|Kandla Port||Positioned on the Kandla Creek of the Gulf of Kutch and located at the distance of just 20 kilometers from Gandhidham|
|Gandhi Samadhi [Memorial]||Located at Adipur approximately 7 kilometers from the Gandhidham Railway Station|
|Purneshwar||Situated at the distance of about 25 kilometers from Gandhidham in Kutch District ranges|
|Jesal-Toral Samadhi, Anjar||At Anjar approximately 15 kilometers away from Gandhidham|
|Wild Ass Sanctuary||Positioned in the northwestern part of Gujarat|
|Khavada||Located in the province of Bhuj in Kutch District|
|Bhuj||Located just 57 kilometers from Gandhidham|
|Dholavira||Stationed about 130 kilometers away from Gandhidham|
Kandla Port, positioned on the Kandla Creek of the Gulf of Kutch and located at the distance of just 20 kilometers from Gandhidham is one of the leading sea ports of the state of Gujarat that serves western India. Functioning as a natural deep-water harbor since 1930s, Kandla was constructed as a full fledged port in the year 1950 following the Partition of India as a substitute to the Karachi Port that went to Pakistan. KASEZ (Kandla Special Economic Zone) established in 1965 AD happens to be the first special economic zone of Asia and the biggest multiple-product SEZ of the country. Well equipped with 11 dry cargo berths, 6 oil jetties, 1 deep draft and 4 cargo moorings, loading and unloading facilities, 70 licensed private barges, decent storage capacities, 2000 kv standby power and well developed road and railway network, Kandla Port is now regarded as India’s thriving hub of oil import and grains export. Commended as a self sufficient port, Kandla Port is honored to be one of the highest earning ports of the county. Some of the key imports that enter the port of Kandla include chemicals, petroleum and steel and iron machinery. Additionally, this port also handles textiles, salt and grains. The tropical cyclone that hit the Kandla Port in the year 1998 proved to be pretty lethal for this region, but the port as well as Gandhidham city quickly recovered its older statuesque. Kandla Port is one of the must visit destinations near Gandhidham and one really cannot call it a trip without paying a visit to this booming harbor of India.
Gandhi Samadhi [Memorial]
The port city Gandhidham receives its name after the name of Mahatma Gandhi; the father of the Nation. After the assassination of Gandhiji in 1948 AD, the holy ashes of this demigod of India were brought to Gandhidham by Acharaya Kriplani and Bhai Pratap Dayaldas and immersed in the Kandla Creek on 12th February 1948. Later, the sacred mortal remains of the ‘Rashtrapita’ were buried at Adipur of Gandhidham and a Samadhi memorial was erected over it in 1954 AD. The Gandhi Samadhi of Adipur is an impressive dome shaped cenotaph decorated in beautiful red and white colors and ornamented with a gracefully landscaped garden. The last words of Mahatma Gandhi; ‘He Ram’ are engraved upon the Samadhi memorial. The Gandhi Samadhi of Gandhidham happens to be the only second place after the Rajghat Samadhi of Delhi where the ashes of Gandhiji are enshrined. SRC (Sindhu Resettlement Corporation) that executed the project of establishing Gandhidham also looks after the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. This mausoleum located at Adipur approximately 7 kilometers from the Gandhidham Railway Station is a worth visiting place where one can offer homage at the feet of the ‘Father of the Nation’ for his incomparable and unforgettable contribution in building India.
Purneshwar Temple, situated at the distance of about 25 kilometers from Gandhidham in Kutch District of the state of Gujarat is an ancient shrine estimated to be dated back to 9th or 10th century AD. Highly venerated amongst the Hindus and Jains, this age old temple still retaining all its old world grandeur and splendor, sings the sagas of the luminous heritage of the ‘Garvi Gujarat’. Raised atop an elevated platform and built in the shape of a ‘Chhatri’ this temple is crowned with an imposing cupola supported by intricately carved pillars. The most remarkable feature of the Purneshwar Temple of Gandhidham is its dexterously carved sculptures and elegantly portrayed images. A high flight of stair leads us to the doorways of the Purneshwar Temple.
Bhadreshwar Temple of Gandhidham acclaimed amongst the foremost Jain pilgrimage destinations sited in the state of Gujarat is one of the most notable religious locales praised for its grand spiritual, historical and architectural legacy. The term Bhadreshwar can be interpreted as the ‘Lord of Well Being’. Accredited for its magnificent architecture, this temple of Lord Bhadreshwar festooned with numerous brilliantly carved pillars is entirely built in spotless and sparkling white marble stone. As the legend goes, this temple was founded nearly 2500 years ago just after 45 years of the ‘Mahanirvana’ of Lord Mahavir; the 24th Teerthankara of Jainism. Even though, no evidences are found that would actually support this anecdote. 52 miniature shrines are founded encompassing the main central shrine of Lord Mahavir wherein various Jain Teerthankaras are seated. One of these 52 shrines houses the original idol of Lord Parshavanath; the 23rd Jain Teerthankara which is supposed to be dated back to 500 BC. The central shrine of Bhadreshwar Temple is designed and built in such as way that the presiding deity of the sanctuary is clearly visible both from the ground floor as well as the first floor. The Bhadreshwar Temple of Gandhidham highly frequented by the Jain devotees also provides shelter to the Jain pilgrims where they can spend night in the vicinity of Lord Mahavir.
