Wankaner literally means a ‘bend on the stream’ in Gujarati language. It is a charming city situated along the bend of Machchhu River. Both Wankaner and Morbi are located at a close proximity to the City of Rajkot, Gujarat.
Wankaner has beautiful hills and makes for a perfect weekend destination for people staying at Rajkot.
Must See Places in Wankaner:The Royal Residency (Ranjit Vilas Palace):
The Royal Residency (Ranjit Vilas Palace): One of the most beautiful royal palaces in the country, this was the official residence of H.H. Amarsinhji, Maharaja of Wankaner (in the 20th century). The King named the palace after his close friend Ranjit Singh, who was the Maharaja of Jamnagar.
It was founded in 1605 by a grandson of Raj Chandrasinhji, the ruler of Dhrangadhra.
The Palace is a perfect destination to escape from the trappings of an urban life and embrace the majestic splendour of nature in its infinite glory.
The Royal Oasis: Designed and inspired by the European architecture, this place was the summer retreat for the kings and is now a fine heritage hotel. Perched atop the Gadhio hill, the hotel offers a captivating view of the surrounding environs.
The Royal Oasis is situated on the banks of the Machchhu Lake amidst a serene orchard of leafy trees, the warbling of birds and an atmosphere of cool, meditative calm.
You can take a village safari or visit the Victory tower. And the place also has an amazing collection of heritage cars to keep you enthralled. It also houses a grand indoor pool in the Art Deco style with an early twentieth century step-well located near the palace grounds. Wankaner reflects the hospitality and grandeur of old Kathiawar. Tariffs: Starts at 3500/- INR
For more details on the Royal Palaces of Wankaner CLICK HERE
Other places of Interest: Gayatri Mandir is located at the top of a hill and Hazrat Shah Bava Dargah Sarif and the Datar Dargah is a popular pilgrimage site for Muslims.
Wankaner is also popular for ceramic, vitrified tiles and mosaic tiles and there are many industrial units set up here.
Another interesting attraction is Mitticool, a factory of Mansukh Prajapati who has in recent years achieved popularity for his clay made inventions like refrigerator, clay water filter, clay non-stick pan etc.
Morbi is also known as ‘Morvi’ (the city of peacocks) and is located in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat and falls in the Kathiawar peninsula. Famous of its rich cultural and heritage buildings, Morbi has numerous architectural edifices worth seeing and the city is often referred as the ‘Parisof East’.
Morbi is an enchanting travel destination and a place where you will definitely feel like stepping back in time.
History of Morbi: The Kingdom of Morbi was established by Thakur Kayanji in 1698, who came here from Kutch fleeing from his own uncle who took his rightful throne at Kutch.
Recently on 15th August 2013, Morbi became a separate District and administrative headquarters.
The Morbi railway station combines Indian and European architectural elements. And interesting there are still steam engines plying between Gujarat cities from here. For more historical data of Morbi visit HERE
Morbi is nestled alongside the banks of River Macchu and is popular for its intricate mix of European and traditional Indian architecture. As soon as you enter Morbi via the famous Suspension Bridge over River Macchu, you are transported to a world of cobbled alleys and magnificent European and Victorian architecture.
Mani Mandir is located in the premises of the Wagh Mahal also called as the Wellington Secretariat. Mani Mandir is made out of Jaipur stone with excellent workmanship and exquisitely carved elements-arches, brackets, jalis, chhatris and shikhara.
It’s an example of fine architecture that incorporates Rajasthan style of architecture in its layout. There’s a Victoria Garden just opposite which is also worth a visit.
There are plenty of beautiful Temples in the city, that showcase the magnificent architecture and design. Rafaleshwar Shiva Temple is a must visit and houses 4 Shiva Lingams.
Another must visit place here is Art Deco Palace ((1931-44 AD) which has been mentioned in United Nations Archaeological Survey to have one of the best examples of Art Deco in the world.
It is a 2 storey building made of granite stones and is known for its horizontal fenestration, curves and bays.
