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Gujarat Tourism – The Royal Town of Gondal

By Manoj

Gondal was once, one of the eight princely states of Kathiawar before Indian Independence. The rulers here had a fascination for cars due to which Gondal had the best planned road system in Gujarat at the time.

One of the places to visit in Gondal is the Riverside Palace, which was built by the king for his son Yuvraj Bhojraji and is now a heritage hotel. The antique colonial style furniture, chandeliers and other embellishments are worth seeing.

Other tourist attractions in Gondal include the Royal Garages, the Navlakha Palace, the Huzoor Palace, Akshar Mandir and more.

Navlakha Palace

Navlakha Palace

Navlakha Palace happens to be the oldest building in Gondal. A building of old world charm, it showcases wonderfully carved arches, attractive balconies, courtyards and lovely spiral staircases apart from housing an enticing private museum within. Present at the palace's durbar hall are some beautiful artifacts, stuffed wild animals, majestic wooden furniture and more. The private museum of the palace houses attractive silver boxes that were once used to carry messages and gifts to Maharaja.

Photo Courtesy: Bernard Gagnon

Dasi Jeevan Mandir

Dasi Jeevan Mandir

Dasi Jeevan Mandir is located in Ghoghavadar, 6 km ahead of Gondal and is the birthplace of the holy saint Dasi Jeevan. Every year, people gather here on the Gujarati New Years Day to celebrate Dasi Jeevan's birth anniversary.

Photo Courtesy: Bharati Dftari

Riverside Palace

Riverside Palace

Another place to visit in Gondal is the Riverside Palace, which was constructed by Maharaja Bhagawatsinhji for his son Yuvraj Bhojraji. Surrounded by a beautiful garden with exquisite seating arrangements, the palace was a majestic building that held everyone in awe. With the passage of time, much of its previous splendour was lost, until the Gujrat Tourism Board allowed this majestic palace to be converted into a deluxe heritage hotel.

Photo Courtesy: Bharati Dftari

Royal Garages

Royal Garages

The Royal Garages are a world famous tourist attraction in Gondal, thanks to the enticing collection of vintage cars owned by the royals. The rulers of Gondal were such car aficionados that their enthusiasm has resulted in a museum full of classic stunners on display here. Tourists come here to be amazed by the magnificent collection of cars and also to have themselves photographed with these timeless beauties.

Photo Courtesy: Bharati Dftari

Akshar Mandir

Akshar Mandir

Akshar Mandir, a place to visit in Gondal, is a famous shrine dedicated to Swami Gunatitanand. Akshar Deri, the Samdhi of the Swami, lies within the premises of the temple. Devotees visit the temple in large numbers to perform puja and pay their respect to the holy sage here.

Photo Courtesy: Chanchal Rungta

How to Reach Gondal

How to Reach Gondal

By Air: Rajkot has a domestic airport, and there are daily flights to Mumbai and Rajkot. The distance between Rajkot and Gondal is 39 km.

By Train: Gondal has a railway station that lies on the branch line between Rajkot and Jetalsar. Gondal can also be reached through the Rajkot railway station which lies on the Western Railway Ahmedabad-Hapa broad gauge line. There are trains available from Rajkot to important cities like Mumbai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Amritsar, Bhopal, Kolkata and Cochin.

By Road: Gondal lies close to Rajkot, which is well connected by road to various cities of Gujarat. There are various state transport buses that ply from Rajkot to its nearby cities and villages.

Photo Courtesy: Abhisek Sarda

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