Wankaner derives its name from the geographical feature
related to the location of the town: 'Wanka' means a bend and 'ner' means
water stream in Gujarati. Wankaner literally means a bend on the stream
and it is located on the bend of the Machchhu River.
The Jhala Rajput clan ruled Wankaner, th e capital of the former princely state of wankaner, till indian independence in 1947 AD. It was one of the four princely states of Jhalawad, other three being Wadhvan, Limbdi and Dhangadhra.
Sartanji founded the princely state of Wankaner in 1605 AD
and the town was fortified in the late 18th century for protection against
the bandits and neighbouring enemies. King Amarsinhji, a noble ruler, who
made Wankaner a rich city-state, ruled Wankaner up till 1947 AD.
Under the patronage of Amarsinhji, 5 palaces and many bungalows were built and named after the rulers of the princely states of Kachchh, Rajkot, Mayurbhanj and Jamnagar.
Wankaner was among the first few royal families of India to convert their palaces into Heritage Hotels, which have guestrooms, maintained in the original royal style.
Vilas Palace: Amarsinhji built the Ranjit Vilas Palace on a hill,
overlooking Wankaner town. It took seven years to complete and was
designed by Amarsinhji himself. It was inaugurated by and named after his
dear friend Jam Ranjitsinjhi of Jamnagar.
The ground of the palace extends to two hundred and twenty five acres. The state guesthouse, Chandra Bhavan is also located in the same campus in the vicinity of the Ranjit Vilas Palace.
Step Well: Wankaner also has a step well, the last one to be built in Gujarat. In the Royal Oasis complex, the 3-storeyed step well, has 2 underground floors with cool subterranean marble rooms, fine sculptures and a fountain.
Morbi: 27 kms. Among
the places worth seeing in Morbi has Green Chowk, Darbargadh, Art Deco
palace, Wellingdon Secretariat, railway station, Nehru Gate and
Lakhdhirjee Engineering College.
Halvad: (75 kms) Halvad is famous for Ek-Dandia Mahal, Wooden Palace, cenotaphs of warriors, step wells and the Shiva temples.
Air: Nearest airport in Rajkot
(53 km), Ahmedabad
Rail: Wankaner city is on Ahmedabad-Rajkot railway line.
Road: It is connected to nearby cities by road.
Local transport: non-metered auto rickshaws.
Accommodation is available in several local guest houses and heritage Hotels such as Royal Oasis and The Residency.
Rajkot: 53 kms.
Ahmedabad: 220 kms.