Ranmal Lake / Lakhota Lake:
The Lakhota Palace in Jamnagar is one of the major tourist attractions in Gujarat, which you cannot afford to miss while on your tour to the state’s monuments. It is a small palace located on an island in the midst of the Lakhota Lake.
Every year about 75 species of birds, including pelicans, flamingos, spoonbills, ducks, terns, and gulls, descend on this lake, making it a lively birdwatching site, a pleasant surprise in an urban center.
The Kotha Bastion is Jamnagar’s arsenal. One of its most interesting sights is an old well, the water of which can be drawn by blowing into a small hole in the floor.
Darbargadh (Maharajah’s palace), the old royal residence of Jam Sahebs and the most important historical complex in Jamnagar, reflects the fusion of Rajputs and European style of architecture. 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. The earthquake in 2001 caused significant damage to the Darbargadh.
This small palace, on an island in the middle of the Lakhota lake, once belonged to the Maharaja of Nawanagar. This fort-like palace has semi-circular bastions, turrets, a pavilion with guard-rooms housing swords, powder flasks and musket loops. An arched stone bridge with balustrade connects the Lakhota Palace with the town. Today it houses a small museum. The fort museum has a good collection of sculptures that spans a period from the 9th to the 18th century and pottery found in ruined medieval villages from the surrounding area. The museum is reached by a short causeway from the northern side of Ranmal Lake and is open daily except on Wednesdays.
The impressive Willingdon crescent was constructed by 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 center of the crescent. Gujarat Earthquake in 2001 has caused only a slight damage to this shopping area.
Pratap Vilas Palace:
The beautiful Pratap Vilas Palace, built during the rule of His Royal Highness 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. Damage in the 2001 earthquake has caused a costly loss of some parapets, and the separation of some upper walls at the roof level in some corners. Visitors are not allowed in.
The Kotha Bastion contains 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.
Dhanvantri Mandir Gujarat Ayurved 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.
Also known as the Ranjit Institute of Poly-Radio Therapy, the Solarium was built by Jam Shri Ranjitsinhji 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. Due to advancement in medicine and treatment now it is obsolete and not in working condition for the treatment.
Bhujio Kotho is well known among tourists due to its height and circumference. It is on the bank of the Lakhota Tank, near Khambhaliya Gate. This monument has five floors, and is believed to have been constructed for protection during the invasions. On the first floor there were guns placed in each direction, and in the walls, holes for rifles are found. On the upper floor a tank with a dancing peacock on its peak was constructed to store water. Unfortunately, in an earthquake in 2001 Bhujio Kotho partially collapsed and it is now prohibited to visit due to safety concerns.
The Bohra Hajira is also worth a visit, on entering Jamnagar city by road on the Rajkot Highway, one can see this magnificent Structure on the banks of the river. Permission has to be taken before visiting the place. Many years back boats used to sail in this Rangmati & Nagmati rivers, but presently the water level is low; often the river dries up and the river bed is used for hosting the Shravan Month Fairs.
Jam Ranjitsinhji Park(RanjitSagar Dam):
Municipal Corporation of Jamnagar has recently developed a Park near RanjitSagar Dam. The park has beautiful garden with colorful fountains. There is also rides for children. The park remains open from 10am to 8pm on all days except Sunday & Monday. On Sunday park remain open till 10pm and on Monday it remain closed for maintenance.
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.
Marine National Park:
India’s first marine sanctuary, has various parts where one can visit: one of them is Pirotan island which is about 16 nautical miles (30 km) away in the Arabian Sea near Jamnagar and spreads over an area of about 458 km2. Located about 7 km from the city center. The Marine National Park & Sanctuary comprises an archipelago of 42 islands noted for their coral reefs and mangroves. It is possible to see dolphins, fin-less porpoises and sea turtles and a variety of colorful tropical fish. The place is very beautiful. The entire forest has various marine life forms. The area also attracts a huge number of birds.
Rozi and Bedi Ports:
Rozi and Bedi are two important ports close to Jamnagar. Rozi Port on the shore of the Gulf of Kutch and Bedi Port two nautical miles (4 km) inland on the Rangamati River. These attractive waterside picnic spots offer excellent facilities for fishing and angling.
Cremation park is situated 10 minutes north of the city centre. The park holds statues of saints and deities, as well as scenes from the Ramayana. This is an interesting place to visit. The circle of life showing the stages in life of man is also thought to be evoking.
This is a new botanical garden in the city besides Palace Ground and its official name is Gulab Kunvarbaa Udhyan. It is very much used by the daily walkers and joggers of city.
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 1 August 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.
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
Shantinath Mandir is situated, south-west of Bedi Gate, in Jamnagar. The temple has intricate carvings and the walls are adorned with fine murals, which depict the life of Jain saints. The floor is made of marble and decorated with distinctive Jain patterns in yellow, black, white and red.
Vardhman Shah’s Temple:
Vardhman Shah’s Temple is a delightful shrine and one of the four main Jain temples in Jamnagar. The foundation stone of this shrine was laid in 1612, during the reign of Jam Jasaji I and was completed in the year 1620. Fifty two very small temples or ‘Deri’ were built around the temple in 1622.
Bholeshwar Mahadev Temple:
Bholeshwar mahadev temple is situated in Gajna village of tehsil Lalpur. The temple is situated on the bank of river Dhandhar.This temple is famous for its fair on shravani amas.
Jamnagar was founded around Ranmal Lake, on the confluence of the rivers Rangmati and Nagmati, in 1540 by Jam Rawal who was chased south from Kutch after drama and conflict among the royalties. It was the capital of what was then called Nawanagar, “new city”. Nawanagar, later renamed for jam, meaning “king”, was one of the most important princely states of Saurashtra until joining the Indian union. The Jams, of the Jadeja Rajput rulers, are thought to be descendants of Krishna’s Yadav clan.
The city was fortified by Meraman Khawas, who ruled from 1744-1800. Under the rule of Jam Vibhaji in 1852, the city saw the opening of schools, hospitals, and the railway line to Rajkot. Jam Ranjitsinhji ruled from 1907-33 and redesigned the city in 1914, under the guidance of Sir Edward Lutynes, the architect of New Delhi, opening the previously walled city into wide roads and standardized houses with what is described as a “disciplined” look. Before becoming the ruler he had been a famous cricketer, one of the greatest in the history of the game, and had traveled widely to play for England’s team. His design of the city was inspired by what he saw especially in Europe, and thus Jamnagar was called the Paris of India.
He electrified the town in the 1920s, provided free primary education from 1911 and free secondary education from 1916, ordered the construction of Bedi port, and developed the railway connections further. It is said that, in order to clear the streets of stray dogs, he told the Jain population, whose religion forbid them from killing the dogs, that he would have the dogs killed if they were not removed by a certain date. A few days later, the dogs were gone, and apparently have not returned since. (See for yourself if this is true, and perhaps even ask around among the locals about this legend.) The Jam Saheb during Independence was one of the native rulers who joined the Indian Union on their own, and helped to convince others to do the same.
Once a small pearl fishing town, Jamnagar would then become the world’s biggest pearl fishery until the early 20th century. It is also famous as a center of the traditional technique of tie-dye fabrics, bandhani, a time consuming process that is believed to have been used in this area for up to the last 500 years. It was later known for its brass industry, significant naval and airforce bases and its Ayurved University. More recently it has included the companies Reliance and Essar Oil as feathers in its industrial cap. Perhaps not unrelated to the growth of the city, the rivers Rangmati and Nagmati, once navigable by boat, have now dried up considerably, and its river bed is used for hosting events in Shravan, a holy month in the Hindu calendar.