Mandvi is a small town visited by tourists from all over the world for the exquisite Mandvi beach – the town’s prime recreational and relaxation spot. Mandvi acts as an essential seaport, thanks to the strategic topography and rich history associated with the beach. As a tourist, you will find yourself completely mesmerized by the white sand beach that welcomes the crashing waves gracefully as the Rukmavati river bids adieu to India by dissolving in the mighty Gulf of Kutch.
The Mandvi beach is secluded and does not get overcrowded. It is a heavenly holiday spot for those looking to escape the humdrum of everyday life while they drink in nature at its finest. It is a laid back beach where you can affix a temporary cloth hammock from palm trees and enjoy striking sunsets colouring the sky red.
Because of its tropical climate and pleasant sea-side weather, the city of Mandvi was once the exclusive summer retreat for the Maharao, the King of the Kutch state of Gujarat. It was founded by Khengarji in 1580 but is mentioned in the Mahabharata. According to the Hindu epic, the seashore was named Mandvi after Mandavya Rishi who stayed here for a short while. Various historical scholars also associate the town with a sailor who guided Vasco da Gama on his tour to discover India.
The private, recreational vacation spot was trendy in the area even after the Mandvi fortress was built. This fortress was constructed to protect the city from invaders who could approach through the sea route. It mainly housed Kharva families who were experts in high-quality manufacturing of ships out of pure wood. This skill was of great use to businessmen and kings at the time, so they did not want to leave Mandvi unprotected. Raoshri Brahmalji was the King responsible for the 8 km long, 2.7 meters wide and 3 m high fortress that is mostly in its ruins now.
Mandvi beach’s location facilitates the presence of harbours and trade ports. This is why the beach was used extensively by ship merchants in the 18th century. According to various records, these merchants possessed close to 400 fleets and received regular shipments from the Middle-East, Europe, and Persian Gulf countries. Thanks to the flourishing maritime trade, state revenue for Mandvi was extraordinarily high, and it was said to be one of the wealthiest regions of India.
Today, the Mandvi beach does not stand guarded by the Mandvi fort. However, its walls are still visible to beach visitors from the periphery and add a regal look to the coastline. The soft white sands make for an excellent relaxation spot on the beach, but there is so much more than you can try here as a tourist.
At the Mandvi beach, there are plenty of opportunities for several thrilling activities. If you are an adventure-seeker, you have the option to enjoy the full range of water sports and beach activities. These include Water scooter, swimming in the ocean, parasailing, and banana boat ride. You can also try out zorbing, quad biking, motorbiking, dirt biking, horse riding and camel riding. Camel riding and horse riding will allow you to explore the Mandvi beach in its entirety with the tranquil sea waves kissing the white sands.
Camping is one of the most abuzz activities enjoyed by tourists who visit the Mandvi beach. There is a specialized camping getaway located right at the shores that will treat you to foamy waves throughout the day and a starry sky at night. To enjoy a fulfilling camping experience, you must go to the Vijay Vilas Palace on the beach. This palace is an intimate royal abode open that hosts very few guests. It has several marble fountains and water channels that beautify it. The excellent Rajput architecture is reflected in the tall domes and intricate decorative motifs on the walls of this palace. At the Vijay Vilas Palace, up to ten beachside camps are provided to guests. These are all air conditioned and offer a striking look at the beach tides. While camping, you can enjoy guided nature walks, birdwatching expeditions, beach football and beach volleyball. You can also try to organize an intimate picnic with friends or family, overlooking the azure waters of the Arabian sea while the gentle Mandvi sea breeze cools you down. For a luxe Mandvi beach camping experience, a visit to the Vijay Vilas Palace is a must.
Mandvi has been an active shipbuilding centre for centuries due to its apt location as a port. The shipbuilding industry still flourishes around the beach, and its operation is an exciting process to watch. If you are a fan of shipbuilding technology or are just feeling curious, drive past one of the shipbuilding establishments situated at the beach. You can also climb atop one of the ships to have an exhilarating moment.
Mandvi beach provides an unrivalled view of the Wind Farms beach, an exotic windmill farm that is said to have been Asia’s first wind electricity development project. Since the breezes are active in the region throughout the year, wind energy harnessing has been very successful in the area. As you gaze at the white windmills touching the skies and standing in a tight line, you will be left spellbound by the beautiful amalgamation of nature and technology that this place demonstrates.
As a tourist, nothing will appeal to you more than relaxing under crisp blue skies as the water washes your feet and you experience peace in its truest sense. Taking long beach walks could be relaxing or romantic for you. If you want to spend a relaxing time during the day, try sunbathing while watching the ocean being flocked with exotic migratory birds.
While on a beach vacation, take a quick detour to the following sites to inject your holiday with a dose of history, spirituality and culture.
This octagonal-shaped temple is devoted to 72 deris of Lord Mahavira. It is also called Adhiswara Bounter Jinalya Mahatirth. You can visit this place to explore Jain history and traditions and also enjoy a fulfilling vegetarian meal at its Bhojanalaya or the dining hall. Sprawled over 80 acres, this temple is a sight to behold.
Shyamji Krishna Varma was a revolutionary who propelled Indian education by establishing the India Centre in Britain to support Indian students heading there to study. He was born in Mandvi, and this memorial is a reminder of his glorious life and dynamic vision. If you enjoy learning about modern Indian history, this memorial will be a treat for you.
The longest of its kind, the Rukmavati Bridge is built over the gorgeous Rukmavati river that joins the Arabian sea at Mandvi. This bridge is a testimony to Indian architectural brilliance and is one of the best spots in Mandvi you can explore as a tourist.
One of the best traditional dishes that you can try in Mandvi is Dabeli. This dish originated at Mandvi surroundings and has now become a Gujarati staple. Other Gujarati recipes such as roti, sev tameta nu shag, Bataka nu Shaak, khichdi-kadhi, dal, curd, rice and vegetables are also available throughout the town. At the beach itself, you can try Tandoori street snacks and coconut water. Fine-dining options are not available in plenty around the city, but you will discover that the local joints offer different cuisines such as Chinese, Italian and Continental.
The sprawling white salt deserts of Kutch contains some of the best craftsmen in the world. You can experience their artistic experience yourself when you shop for handmade artefacts, embroidered textiles, local jewellery designs, bedsheets, jackets and sarees. You can also buy unique beach souvenirs, rugs, carpets and artwork.
An annual kite festival is organized at the Mandvi beach by the locals. This festivals host a fierce kite fighting competition and are a vibrant spectacle with the entire beach decked in colourful decorations. The Rann Utsav, Kutch’s trademark festival also finds the locals in an enthusiastic spirit as various music and dance festivals are organized to celebrate the great Rann of Kutch. Apart from this, festivals like Holi, Diwali, Navratri and Dussehra are prevalent in the region.
Since the nearest city to the Mandvi beach is Bhuj, you will have to travel to Mandvi via Bhuj.
Photography is allowed fully and freely at the Mandvi beach. However, you may face restrictions on mobile phone and camera usage within sacred or religious sites and museums. Some places levy a fee on mobile or camera usage. Check with the authorities for exact information before you head out to explore the city.
With a rich history of trade and culture, the Mandvi Beach is an intriguing yet secluded place that can make your next vacation a thing of dreams. You will be enveloped in the warm culture of the locals and the serenity of the environment as you relax on sandy beaches ensconced by lush greenery. Plan your next holiday to Mandvi for a holistic beach vacation.
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