Monuments in Porbandar are many in number, having both religious and historical worth.
The Daria Rajmahal was built in the late 19th century by Maharaja Bhavsinhji to designs prepared by the state engineer, Phulchand Parekh. Built in creamy local stone, it stands on the edge of the Arabian Sea and, in its plan and layout, shows distinct Arab influences. However, the facades are Italianate in style, with an interesting blend of Renaissance and Gothic detail conceived by a man of knowledge and taste. Internally, the palace has all the usual princely trappings - chandeliers, painted murals and European furniture. The Town Hall, Library and most other public buildings were all built under the watchful eye of the Maharaja.
The Huzoor palace is a true architectural marvel situated at the edge of the sea. The Palace was built by Natwar Shah, and resembles a European mansion. The palace has neo-Classical pillars and porticoes with a semi-circular design with a sloping timber roof. The European style porticoes and pillars mark the entrance of the palace from different sides. The palace has various wings in a zigzag fashion and railed terraces. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and water fountains, it offers a remarkable view of the Arabian Sea.
Darbargadh is a fortified palace found built by Rana Sartanji at Porbandar. It has a huge carved stone entrance flanked by massive wooden doors and high turrets. The edifices lying to the left of the entrance are typical examples the royal enclosures situated within the town of Gujarat- large mansions with courtyards and intricately carved wooden elements. The fort has several bastions, 3 small gates (baris) and 4 main gates. The main gates are Porbandar gate in the west, Kathiawar Darwaja in the east, Halar Gate in the North and Junagadh gate in the south. The smaller gates are Sita Bari, Bhinji Bari and Darbari Bari. The point of approach of Darbargadh is the Darbari Bari. It is a beautiful gate, resting on brackets of four elephant statues and adorned with a jharokha. Darbargadh is a three-storied structure standing on a high plinth. The facade is designed with complex geometric designs, sculptures of musicians, intricately carved pillars decorative kanguras and horizontal friezes. Darbargadh is designed to resemble a jewel box, in the architectural style of the Navlakha palace situated at Gondal.
The Anut Nivas Khambala was built in 1927 by Maharaja Natwarsinhji, a progressive figure. It is a large, two-storey building along straightforward classical lines in a delightful position bordering the sea. The interior is lavish but not ostentatious. The Rajput Room is a museum of Kathiawad's past.
One of the chief attractions of Porbandar is the Kirti Mandir. It holds great significance as it is said to be the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, and he is said to have lived here for the first twelve years of his life. It is now a memorial dedicated to the mahatma. Visitors flock to this site in order to get an insight into the life and works of Gandhiji. . In the year 1950, the building was renovated by Shri Nanji Kalidas and Shri Purushottam Mistry in reverence to the Mahatma. The upper story of the temple has Gandhi's room and a Gandhian library which contains a wide selection of Gandhian writings to choose from. Also found within are a big prayer room, a nursey and a spire. The walls of the temple are decorated with 79 diyas, the age of the Mahatma at the time of his death.
Close to the kirti mandir is the house of Mahatma Gandhi. This haveli of the Gandhi family, built in the mid nineteenth century had three stories around a courtyard with a kitchen, a wooden shrine and seventeen rooms. This haveli has now been converted into a memorial museum with a lot of valuable memorabilia in the library. The museum holds a moving photographic pictorial display of the life and achievements of Gandhiji providing an insight into the contributions of one of the greatest freedom fighters of India.
The Grishmabhuvan is a pleasure pavilion situated at Porbandar. It was built by Maharana Sartanji in an excellent example of Rajput architectural style. The Grishmabhuvan is a three-storied summer pavilion has exquisite pillars, impressive domes and delicate arches. The four parts of the pavilion represent the four seasons.Also known as the Sartanji Choro, the pavilion was a kind of asylum for Sartanji away from the crowds of Porbandar.
An early twelfth century step well, the Vikai Vav, is also found here, located at Ghumli. This ruined step-well is one of the largest of its kind in the state, measuring almost 60 by 40.5 sq m. The well has numerous flights of steps leading up to it and string-coursed carvings. Te entrance pavilions can still be seen standing intact at three places.
The Sudama mandir is a beautiful shrine located in the centre of Porbandar city. Sudama was a close friend and devotee of Lord Krishna who was born here. It is said to be the only temple in India dedicated to Sudama. The temple was constructed between 1902 and 1907, and has an interesting story behind it. It is said that during the construction of the temple there was a depletion of funds. In order to collect money, the devotees organized drama shows, and following thus the construction of the temple was completed. There is a plaque in the temple depicting this entire course of events. A monument is found inside the temple dedicated to Shri Ram Devji Jethwa. Who is believed to have been severely attacked and wounded at the time. There is amaze found within the temple. It is said that if a person crosses this maze all his sins are forgiven.
The Bharat Mandir is situated in a beautiful garden opposite the Nehru Planetarium. The mandir has a number of murals depicting the great men and religious preceptors of India. There is a huge relief map of India on the floor. There are beautifully matched mirrors in the temple which depict the Gods and legendary personalities from the Hindu Epics and the Indian Puranas. There are six distorting mirrors in the veranda which are very popular among the children.
Porbandar, though it has a lot to offer in terms of monuments, is best known for being the birthplace of the Mahatma Gandhi. The memorial dedicated to him is therefore one of the chief attractions among the monuments of Porbandar.
(Last Updated on : 27-04-2013)
|More Articles in Monuments of Gujarat (44)|