Mandvi, a port city in Kutch, is famous for its beaches, palace, temples and centuries old ship building yard. It used to be a walled city at one point; the ruins of which can still be seen when you drive around. It’s a good half day trip from Bhuj, and a complete delight for anyone interested in history and culture.

Mandvi is famous for its 400 year old ship building industry and the craftsmen who use traditional techniques to build ships for domestic and international clients. On the banks of Rukmavati river,  you can visit an active ship building yard where you’re free to watch them work. If you have never seen ships being built, this will be an extraordinary experience for you.

For those who’re a bit of a history geek, Vijay Vilas Palace is one of the must visits. Built in 1929 by Rao Vijayrajji, the well-maintained palace is often used for filming Bollywood scenes. It is built in red sandstone in Rajput style – with a main central dome and Bengal domes at the sides, bastions at the corner, and coloured glass windows all over. The balcony at the top affords a superb view of the surrounding area, and the king’s tomb can be seen from here.

Gujarat has a distinct food culture – remember to try their indigenous double roti dish called Dabeli. Also, the bandhani market here has some of the most glorious colours and designs, a must visit if you want to shop.

Mandvi is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Gujarat. Mandvi beach attracts hundreds of travellers every day; the sand does not stick to the feet here and the water is crystal clear and cool. You can sit and watch the windmills and birds in action or even  take a short camel ride along the beach. Another major attraction just 10km from Mandvi is the 72 Jain Temple Complex where there are 72 different shrines for the pilgrims. The nearest airport from here is in Bhuj, about 50 -60km away.