Bhavnagar used to be a thriving maritime port that enjoyed royal patronage of its dynamic Gohil Rajput rulers for over two centuries. Maharaja Bhavsinhji Gohil, its founding ruler, fostered the growth of art, literature and architecture; examples of which are seen across the city even today. Notably, Bhavnagar was one of the earliest towns in the state to have underground drainage and perhaps the first in the country to have a water filtration plant.
While visitors to Bhavnagar often opt to stay at the well known Nilambag Palace, the royal annexe Narayani Heritage Hotel which is just next door offers a similar, yet understated regal experience along with being lighter on the wallet. Its classic ‘Kathiawari’ atmosphere is marinated in a quaint, old world charm and elegance, making it equally attractive as an accommodation option. The architecture speaks volumes about the bygone colonial-era cottages that used to sport gabled tiled roofs, with rooms set around a spacious open inner courtyard with a stone fountain in the middle — all of it adding to its vintage allure. The air-conditioned rooms are large and well furnished while the suites have antique furniture and canopied four posters with en suite baths.Perhaps the biggest benefit of staying here is that guests can enjoy many of the privileges provided at the main palace such as cultural showcases, dining at the quaint coffe shop, working out at the well-equipped fitness centre or take leisurely laps in the lovely 1930’s arcaded swimming pool.
Alang (50 km) In its heyday, Alang’s Ship Breaking Yard was touted as the biggest in the world. Those interested in ships and maritime history may find it worth a look.
Velavadar (46 km) For a taste of wildlife, head to the erstwhile hunting grounds of the Maharaja, presently recognized as the Blackbuck National Park. The grassland forest offers ample opportunity to watch vast herds of blackbuck in their natural habitat.
Location: 170 km south of Ahmedabad
Contact Address: Narayani Heritage Hotel,
Near Vithalwadi Petrol Pump,
Nilambaug Circle, Bhavnagar
Tel: 0278-2424241, 2429323
The hospitable staff takes care of room service 24x7, do the laundry and arrange for round the clock travel.
Activities: Garden walk, birdwatching, tennis, swimming, Bird Song art gallery at Nilambag Palace, city sightseeing to visit famous temples, museums and Victoria garden. Excursions to Koliyak Beach (30 km), Blackbuck National Park in Velavadar (46 km), Gopnath Beach (75 km) and Nishkalank Mahadev can be arranged by cab.
Bhavnagar is served by flights from Mumbai. Bhavnagar railway station is well connected to Ahmedabad.