Mandvi Combination

Lala Bustard Sanctuary

This grassland 74-km north of Mandvi is a superbly maintained wilderness area. Abode of the endangered Indian bustard and the monsoon breeding area of the rare lesser florican, this grassland is also good for seeing Indian gazelle, Indian and desert foxes, jackal, the endangered Indian wolf and birds like the black francolin. The coastal marshes between the sanctuary and the fishing port of Jakhau (known for its excellent lobsters, crabs and pomfret) attract large flocks of flamingo. There is an excellent Forest Rest House at Naliya with attractive rooms and western baths but only Kutchi thalis are available at the nearby restaurants.

Jain Pilgrimage

Mandvi is an ideal base to visit the 72-Jinalaya, the Jain complex at Badreshwar, and the Jain temples of Naliya and Tera.

Hindu Pilgrimage

The shore temples of Koteshwar and Narayan Sarovar are among the westernmost points in India where tourists gathered to witness the last country’s last sunset during the millennium. Narayan Sarovar is one of the five major holy lakes of India like Mansarovar in the Himalaya, Pushkar in Rajasthan, Bhubaneshwar in Eastern India and Pampasarovar in South India. The fortified town of Lakpath near the border with Pakistan has a gurudwara believed to commemorate the place from where Guru Nanak embarked for Mecca. Ashapura Mata is an important temple near Narayan Sarovar.

Other Day Trips

Paragsar: An enchanting private preserve of the Maharao of Kutch with forests, orchards and a large lake where crocodiles, fresh-water turtles and storks can be watched from the shady embankments. The Samma village here is worth a visit.

Vithon Fossil Park: Mohan Singh Sodha’s private collection of fossils is an interesting mix of finds open for visitors for a fee. This includes petrified wood, fruits and vegetables some which date back millions of years, fossilised shells of crustaceans and a shark skeleton that ratify the marine past of the Rann of Kutch, dinosaur fossils, jurassic stone found from the ridges near Bhuj.

Banni Bird Sites: Drive to Nakhatrana from Mandvi through the grasslands and marshes of Banni, specially good for eagles and important stopover places for migrating birds.