Bhavnagar was founded in 1723 AD by Bhav Singhji, a member of the Gohil Rajput clan, which came to the Saurashtra coast from Rajasthan in the 12th century. It grew into one of the 15 richest princely states in India during the early-20th century. The Nilambagh palace hotel was built in 1859 AD as the Yuvraj bungalow (Residence of the crown prince) by a German architect, Mr. Simms, and became the royal residence.
The Nilambagh palace is set in 4,000-sq-ft of lawn and garden. The Pillared portico, stepped arches, pleasant centre courtyard, turning marble, staircase, the dinning hall furnished with European Chandeliers, Belgian mirrors, oil paintings and carved Burma teak furniture the lobby with it's king sized royal portraits, stuffed panthers and chandeliers and the historic library are some highlights of the property. The property is owned by the descendants of HH Bhav Sinhji and run by professionally qualified staff.
This old palace of Bhavnagar with arches and exquisite woodcarvings is an interesting piece of architecture.
This 1979-83 AD building was designed by Sir William Emmerson, the architect of Calcutta's Victoria Memorial and Bombay's famous Crawford Market.
A historic hilltop temple with great views over the cityscape to the Gulf of Cambay sea coast.
Barton Museum And Gandhi Smriti
This 1895 AD museum with collection of farming tools, beadwork, wood carvings, weapons, musical instruments and reminders of Mahatma Gahdhi's period as a student of Bhavnagar university is a must visit.
A former game preserve with interesting birds and some wild life including blue Bul Antelope, Hyena, Jackal, Monitor Lizard, etc. The marshes in the park attract many winter ducks. It's a great place for a walk from the palace.
Good bird watching spot specially for Ducks, Geese, Pelicans, Cranes and Wading Birds. Plovers and Terns nest on the island. The lakeshore Bhav Vilas palace, owned by a relative of the family, was the former club of the royal family with sports complex and hunting trophies.
Lock Gate Dock
A century old dockyard was one of the oldest operational dry docks in India, now used for shipbuilding.
A cluster of around 863 temples atop Shetrunjaya hills, Palitana has some splendid carvings, bejewelled statues, intricate architecture and great views specially at sunrise. The town below is known for textile bazaar and has some museum collections of Jain art.
Velavadar National Park (60-kms)
An extensive tract of grasslands, with some of India's greatest herds of Black Buck Antelope, Some Blue Bull, Wolf, Fox, Jackal, one of the world's greatest Harrier Roost and typical grassland birds.
Alang is one of the largest ship breaking yards in the world.
Talaja is another historic cluster of Jain temples on a hill.
This is the 17th century palace of the Maharajahs of Bhavnagar, with fine paintings and woodcarvings.
One can reach the palace quite comfortably as Bhavnagar has it's own airport and railway station and is well connected with all the important cities within the state.