The palace has a total of 14 bedrooms and 6 dining rooms, but the one to see here is a bathroom made of sea shells! Another interesting to watch out for are the intimate and erotic murals inside the bedrooms.
Built during 1931-44, the Art Deco Palace is a delightful place for historians, European Architecture lovers and ofcourse attracts tourists to its erotic murals and more.
Darbargarh Palace is located on the banks of River Macchu and was the official residence of the Rulers. It is today a Heritage Hotel and a Museum belonging to the Neemrana Group. Tariffs: 7000-9000 INR For more details CLICK HERE
Today, Sir WaghjiThakor’s grandson Shivam Thakor is still the Prince of the state and resides in the royal palace.
And unlike the rest of the cities, Morbi was planned and developed and interestingly influenced by Europe, it too has a town Square called ‘The Green Chowk’, that is located at its center and is approachable via 3 beautiful gates, Nehru Gate being the most significant one and was popularly called Nagar Dwar (City Gate).
Excursions from Morbi: Dhrangadhra (royal palaces) 75km, Wadhvan (Royal Palace, bazaar, step wells) 107 km, Halvad (Ek-dandia Mahal-Zalawzad Darshan, wooden palace, Cenotaphs) 48 km, Wankaner (Royal Palaces, step wells) 29 km, Maliya (Royal Palace) 32 km, Rajkot (princely architecture, Watson Museum, Rajkumar College, Ramkrishna Mission, Kaba Gandhi no Delo) 67 km
- Halvad has a yellow sandstone sand and during the sunrise/sunset, the place has a beautiful golden hue, worth watching. The town is also known as Chota Kashi, due to the many ancient temples it once had. Most of them now are in ruins due to reent earthquakes. From Halvad, you may also visit the Little Rann of Kutch. The famous Wild Ass Sanctuary is located just 20 kms from Halvad and is trhe entry to the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat.
Wall Clocks of Morbi:
Morbi is also popular for its Wall Clock manufacturing units like Samay, Sonera, Ajanta and Sonam to name a few.
All clocks are of high quality and designs are absolutely unique in style and form and shipments are even sold to Middle-East and East-Asia. Interesting there are more women workers than the men here!Eating Out in Morbi: While most of the cuisine is Gujarati & Rajasthani, there are many new outlets that offers a choice of eating multi-cuisine.
Pav Bhaji: Chatkazz
Chinese & Mexican: Shuv & Ladh Restaurant
Mughlai: Petals Restuarant
Bakery & Confectionery: New Mahesh Stores (Sardar Rd) & Muralidhar Stores (8 Kayaji Plot )
Chocolates & Biscuits: Patel Enterprises (8-A National Highway)
While in Morbi, do also eat the famous Morbi Halva, a cake like sweet halwa that is served in slices.
Places to Stay in Morbi:
Hotel The Grand Vaibhav: is a mid range place to stay and has good accomodation. Located on the 8-A National Highway on Lakhadhirpur Road. Tariffs: 3000-5000 INR
Avadh Hotel: is on the 8-A National Highway opposite Omkar Petrol Pump and has nice comfortable rooms for family. Tariffs: 1000-2000 INR
Adarsh Hotel: Located opposite Shakti Chambers on 8-A National Highway, this hotel offers decent accomodation. Tariffs: 500-1000 INR
For more stay options CLICK HERE
Road Distance Chart
- Wankaner to Morbi: 30 Kms
- Wankaner to Rajkot: 52 Kms
- Rajkot to Morbi: 64 Kms via Wankaner
- Bhuj to Morbi: 171 Kms
- Junagarh to Wankaner: 162 Kms
- Morbi to Modhera: 190 Kms
- Wankaner to Bhuj: 194 Kms
- Ahmedabad to Morbi: 200 Kms
- Morbi to Diu: 283 Kms
- Morbi to Somnath: 253 Kms
- Morbi to Rann to Kutch: 240 Kms
- Morbi to New Delhi: 1130 Kms
Nearest Airport: No direct flights but you a get flight to Civil Airport on regular basis.