Once an international port and princely state capital, Porbandar is inextricably associated with Mahatma Gandhi, who was born here in 1869. Popularly known as Mahatma (Sanskrit for ‘great soul’), Mohandas Karamchad Gandhi was one of the founding fathers of the modern Indian state and an influential advocate of Satyagraha (non-violent protest) as a means of revolution. He helped bring about India’s Independence from British rule, inspiring other colonial peoples to work for their own independence.
Gandhi’s principle of Satyagraha, often roughly translated as ‘pursuit of truth’, has inspired generations of democratic and anti-racist activists. His simple values were drawn from traditional Hindu beliefs - truth (satya), and non-violence (ahimsa). Assassinated in 1948, his values and beliefs are still revered in our changing world.
In ancient times, Porbandar was called Sudamapuri, and there was once a flourishing trade route between here and Africa and the Persian Gulf. The Africa connection is apparent in the number of Indianised blacks, called Siddis who are descended from this period in history. Porbandar is also where most of Gujarat’s Diaspora originates and where many non-resident Indian’s from the UK, Canada and East Africa often return to visit family and friends. Kirti Mandir is the memorial erected to Mahatma Gandhi and his wife, in the 1950s, which also offers some photographs and a small bookshop. Next-door is Gandhi’s actual birthplace, a 3-story 300-year-old house, which is mostly empty. The former Maharajas’ palaces can be seen near the Chowpatty seafront.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Porbandar, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to India
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