Founded in the year 1724, Bhavnagar, today, is an important industrial hub of India. It has always been a flourishing city, due to its closeness to the sea. While the city has always been an important centre of trade and commerce, it is also home to some intriguing temples, iconic museums and several nature parks and wildlife reserves.
A must visit by history lovers; there’s an incredible lot to see and do in Bhavnagar. The city is home to the rather old Barton Library, Barton Museum and Gandhi Smriti, an important Gandhian institution founded in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1948.
The majestic attraction of Nilambagh, once the residence of the erstwhile rulers, has now been converted into a hotel property with a great banquet hall and dancing peacocks in the garden.
The 19th-century Takhteshwar Temple, located on top of hillock, and made completely of pure marble, is an attraction one cannot miss at any cost. The temple offers breath-taking panoramic views of scenic surrounding. Other temples that command a visit in Bhavnagar are: Khodiyar Mandir, Aksharwadi Temple, and Shri Adishwar Temple.
Bhavnagar is also just the right place for wildlife enthusiasts. To explore nature in its most pristine form, head north of Bhavnagar, to the 36 sq. km. flat grassland of Velavadar National Park, home to over a 1,000 blackbucks. A walk through the park is also said to afford glimpses of hyena, wolves and nilgai.
Gaurishankar Lake, from where the city gets its water supply, is a picturesque picnic spot, as is Victoria Park, a protected tropical forest, only a few hours from the teeming metropolis. A visit to them both is highly recommended; especially if you love nature walks.
For discerning travellers, Bhavnagar is also a convenient base for exploring the magnificent temple town of Palitana. This pilgrimage town, about 51km from Bhavnagar, is an important site in Jain history. It is basically an extraordinary cluster of 1008 temples all over Palitana Hill; an architectural marvel in its own right.