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Morbi City Guide

"Where Kutch and Saurashtra meet"
DarbargadhMorbi was the capital of the former princely State of Morbi,ruled by the Jadeja Rajput clan. The house of Morbi claimed seniority over the Jadejas of Jamnagar and Kutch. The beautiful town of Morbi is located on the banks of the Machchu dam burst during heavy rains. The folk song, which predicted this tragedy, years before it happenned, is still sung by the bards of the region.

The prosperous city state of Morbi and much of the built heritage and town planning is attributed to the efficient adminstration of Sir Waghji, who came to the throne in 1879 AD and ruled till 1948 AD. Sir Waghji acted as a ruler, manager, patron and policemen of the state with great authority, always keeping the citizens' interests in mind. Sir Waghji, like other contemporary rulers of Saurashtra, built roads, Railway Network of seventy miles connecting Wadhvan and Morbi and two small ports of Navlakhi and vavania for exporting the state's production of salt and cloth. The railway station of Morbi is a beautiful example of Railway architecture, combining Indian and European architectural elements.

The most important buildings at Morbi are: Darbargadh, Mani Mandir, Wellingdon Secretariat, Suspension Bridge, Art Deco Palace and Lakhdhirji Engineering College.

Wellingdon SecretariatDarbargadh, on the bank of Machchu, is an orginal residence of Morbi rulers. It can be reached by crossing an imposing gate arcaded facade, Now it is the only heritage hotel at Morbi.

Mani Mandir is a temple situated in the courtyard of Wellingdon Secretariat. The images of Laxmi Narayan, Mahakali, Ramchandraji, Radha- Krishna and Shiva are worshiped in this temple. Mani Mandir is made out of Jaipur stone with excellent workmanship and exquisitely carved elements-arches, brackets, jalis,chhatris and shikhara. Wellingdon Secretariat is an excellent example of the application of principles of Rajput architecture by master craftsmen, at the turn of the century.

The Suspension Bridge, an engineeiring marvel built at the turn of the century, reflects the progressive and scientific nature of the rulers of Morbi. This was built to give a unque identity to Morbi using the latest technology available in those days in Europe. It is 1.25 m wide and spans 233 m on the Machchhu river connecting Darbargadh Palace and Lakhdhirji Engineering College.

Green Chowk is a town square approached by series of three gates. European town planning principles inspired the creation of these gates as landmarks in the town. The Nehru Gate is 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-storyed cast iron frame structure with a dome.

Railway StationArt Deco Palace (1931-44 AD)is a marvellous example of influence of last phase of art deco movement fo Europe, It is poetry in granite, a low two storey in banded horizontal fenestration, curves and bays, which resembles the London underground stations of Charles Holden. The palace has six drawing -rooms, six dining -rooms, and fourteen bedrooms. The decorated subterranean bedroom, with many erotic murals and a bathroom made from seashells are also noteworthy.

Lakhdhirji Engineering College is housed in Nazarbag Palace, a former residence of Morbi rulers. The other placesworth visiting at Morbi are: V C High School, main Railway Station and Nazarbag Railway Station.

Excursions:
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

Travel Information:
Air :
Nearest Airport is Rajkot (67 km),Ahmedabad (247 km)
Rail:
Nearest Railway Station is Wankner (27 km)
Road:
Rajkot (67 km), Ahmedabad (27 km)
Local transport:
Non-Metered Autorickshaws
Accommodation:
Various Local Guest Houses and the Heritage Hotal at Darbargadh
Food:
Various Local eating Joints



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