household Bandhani, and food-products like, sweets & farshan production.
Points of interestEdit
Mandvi has a very pleasant climate throughout the year and was a summer retreat of the Kutch maharajas (kings).
- 72 Jinalaya : 72 Jinalaya, also known as Bounter Jinalaya or Adiswar Bounter Jinalaya Mahatirth was built in 1982 in memory of Gun Sagar Suriswarji Mahara. This temple is in octagonal shape with area of 80 acres. The temple is home to 72 Deris of Lord Mahavir. The Moolnayak of this temple is an idol Adiswar bhagwan of height 6 feet and 1 inch. Temple also has a dharamshala equipped with all modern facilities including Bhojanalaya.
- Vijay Vilas Palace: The center of attractions at Mandvi is the Vijay Vilas Palace, a Royal abode set in the middle of well-laid gardens with water channels and marble fountains. The architect and craftsmen from Jaipur designed and constructed the palace in 1920 AD. The palace has all the elements of Rajput architecture and draws largely on the plan of palaces of Orchha and Datia. The central high dome on the pillars, the Bengal domes on the sides, the windows with coloured glass, carved stone 'jalis', domed bastions at the corners, extended porch and other exquisitely stone-carved elements, make the palace worth visiting. The Vijay Vilas Palace has its own private beach which offers air-conditioned tented accommodation. This palace has been used as the set in many Hindi films and has now become a tourist destination.
- Swaminarayan Temple at Mandvi: This temple is new but old and real temple is in main city. it is about 157 years old. New swaminarayan temple is on the main road of Mandvi - Naliya.
- The Wind Farms Beach and Wind-mills, which line the horizon of Mandvi, has views from the Mandvi sea-beach. The Wind mills projects running in this beach was Asia's 1st Wind-Mills Projects in 1983.
- Rukmavati bridge: The bridge on the Rukmavati River was built in 1883; it is the longest existing structure of its kind in India today. This bridge was built by Vishram Karman Chawda of Chandiya belonging to the Mestri community.
- Topansar Lake: Sitting in the heart of the city, this lake forms and important landmark.
- Bandhni Bazaar: Mandvi is known for the production of its Bandhani (tie-dye) and other country crafts.
- Traditional ship building: Mandvi is also a 400-year-old ship building centre. The ships built here used to sail up to England and return. Even today, master carpenters build fishing boats by traditional techniques.
- Shyamji Krishna Varma Smarak: The smarak(monument) is located near Lohana Mahajan Wadi. Shyamji Krishna Varma was a scholar and freedom fighter. He established India House in Britain to support Indian student going UK for studying, eventually India house become a foreign hub of nationalist activity for freedom of India. Shyamji Krishna Varma was born in Mandvi.
- Kranti Trith : The Smark of Shyamji Krishna Varma was newly built just 3 km away from Mandvi on Mandvi-Dharbudi Road. This is Gujarat's 2nd Kranti Trith.
- Kasi Vishvanath Beach, Salaya: This is another beach near Mandvi. It derives its name from a Shiv temple nearby.
- Public Bath System "KUYDI", Talav Gate.
- Kharva na Mama Temple: situated near Hanuman Dairy, a temple for the caste of Kharva.
- Shitla Mata Temple: The Temple of Goddess Shitla. Its situated in Layja Road.
- Mandvi Port: Mandvi Port is a Port where loading & unloading of ships takes place.
- Ashapura Mata Temple: situated in Layja, Mandvi.
- Rukmavati River: The river in Mandvi, which flows between Mandvi City and Salaya.
- Light House : Newly contracted Light House for Country Craft Sea Transportation, these structure newly contracted after earthquake.
Sea Breeze Resort (Private Beach Resort)
Popular food items from Mandvi are Dabeli, which invention from Mandvi, spread all over Gujarat and Maharashtra. Besides that, for the last 8 to 10 years various foods, e.g. Punjabi, South Indian, Chinese food, are easily available. Good Gujarati food is also available in Mandvi. More than 20 small and big dining halls and restaurants are successfully running in the city, and good food is available over there.
- "Census of India". Office of registrar general and census commissioner of India. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
- "500-year-old Mandvi fort being demolished in Kutch". The Times of India. 29 October 2001. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
- Kadia Kshatriya Itihas by Nutan Prakashan: 1897
- Nanji Bapa ni Nondh-pothi published in Gujarati in year 1999 from Vadodara. It is a diary of Railway Contracts done by KGK community noted by Nanji Govindji Tank of Hajapar/Jamshedpur, compiled by Dharsibhai Jethalal Tank of Nagalpar/Tatanagar. (This book was given Aank Sidhhi award by Kutch Shakti at Mumbai in year 2000) Vishram Karman Chawda of Chandiya : Railway Contracts in Cutch State Railway, MSM Rly, BNR, etc. Rukmavati Bridge and Mandvi Port Docks in 1883 are done by him: Page: 69
- Ratna Bhagat ni Chopdi: 1930 IInd Endition : Vishram Karman of Chandiya : Rukmavati Bridge and Docks of Mandvi Year of Construction 1883