History of Veraval
Founded in the 13th and 14th century, Veraval was once a fortified port town of the royal family of Junagadh. It was a part of the kingdom of Junagadh till 1947 when Junagadh was merged with India. The city still bears some remnants of the old Nawabi heritage, the beautiful Nawabi summer palace being among them. There are ruins of the old Nawabi fort and Nawabi Gates in and around the place. The old walls of the port are now ruined, but the impressive Junagadh gate and the Patan gate are still seen, but are in a very bad state.
Before the port of Surat was founded, Veraval was the major seaport for pilgrims to Mecca. Its importance now is as a fishing port, one of the largest in India. Seafaring dhows and wooden fishing boats are still built by the fishermen without the use of any modern technology.
Demography of Veraval
As per the reports of Census India 2011, the total population of Veraval is 153, 696 out of which 51 percent are constituted by male and 49 percent by female. Veraval has an average literacy rate of 62 percent, higher than the national average of 59.5 percent. The male literacy is 71 percent while the female literacy rate is 53 percent. Here in Veraval, the population of children between the ages of 0 to 6 years is 14 percent.
Climate of Veraval
The town of Veraval has a hot arid climate with warm to hot temperatures throughout the year. Almost all precipitation falls during the summer monsoon season from the months of June to September.
Industries of Veraval
In the town of Veraval, fisheries have always been the main industry and are primarily dominated by the fishermen folk called Kharwas. Fishing is done mostly on traditional boats and trawlers. Veraval also has a large boat making industry and is home to a large number of fish processing factories in Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC).
Popular Attractions near Veraval
The town of Veraval has various popular tourist attractions in and around the area and elaborately listed below are few of them:
Somnath Temple: Located in the western coast of Gujarat near Veraval in Saurashtra, the Somnath Temple is dedicated to Somnath, who is the protector of the Moon God. There are notable mentions of the temple in the Rig Veda as well. It has been said that people from the remotest parts of the country came to worship at the Somnath Temple. Somnath rose and fell many a time, and the present site of the Somnath Temple, is a pile of ruins. With constant desecration and reconstruction, the Hindus finally built a new temple nearby.
Gir National Park: Also known as Sasan Gir, it is a forest and wildlife sanctuary and is home to the rare Indian wildlife species. The sanctuary does not have a designated area for tourists. However, to reduce the tourism hazard to the wildlife and to promote nature education, an Interpretation Zone has been created at Devalia within the sanctuary. Within its chained fences, it covers all habitat types and wildlife of Gir with its feeding-cum-living cages for the carnivores and a double-gate entry system.
Bhalka Tirtha: This is the place where Lord Krishna was hit by an arrow shot by a hunter named Jara, after which he is said to have left the earth for the heavenly abode, an act referred to in the Puranas. It is a famous pilgrimage tourist destination in Gujarat and is about 4 km away from the Somnath Temple.
The few other places of interest are the Triveni Sangam and the Prabhas Patan, which are also popular among the tourists.
Visiting Information on Veraval
The Somnath railway station is at a distance of 11 km from Veraval and there is a helipad in Somnath which is about 9 km away. The nearest airport is the Keshod Airport in Gujarat at a distance of 48 km from Veraval.