Located 64 km from Rajkot is the town of Morbi with its quaint cobbled alleyways and buildings reminiscent of 19th century Europe. It was a Princely State ruled by the Jadeja clan of Rajputs until Indian independence in 1947. Morbi’s former ruler Sir Waghji inspired by Colonial influences designed a technologically planned and versatile city. Morbi is known as ‘Paris’ of Saurashtra in Gujarat state of India. It is fastest growing business hub of the state due to growth of vitrified tiles, mosaic tiles and such other industries in the belt. Thousands of labours get employment from this industry and live their life. It is also lifeline of Morbi city and without it, it can’t survive very well. There are a number of exciting things to do in Morbi. From historical sites to cultural attractions, explore the exhaustive list of all other local attractions in Morbi.
Read on to find out the top 8 tourist destinations in this ancient and mysterious city.
1. Mani Mandir
Mani Mandir is a stunning piece of temple architecture, situated in the courtyard of welling don secretariat. Built in 1935, this magnificent structure took shape in Jaipur stone, adorned with exquisitely carved elements-arches, brackets, jails, chhatris and shikhara. Built by Thakor sahib Sir Waghi to immortalize his love for a girl named “MANI” ,the building is a symbol of love that stands testimony to excellent workmanship. There are more than hundred and thirty rooms in the building, each one more beautiful than the previous. The temple was partially destroyed during the earthquakes in the last decade. But, the government is rebuilding the structure and it will soon get back its previous glory.
2. Green Chowk
Green chowk is a town square approached by a series of three gates. European town planning principals inspired the creation of these gates as landmarks in the town. The Nehru gate made out of stone using elements of Rajput architecture with central clock tower, while another one uses elements of western architecture and is capped by a three-storeyed cast iron frame structure with a dome. It is a chowk in green colour so it’s called the green chowk.
3. Julta Pul
Also called Hanging or Suspension bridge, this was built to give a unique identity to Morbi using the latest technology available in those days. It is a 1.25m wide bridge which spans 233m on the Machhu river, connecting the Darbargadh and the Lakhdhir ji engineering college. This bridge was built at the turn of the century and reflects the progressive and scientific nature of ruler of Morbi, Sir Waghji. It’s an attraction as the visitor is welcomed into the city through a grand suspension bridge, an artistic and technological marvel of that period.
4. Art Deco Palace
The art deco palace was constructed between 1931-1944, influenced by the European art deco movement. It is a two storey structure constructed using granite and is similar in architecture to the London underground station designed by Charles Holden. There are six dining rooms, six drawing rooms and around 14 bedrooms in palace and all are decorated with murals. The decorated subterranean bedroom, with many erotic murals and the bathroom made from seashells are also noteworthy. This palace is mainly famous for its marvelous architecture.
5. Lukhdhirji Engineering College
Also called LE College, this is one of the oldest engineering colleges in the country which was established by the Maharaja of Morbi to promote education in the state. LE College’s building is another example of European style old architecture. The late honourable His Highness Lukhdhirji donated his palace with 40 acres as land on bank of river Machhu for the purpose of this college. Now a days this institute is operated by the Gujarat technological university.
6. Nehru Gate
The earlier name of Nehru gate was Nagar Darwajain, where nagar means city and darwaja means door. Later the name was changed to “Nehru Gate” to pay respect to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The exotic gate comes with a central clock tower ,which still works and sounds a bell every hour. The gate is made out of stone and represents the Rajput architecture with central clock tower, while another one uses elements of western architecture and its capped by three-storyed cast iron frame structure with a dome. The gate is also a popular place in the city where thousands of people gather for shopping, get togethers and lots of other activities.
7. Darbargadh Palace
The Darbargadh palace , on the bank of the Machu, was the original residence of the Morbi rulers. It can be reached by crossing an imposing gate and arcade facade. This royal palace was converted into heritage hotel and opens for the public. It is masterpiece of architecture and a must visit in the city. This heritage hotel has all luxurious facilities with a river side view. The hotel stay is recommended for inbound travellers and off-beat heritage travellers.
8. Ranjit Vilas Palace
Ranjit Vilas Palace is famous for its beautiful architecture that is believed to be influenced by Mughal, Victorian, Gothic and Dutch styles. The palace houses a watchtower located on a hill. The palace was designed and constructed by Amar Singh Ji to be a lookout over the Wankaner town. The palace covers an area of 225 acres and houses a state guest house that is known as “Chandra Bhawan. The palace has a Mughal dome , Victorian style windows with stained glass, Gothic arches and a large central Dutch style roof. The palace house has a collection of weapons like daggers, numerous swords and shields along with a collection of vintage cars, stuffed animals, paintings and more things. The big attraction of the palace is Kathiawari horses. The palace has beautiful Italian style fountains and a three-storeyed step well.
Every year, thousands of businessmen visit this city owing to it being a business hub. Their trip is business as well as pleasure as they also want to see beautiful tourist attractions of the city in their spare time. Hopefully these places have tempted you enough to also plan a trip soon and explore all the delights this city has to offer.