“Mandvi is a beautiful Sea Bank of Kutch.”
This little town is a major shipbuilding yard – but the boats being built here aren't modern metal creations. Instead, hundreds of men construct, by hand, giant wooden dhows for faraway Arab merchants, and watching the creation process, with its rhythmic sawing, sanding and cutting, is fascinating.
It was an important port of the Jadeja Rajputs, who claim descent from Lord Krishna. They are said to move to Sindh when Krishna’s capital, Dwarka, was submerged by the sea. During the days of sail, Mandvi prospered and was known for its superb sailors. Ocean-going merchant vessels of Mandvi travelled between Zanzibar in Africa and Calcutta in eastern India via the ports of Arabia, Persian Gulf and the western coast of India, trading cotton, rice, salt and pottery of India for ivory, cloves and rhino hide from Africa.
The Mandvi town itself is quite attractive. The heart of the town is lined with beautiful old buildings in faded pastel hues and temples with wildly sculpted, cartoon-like facades. There are also some sweeping beaches, including the glorious, long, clean private beach near Vijay Vilas Palace, and public Kashivishvanath Beach, with food stalls and camel rides, 2km from the centre just east of the Rukmavati River.
October to March is the best time to visit Mandvi and Great Rann of Kutch.
- October - March