The port of BHAVNAGAR, founded in 1723 by the Gohil Rajput Bhavsinghji, whose ancestors came to Gujarat from Marwar (Rajasthan) in the thirteenth century, is an important trading centre whose principal export is cotton. With few sights of its own, Bhavnagar does, however, boast a fascinating bazaar in the old city, and is an obvious place to stay for a night before heading southwest to the Jain temples of Palitana. For Gujarati industrialists, it serves as the jumping-off point for the massive, controversial and booming ship-breaking yard at Alang. The yard, where twenty thousand labourers work, has been off-limits to foreigners since Greenpeace red-flagged it for environmental damage, toxic spills and hazardous work. Bhavnagar has produced a string of artists and writers, notably poet Jhaverchand Meghani. Locals also claim to speak the most grammatically correct form of Gujarati.

The focus of interest is the old city, its vibrant markets overlooked by delicate wooden balconies and the pillared facades of former merchants’ houses. The marble temple, Ganga Devi Mandir, by the Ganga Jalia Tank in the town centre, has a large dome and intricate latticework on its walls, while the Takhteshwar Temple, raised on a hill in the south of town, affords a good view over to the Gulf of Cambay in the east.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In pictures: the little-visited treasures of South India

In pictures: the little-visited treasures of South India

After a week-long whistle-stop tour of central India's least-visited attractions, travel writer and photographer Lottie Gross shares her favourite photos. In…

07 Mar 2017 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Indian trains: a traveller's survival guide

Indian trains: a traveller's survival guide

The Himalayan Queen, the Grand Trunk Express, the Deccan Odyssey… the very names of India’s trains are evocative of timeless style and old-school adventure…

09 Feb 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month