Information on Jamnagar :
Jamnagar is a small 16th century pearl fishing town. Jamnagar was the capital of the former princely state of Nawanagar and was ruled by the Jadeja Rajput clan, who ruled the princely states of Kutch, Jamnagar, Rajkot and Gondal for more than 300 years. Jamnagar was founded by Jam Raval in 1540 AD. Jamnagar was originally a fortified town with several gateways, on the confluence of two rivers - Nagmati and Rangmati. Jamnagar is built around the Ranmal Lake, which has a small palace at its centre. The famous cricketer Ranjit Singhji was its ruler from 1907-33 and his successor, Jam Sahib became the President of Saurashtra until it was absorbed into Bombay state in 1956. When Ranjit Singhji became the ruler, he undertook the developments of new parts of the city on European town planning principles, under the guidance of Sir Edward Lutyens - architect of New Delhi. The city was planned using the urban design elements of axial roads, arcades, markets, entrance gates, clock towers, town squares, parks, gardens and residential plots. Jamnagar is also known as the Chhoti Kashi as the whole town is dotted with several Hindu and Jain temples. Jamnagar is famous for its bandhani (tie-dyed) fabrics, embroidery and silver ware. It is an ideal city for exploring the surrounding coastline that stretches to Dwaraka, where rare birds flock to ankle deep islands and fine beaches are empty all year round. Jamnagar is best known for the Indias only Ayurvedic University where you can learn the techniques of ancient medicine and yoga and a temple that has hosted nonstop chanting since 1964.
Tourist Attractions in Jamnagar :
The old town of Jamnagar is built around a lake with the Lakhota Palace and Kotha Bastion with its arsenal, on an island in it which are reached by a bridge. The Lakhota Palace has a good collection of sculpture and pottery found in the ruined medieval villages. The bastion has an old well from which water can be drawn by blowing into a small hole in the floor. The various tourist attractions in Jamnagar are the Lakhota Palace, Kotha Bastion, Bala Hanuman Temple, Jain Temples, Marine National Park, Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary and Ayurvedic University.
Lakhota Palace and Ranmal Lake :
The Lakhota Palace is situated on an island in the middle of the Ranmal lake in the shape of the large bastion. This palace once belonged to the Maharaja of Nawanagar. An arched stone bridge with balustrade connects the Lakhota Palace with the town. It was constructed as a famine relief work in 1839-45 AD. The elaborate entrance gateway with carved jharokhas at upper level, overlooking the lake, the stark blank wall at the base, give it a look of invincible fortification. This palace now houses a museum and is a striking building with some fine woodcarving, good collection of sculptures, pottery found in the ruined medieval villages, coins, copper plates and inscriptions. The walls are adorned with frescos depicting scenes of battle fought by Jadeja Rajputs against various enemies. The Renmal Lake itself is a scenic breath of fresh air.
Kotha Bastion :
The Kotha Bastion is Jamnagars 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.
Chandi Bazaar :
The area around the Jain temples is called Chandi Bazaar, meaning "silver market", where you can find gold and silver artisans practicing their ancestral trade. They are now joined by other metal workers, in the winding streets.
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. Its nice one in the world.
Also known as the Ranjit Institute of Poly-Radio Therapy, the Solarium was built by Jam Shri Ranjitsinhji in the 1920s 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.
Bhid Bhanjan Temple :
Near Bedi Gate, west of the town hall is the Bhidbhanjan temple. The temple displays a local style though it was built in a period where most structures were constructed with a western influence. The intricate silver work on the doors is a testament to the craftsmanship that is found in Jamnagar even today.
Bhujio Kotho :
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.
Bohra Hajira :
Jamnagar is sometimes referred to as Chhota Kashi (small Kashi), because of the abundance of temples and holy places around the city.In addition to the Bala Hanuman temple, Ratan Bai mosque, Jain temples, Bhidbhanjan temple, Parsi Agiari, and Khijada temple already mentioned, there are various other Jain and Hindu temples, a temple for the sizable Kabir sect in Jamnagar, old mosques and dargahs. The dargah of the Dawoodi Bohra community, also known as the Bohra Hajira, a magnificent mausoleum in worship of a Muslim saint, on the banks of the river near the Rajkot highway, is worth a visit. If you want to take photographs make sure you get permission at the office in the compound.
