Jamnagar Expedition: A Handbook To The Town’s Many Delights

Did you know Jamnagar is home to India’s first marine national park where you can see corals, puffer fish and a host of marine wildlife? Read to know more about the historical and natural heritage sites in this town
Jamnagar is the venue for Anant and Radhika's pre-wedding festivities. Credit: iStock

Jamnagar is the venue for Anant and Radhika's pre-wedding festivities. Credit: iStock

The pre-wedding festivities of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant have certainly put the spotlight on Jamnagar, which was, till now, simply the site of Reliance’s crude oil refinery. Historically, Jamnagar was founded in 1540 A.D. when it was chosen as the capital of the Princely State of Nawanagar and was part of the Jadeja empire in the region of Saurashtra. It is in the city of Dwarka in the Jamnagar district that Lord Krishna established his kingdom, and the Jams of this region trace their ancestry to the Yadava clan.
Geographically, nestled on the western coast of Gujarat, Jamnagar is a township like Mathura, but its historical landmarks and breathtaking natural landscapes deserve to be traced away from the spotlight. From majestic palaces to serene bird sanctuaries and sacred temples, the city offers a diverse experience for every traveller. Here are a few of the hidden spots that you may not have heard about but should definitely explore:
The old architecture of the ancient fortress of Lakhota Palace Credit iStock
The old architecture of the ancient fortress of Lakhota Palace. Credit: iStock

Lakhota Fort and Palace

In the middle of the city of Jamnagar is the circular Ranmal Lake or the Lakhota Lake. In the centre of this lake, on an island, is the Lakhota Palace, an architectural marvel built in the 19th century. The Palace/Museum was once a fort, with the lake acting as a moat but today houses a museum showcasing ancient weapons, sculptures, and pottery, offering a glimpse into Jamnagar's rich past.
Bhujiyo Kotho Credit jamnagarnicin
Bhujiyo Kotho. Credit: jamnagar.nic.in

Bhujiyo Kotho

A beautiful but dilapidated five-storey tower near the Ranmal Lake, Bhujiyo Kotho once storey the arsenal of the empire. It suffered damage during the Bhuj earthquake and has since been under repair. It also supplied water to the Lakhota Fort, but there is a more interesting story about the fort. Legend has it that the rulers of Jamnagar and Bhuj, who were brothers, founded their kingdoms approximately 300 km apart. Bhujiyo Kotho is thought to have served as the entrance to a concealed passage connecting Jamnagar and Bhuj, enabling the brothers to stay connected.
Swaminarayan Mandir Credit BAPS
Swaminarayan Mandir. Credit: BAPS

Swaminarayan Mandir

BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, situated on Dwarka Road on the outskirts of Jamnagar city, is a prominent Hindu Temple that deserves to be added to your city itinerary. Devoted to Lord Swaminarayan, the temple is a calm space to spend your afternoons, and showcases exquisite architectural brilliance. There are two shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva-Parvati and Lord Ram-Sita. Additionally, a small museum at the temple's base adds to the cultural experience.
Rosy Pelicans at Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary Credit Canva
Rosy Pelicans at Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary. Credit: Canva

Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary

Home to more than 220 species of birds, Khijadiya is an incredible place if you consider yourself a birdwatcher. You can start early and visit the sanctuary, spread over 605 hectares of marshy wetlands and mangroves, which sees migratory birds like painted storks and flamingos. It is also a RAMSAR site.
Narara Marine National Park Jamnagar Credit WikimediaJan Joseph George
Narara Marine National Park, Jamnagar. Credit: Wikimedia/Jan Joseph George

Narara Marine National Park and Sanctuary

Did you know Jamnagar is also home to India’s first marine national park where you can see corals, puffer fish and a host of marine wildlife? At Narara Marine National Park and Sanctuary, low tides allow you to take a walk on the sea bed, witnessing beautiful soft and hard corals, sponges and marine animals like prawns and lobsters along the way. Take a guide and explore this lesser known gem on the Jamnagar coast. There is an entry fee and guide fee of about 300 INR each.
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