Porbandar district is a district in the state of Gujarat. This district was carved out of Junagadh District. It lies in the Kathiawar peninsula. Porbandar city is the administrative headquarters of this district. This district is surrounded by Jamnagar (North) and Junagadh (South) districts. To the west is the Arabian Sea.
Porbandar, the; seaside city is an historical place - known as Gandhi's birth place which Population is : 178,700. It is believed that Porbandar city was founded on Rakshabandhan day (a holy day of Hindu religion) in 1193 as Pauravelakul .But after that it is called as Sudamapuri after "Sudama", a compatriot of the lord Krishna 's and whose temple situated in Porbandar finally called as Porbandar from 1785. It is located on Saurashtra's western coast; in Gujarat State of India at latitude north 21.370 and longitude east 69.490.
The Gandhi family was the hereditary Diwans of Porbandar. Mahatma Gandhi born On 2nd October, 1869 AD. His father - Karamchand Gandhi at that time held the post of diwan. Mr. Ganghi spent his child hood & school days at Rajkot about 200 K.M. from Porbandar. Later going to Bhavnagar for education at university and became lawyer. Their family friend Mr Zhaveri call them south Africa for their legal advisor where he was inspired to take up the cause of Justice and truth. But Mahatma Gandhi was not the only mahatma associated with Porbandar. Swami Vivekanand had done much of his research in Porbandar, and Rabindranath Tagore visited the city for a considerable period in his younger days in 1923 AD also.
Porbandar was a momentous port of the Jetwa Rajputs, a dynasty that ruled vast areas of the Kathiawad peninsula for approximately 2000 years. The dynasty faced a number of problems including the incursion of the Jadeja Rajputs who victorious them in battle in the late 16th and early 17th century. The Jetwa came back to power in the 1630s, when the Jamsaheb of Nawanagar (present day Jamnagar) granted them Ranpur, which they made their capital. From here, they moved to Chhaya; 5 kilometers from Porbandar, which then became their capital. By the 18th century, the Jetwas finally settled at Porbandar, which occupied a unique position as a port city. It was strategically situated south of the ports of Nawanagar and Kutch state, and north of Veeraval in Junagadh state and historically had traded with Arabian Gulf and African countries. The creamy coloured stone of Porbandar had been a major export in days gone by and has been used in many of the Victorian period buildings of Bombay and Karachi. The skilled artisans of Porbandar were experts at making dhows (boats) by hand, and gave birth to an industry of building ocean going vessels.
In the early 19th century, the Britishers brought peace to Saurashtra through the Walker Treaty. Peace reigned and this was the time for the Jetwa rulers to start developing Porbandar. Rajmata Rupaliba created a fresh water reservoir in Porbandar in the 1850s. Separate schools for girls were built in 1865 AD, as were a post office and other services. The old fort walls were pulled down to enlarge the city and a town hall, railway station, light house and Jubilee Bridge were erected in the 1880s.
Maharana Bhavsinhji, who came to the throne at the turn of the century proved to be a progressive ruler and, during his reign, introduced wide ranging reforms, that resulted in the rapid progress of Porbandar. He patronized various arts, commissioned bridges, roads, reservoir, institutions and projects to convert the salt marshes into fresh water sources and built a sea shore palace, the Daria Rajmahal. Bhavsinhji’s son, HH Natwarsinhji, began the modernization of Porbandar on a grand scale. He was patron of Indian literature, music and the nationalist movement. Natwarsinh was a greater cricketer, he was the first to lead Indian Cricket team in test cricket and in 1946 started the Duleep school of Cricket, one of the best cricket school in Asia. He built another seaside palace – the Huzoor Palace, which is rather appropriately like a cricket pavilion with views of the Arabian sea.
Maharana Natwarsinhji died in 1983 AD. He had just one heir, Yuvraj Udaiman Shinji who died of a heart problem. Thus ended a clean that had seen some 2000 years of recorded history and won honors in everything from battle to literature, music, architecture and sports. Locals believe this to be the result of a curse by Santokben, a woman who believed herself to be wronged in the royal court. The palaces of Porbandar are now owned by Harendra De Silva, the son of Bhavsinhji’s European wife by a pervious marriage. He practices criminal law in England.
Kirthi Mandir: The birth-place of the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, is the main centre of attraction for the tourists. It was built by Shri Nanji Kalidas and Shri Purushottam Mistry.
Tara Mandir Planetarium: All heavenly bodies like stars and planets are projected scientifically by special effect movies on an overhead round screen in a theatre and explained elaborately to the joy of the viewers.
Chowpaty: Porbandar’s coastal line is just half a kilometre away from the city. Popularly known as Chowpatty, it is one of the main attractions for the local population as well as tourists, to visit and enjoy the beautiful scenery throughout the year.
Bharat Mandir: Pictures, sculptures and symbols and portraying Indian culture and religion have been exhibited in this place. It is the mirror of Indian tradition.
Sudama Mandir: Do you know whose friendship is being recognized as the best example in the hearts of the Indians? Extremely poor but self-respected Sudama and Krishna’s friendship brings tears of joy, when remembered. It is in memory of this Sudama that a temple has been built in the heart of the city, known as Sudama Mandir.