Cremation Park (Manekbai Muktidham) :
For a complete sense of the sacred in Jamnagar, you should also visit the cremation park, known as the Manekbai Muktidham, built in 1940 near the centre of the city. The surprisingly pleasant atmosphere of this lovingly designed garden, with statues and murals and a library, brings us in contact with death in such a way that we are free from fear or aversion, and can see death as simply a stage of life, as depicted by one of the artistic representations in the park.
Darbargadh Palace :
East of Chandi Chowk is Darbar Gadh, the old royal residence, built in 1540 but extended over the years as can be seen by the mix of architectural styles, also representing the fusion between Rajasthani and European elements. 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.
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.
Gaga Wildlife Sanctuary :
Gaga Wildlife Sanctuary in Jamnagar is a secure abode for varied vertebrates and invertebrates. Confirmed as a wildlife refuge in the year 1988, this sanctuary spreads over an area of 332 square kilometres. The natural vivid vegetation of this region with lush green patches of grasses and other shrubs forms a unique abode for native and migratory weathered birds. The enormous, pouched bills of serene white and large pelicans, textured and patterned feathered Spot-billed Ducks along with elongated and regal forms of flamingos inhabit the waterscapes and create an inimitably pictorial sight. These winter guests along with demoiselle cranes and common cranes make this sanctuary an ecstatic locale for bird enthusiasts.
Mammals like wolf, jackals, mongoose, jungle cats, and bluebell joyously wander around their cosseted domicile within the grasslands. Butterflies, moths, honeybees, wasps with their mischievous flip-flapping movements add in a bouncy energy to the area while the varied types of spiders mystify the ambiance with their intricate webbed tapestry. The sanctuary with in its blossoming best is one of the best places to visit within the period of autumn to spring.
Jain Temple Triad :
South of the mosque are three Jain Temples, built between 1574 and 1622, the most intricate of which is Raisi Shahs temple, dedicated to the Tirthankar Shantinath, with a sanctum dome decorated with gold inlay work. Its various chambers, elaborate geometric patterns in the marble floors, many with mirrored ceilings, ask for a few hours of time, preferably in the morning. Next is the Vardhman Shah temple, dedicated to the Tirthankar Adinath, a more simple structure, but also more vibrant in colour. The third temple of the triad is smaller, but also interesting.
Khijada Temple :
The Khijada temple is the founding site of the Pranami sect that, while based in Hinduism, promotes unity of all religions. The temple structure is built around two 400-year-old sacred trees. The name of the sect comes from the word pranam, or an acknowledgement of the divine in each being, demonstrated by a greeting of folded hands. The priest and many members of the community are involved in various social service activities, including HIV/AIDS prevention.
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.
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.
Marine National Park :
Indias 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.
Parsi Agiari :
Next to the Bhid Bhajan Temple is the Parsi Agiari (Fire Temple), though as with all Fire Temples, it is not open to visitors. Eastwards, across the street from the supermarket, on the other side of various tourist facilities, is the tiny doorway to the Swaminarayan temple, which has a beautiful floor, ceilings and dome. The best time to visit might be during the aarti, which is usually at 7pm.
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.
Raisi Shahs Temple :
Tejsi Shah built jain temples in 1564 which were ruined by Moghul army in 1590. Tejsi Shah renovated these temples in 1592. In the year 1619 his son Raisi Shah built Deri (a very small temple) around it.
Ranjitsagar Dam :
Ranjitsagar Dam is the water source for the city. It has a municipal garden, a pleasant spot for picnics and birdwatching during the migratory season.
Ratan Bai Masjid :
In the centre of old city is this old mosque, a structure hard to miss with its two towering green and white minarets. Its doors are made of sandalwood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. It has its own rainwater harvesting system, with a tank holding water for ritual washing before namaaz.
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. These ports make great daytrip spots for seaside picnics or fishing. They are accessible by ferry from Nava Bandar, 3km from Jamnagar.
Shiv Temple :
The Shiv Temples within the city are so many. Temples like Badri kedar Nath and Nilkanth Mahadev Temle around the Town Hall and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple on the K.V. Road are worth visiting.
Vinoo Mankad Statue :
Walking distance from the Town Hall on Bhidbanjan Road next to the cricket ground, this statue is a beautiful tribute to Mankad, one of Indias greatest cricketers. He is caught at the top of his bowling run, as he is running in to deliver one of his often unplayable left-arm spinners.
Willingdon Crescent :
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.