Situated on Saurashtra’s western coast in the Indian state of Gujarat, Porbandar is a coastal city sharing its boundary with the Arabian Sea. The River Asmavati meets the Arabian Sea at Porbandar. The city has been mentioned in history since the time of Mahabharata as the city is the birth place of Lord Krishna’s friend Sudama. Traces of late Harappan civilization have also been found here and hence the place becomes of prime importance throwing light on the maritime activities of that time. In the modern Indian history the city is the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi and is also known as the ‘Janambhoomi’. The city of Porbandar has also been a princely state during the times of the British rule. Being richly blessed in terms of physical scape the place has a coastline, hills, rivers, lakes, fields and plains. The city of Porbandar has also been an important trading centre and is a well- known port of Gujarat. Here is a list of top 5 places to visit in Porbandar.
1. Kirti Temple
Kirti temple is memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. The temple is a three-storied building that is built in form of a haveli adjacent to the Gandhi house where Bapu was born and had spent some early years of his life. The ground on which the temple stands was initially an ancestral property of Gandhi family and was later purchased by a renowned industrialist of the area to convert it into Kirti Temple. The temple beholds life size paintings of Mahatma Gandhi and his mother Kasturba Gandhi in the centre. Pictures depicting his life have found place on the walls and place is like a museum. The place of birth of Mahatma Gandhi is marked with a swastika.
2. Krishna-Sudama Temple
Located in the heart of Porbandar, this is one of the few temples that are dedicated to Krishna-Sudama. Sudama was a devotee as well as a childhood friend of Lord Krishna. The construction of the temple was carried in the first decade of the 20th century AD. The main worshipping sculpture of the temple shows Sudama sitting on Lord Krishna’s throne and Lord Krishna and his wife, Rukmani showering love on the lost long friend of the Lord. The temple premises also has a maze and it is believed that one should cross the maze puzzle in order of get rid of all his past sins. The architecture of the temple is also spell-binding.
3. Sri Hari Temple
Constructed in the last decade of the twentieth century, Sri Hari Temple is one of the most beautiful religious places of the city. Sprawling in 85 acres of land the temple premises are clean and serene. With over 65 pillars the temple monument stands 105 feet high. Lined up with coconut trees and lush greens, the temple has a soothing aura. The temple houses the idols of Radhakrishna, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Sri Janki Vallabh among others. The temple premises also carry out spiritual and cultural activities on regular basis.
4. Chowpatty Beach
One of the most mesmerising and serene beaches of the state, Chowpatty beach is a favourite hangout amongst the locals. The tranquil waters of the Arabian Sea and hypnotizing sunsets attract a lot of visitors during the dusks. The distant horizon and the ships that could be sailing as Porbandar is renowned port make the entire view charming. The place is known for leisure walks and spending quiet time by the shoreline. Also there are a lot of food joints in the vicinity and serve some lip-smacking gujrati snacks and delicacies.
5. Porbandar Bird Sanctuary
Confined in an area as less as a kilometre square, Porbandar Bird Sanctuary is one of the smallest bird sanctuaries. Laying in the periphery of a small lake this bird sanctuary is one of those places where birds have been provided with legal protection nests. The sanctuary is a home to both locals and the migratory birds. One can easily spot birds like flamingos, ibis, curlews, fowls and teals. Though lacking in the flora life the sanctuary is richly blessed with its avifauna.
Apart from being a significant place in the Indian History, both ancient and modern, Porbandar is a beautiful place sharing its shoreline with the Arabian Sea. The place is worth a visit when in Gujarat as it speaks about the various centuries that it has witnessed.