Jesal-Toral Samadhi, Anjar
The Jesal-Toral Samadhi located at Anjar approximately 15 kilometers away from Gandhidham is one of the most revered historical sites of the Kutch District greatly frequented by the locals as well as the pilgrims from every corner of the country. Positioned close to the Ajepal Dada Mandir in Anjar, the Jesal-Toral Samadhi is a blessed mausoleum where the mortal remains of Jesal and Sati Toral lay buried. As per the prevalent legend and the available inscriptions Jesal was an infamous bandit who was turned to spiritualism by Devi Toral; a contemporary lady sage. About 500 years ago both Jesal and Toral took live Samadhi at Anjar which is now held in high esteem and worshipped as a pilgrim destination by the natives of Kutch.
Wild Ass Sanctuary
The Little Rann of Kutch positioned in the northwestern part of Gujarat and covering the approximate geographical area of 5000 sq km was declared an Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary in the year 1972. The Little Rann of Kutch happens to be the last natural habitat of the Indian Wild Ass i.e. Equus Hemionus Khur; one of the three surviving species of the wild ass in the whole world. The other two are found in Central Asia and Tibet and are at the top grade in the list of highly endangered animals. Apart from the Indian Wild Ass, this sanctuary provides a protected home to about 350 distinct species of avifauna including pelican, the common crane and the lesser flamingo. During the winter months migratory birds such as blue-tailed bee-eater, demoiselle crane, cernuous vulture, houbara bustard and many others alighted here all the way from Europe, Siberia, Egypt, Iran and Iraq add to the glory of this asylum. The most noteworthy wildlife sighted in the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary apart from the wild ass comprises jackal, desert fox, desert cat, chinkara, nilgai, caracal, wolf, striped hyena, blackbuck, etc. The flora found in the Little Rann of Kutch mainly contains dry thorny scrubs and various species of grasses eaten by the wild Asses. A safari through this wildlife sanctuary offers a rare opportunity to spot the variety of birds and animals and also witness the lifestyle of local tribes like Bharvads, Rabaris, Bajanias, Kolis, Kutchis, and Gujjars etc from close quarters.
Khavada, a small village located in the province of Bhuj in Kutch District has earned fame as a leading tourist destination owing to its flourishing local industry of handicraft items. The village is inhabited by dexterous potters and leather craftsmen who manufacture exquisite hand crafted articles and pottery items. Khavada is renowned far and wide for its ajrakh block printing and other artifacts. The KMVS office located in Khavada is the best place to buy the embroidered handmade dolls and other textile goods fabricated by the local women. Khavada is the last village of Kutch which is positioned just 30 kilometers away from the Indo Pak border. An additional attraction of Khavada is that is also serves as the departure point to the world’s largest flamingo colony where about half a million flamingos stop over on the way to their migrations every year.
Bhuj , the district headquarters of the Kutch district is located just 57 kilometers from Gandhidham. Founded by Rao Hamirji in 1510 AD and declared the state capital by Rao Khengarji I in 1549, Bhuj is today distinguished on the state tourism map for its one of the earliest Swaminarayan Sampraday Temples and its widely known wildlife sanctuaries. Some of the most noteworthy wildlife sanctuaries located around Bhuj include Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Chari-Dhand Wetland Conservation Reserve and Banni Grasslands Reserve. Bhuj is also a famous destination for shopping Kutchi embroidery work and beautiful Kutchi handicrafts. Apart from that, Bhuj also earned fame as the location where a number of popular Hindi films like Refugee, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Lagaan etc where shot. The devastating earthquake of January 2001 caused unimaginable damage and a great loss of life, but now they have recovered from it quite very well.
Dholavira, stationed about 130 kilometers away from Gandhidham is an archaeological site of world renown which contains the ruins of an ancient Harappan city. Commended as one of the largest and most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization, this site is supposed to have been populated since 2650 BCE. Discovered by J. P. Joshi in 1967-68 AD, Dholavira happens to be the fifth largest Harappan site unearthed in India. The excavation that was undertaken at Dholavira has discovered the evidences of ancient sophisticated urban planning and architecture including castle, gateways, street system, wells, built-up areas, large open spaces, defense-work, etc. Moreover, other things unearthed here include a large numbers of antiquities like pottery pieces, gold, silver, terracotta ornaments, rings, bangles, beads, terracotta seals, intaglio engravings, vessels linked to Mesopotamia, animal bones and inscriptions found on copper tablets and bronze implements as well as small items made from stone, terracotta and faience.