|Facts and Figures|
|Languages||Gujarati, Hindi and English|
|Best time to visit||Winters|
CITY OF MERCHANTS
Bhavnagar is a sprawling industrial city and an important trading post for cotton products. The commercial importance of this city is increased by its proximity to the Gulf of Cambay and the Arabian Sea. As the origin of this city is recent, one can find few historical monuments. However, there are a number of places of tourist attraction in and around the city. The city offers vibrant shades of traditional Gujarati culture to the traveler.
Bhavnagar is located in the peninsular part of the state of Gujarat, in the western region of India. It is 203 km from Ahmedabad and 690 km from Mumbai (Bombay). It is near the Gulf of Cambay, a part of the Arabian Sea. Bhavnagar is at sea level. Though Bhavnagar is near the coast and experiences coastal climate, yet it has hot summers (April-June). Winters are cool (November-February). It experiences southwestern monsoon rains during (July-September). As Bhavnagar is near the coastline, it is generally humid throughout the year.
The best time to visit Bhavnagar is during winters, as summers tend to be harsh here.
The history of Bhavnagar city is quite recent. Local rulers established it in the first half of the 18th century and ruled from here. It formed the part of a princely state, which continued during the British rule. It was finally merged into India, at the time of independence in 1947, and formed the erstwhile state of Saurashtra. It finally became a part of the present-day state of Gujarat.
Though Bhavnagar is a modern city, there are a number of important tourist spots here. One of the important tourist attractions of Bhavnagar is the Takhteshwar Temple, built on a small hillock overlooking the city by the local royal family, dedicated to lord Shiva. It not only offers a great view of the city and the adjacent Gulf of Cambay, but is also an important pilgrim center. Thousands of pilgrims visit this temple every year. Gandhi Smriti Museum or Gandhi Memorial is another important tourist attraction-it houses a collection of photographs and memorabilia associated with Mahatma Gandhi. Near Gandhi Smriti, the traveler can see the Clock Tower, which is an important landmark of this city.
Gaurishankar Lake is an important picnic spot with its well-maintained parks. There is a small planetarium for children to visit. The Central Salt and Marine Research Institute is an important place to visit and a must for the science freak. Samaldas College, established 100 years ago, is an important monument and it is said that Mahatma Gandhi was once a student here. The Barton Library with its museum, located at the heart of the city, is worth paying a visit. The Water Lock Gate of Bhavnagar is also worth paying a visit, as it is the first of its kind in Gujarat. The water locks maintain the water level of the docks, thus helping ships to stay afloat at the time of low tide.
There are number of interesting tourist places around Bhavnagar. Forty-two kilometers northeast of Bhavnagar is the ancient city of Valabhipur, which is well known for its ruins. Velavadar National Park is 65 km north of Bhavnagar and is famous for its protected species of blackbucks. The town of Palitana, which is 51 km southwest of Bhavnagar, is famous for its Jain temples. It is one of the holiest pilgrim sites for Jains. Palitana has 863 temples on hilltops. Sihor (28 km) and Mahuva shore (150 km) are other places to visit.
SHOPPINGLike most parts of Gujarat, Bhavnagar is also known for its traditional handicrafts, which include embroidery and high quality appliqué work. Locally made tie and dye and block-printed fabrics are also popular. The traveler can buy these items from Gandhi Smriti, located on Crescent Circle, near the Clock Tower and from Avsar, located at the Madhav Hill complex. The main shopping center is located in Darbargarh area of the city. Bhavnagar offers both traditional and modern goods to the traveler.
HOW TO REACHBhavnagar has an airport, which is southeast of the city center. One can take auto-rickshaw from the airport to reach the city. The Indian Airlines Office is located near the Ganga Jalia Tank. Indian Airlines operates four flights to Mumbai per week. Other domestic airlines also have regular flights to Bhavnagar. Bhavnagar is well connected by road with towns and cities in the region. The main bus stand is about a kilometer from Ganga Jalia Tank. There are five daily buses for Diu (5 hours) and hourly buses for Palitana (1½ hour). There are a number of points within the city from where the tourist can get private buses to different parts of Gujarat and beyond. Bhavnagar is well connected by train to Ahmedabad and Palitana. There are four daily trains to Ahmedabad and it takes 5-6 hours to reach there. There are three daily trains to Palitana with a total time of about 1½ hour. It is also connected to Mumbai by train.
The tourist can use auto-rickshaw and cycle-rickshaw to move within the city.
PLACES TO STAYTourists with low budget can get cheap accommodation in the old city near the railway station. Medium-budget hotels are common here, with very few high-end hotels.
PLACES TO EATBhavnagar has a number of restaurants and eating points, which offer a wide variety of cuisine ranging from traditional Indian and Gujarati dishes to Chinese and fast food. Gogha Circle and Waghawadi Road are famous for their fast-food joints and restaurants.
INFORMATIONGandhi Smriti Museum or Gandhi Memorial is closed on Sundays for public.
|Indian Culture History|