Jamnagar, a city and also a municipal corporation in Jamnagar district in the Indian state of Gujarat, is an attractive settlement in this western state of India. Maharaja Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji built up this city in the 1920s, when the district was known as Nawanagar. The district lies just to the south of the Gulf of Kutch. Jamnagar and rose to prominence as Reliance Industries, India`s largest private company, established the world`s largest refinery near Moti Khavdi village. Jamnagar is also home to Essar Oil, another important oil refinery of India. Thecity is also known for boasting India`s only Ayurvedic University.
Jamnagar, historically called Nawanagar or the new city, was one of the most important princely states of Saurashtra and the Jamnagar district was originally constituted as Halar district that is not only recent in its origin but also in its modern set up. Jamnagar region comprised therein is of great antiquity and dates back to ancient periods of the city. According to Pauranik literature, Lord Krishna established his kingdom at Dwarka, now in Jamnagar district, after his migration from Mathura and it is to this great Yadava race that the Jams of Nawanagar sketch their descent. The founder of the princely state of Jamnagar was the Jam Rawal, who descended on the northern coast of Kathiawar in 1535 A.D. Jam Rawal`s father Jam Lakhaji ruled in Terabanu in Kutch. Nawanagar eventually came to be known as Jamnagar meaning the town of the Jams.
The city of Jamnagar has an average elevation of 20 metres (65 ft). Jamnagar boasts a picturesque lake called Lakhota Lake. Most residents of Jamnagar are Gujarati and speak Gujarati language. A small percentage of the population of Jamnagar speaks Kachchi language, which is written in the Gujarati script but is not mutually intelligible with Gujarati. Kathiawadi Language is widely used for day-to-day communication. Major communities in Jamnagar include Dawoodi, Bohras, Ahirs(Yadav), Patels, Bhanushalis , Rajputs (Darbars), Mers , Jains, Lohanas and so on.
Marine National Park, the only marine sanctuary of India is near Jamnagar. This city is well known for its four marble Jain temples, namely the Vardhman Shah`s Temple, Raisi Shah`s Temple, Sheth`s Temple, and Vasupujya Swami`s Temple. All were built between 1574 and 1622. Bala Hanuman temple in Jamnagar is also internationally famous and is listed in the Guinness book of world records for the incessant chanting of "Ram Dhun" since 1 August 1964. These temples of Jamnagar are quite ancient and archeologically important. There are many Shiv Temples, such as Badri kedar Nath and Nilkanth Mahadev Temle around the Town Hall and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple on the K.V. Road.
Jamnagar is one of the most economically significant cities of Gujarat and is known as `Oil City`, owing to the Reliance Industries and Essar Oil Ltd. It was earlier known as `Brass City`, the city housing more than 5,000 large scale and 10,000 small scale units manufacturing brass items in and around the industrial estates of Shankar Tekari, Udhyognagar, M P Shah Udhyognagar and Dared. Jamnagar has base stations of all three wings of Defence. Indian Air Force, Indian Army and Indian Navy all the three wings have their training and vast bases. Geographically Jamnagar supports all the arms of the defence as it has got sea for Indian Navy and strong Air Base including Army due to strategic location close to Pakistan. The prestigious Ranji and Duleep trophy of India are commemorated to the princes of Jamnagar. The first Indian to play international cricket was also from Jamnagar.
Old royal palace, religious shrines and picturesque locale lace Jamnagar whilst making it a noteworthy place to visit Darbargadh Palace or the Maharajah`s palace is the old royal residence of Jam Sahebs and the most important historical complex in Jamnagar. Reflecting the fusion of Rajputs and European style of architecture, this semi- circular palace complex consists of a number of buildings with very fine architectural features and detailing. The palace boasts some fine examples of stone carvings, wall paintings, fretwork jali-screens, ornamental mirrors, carved pillars and sculpture.
Dhanvantri Mandir (Ayurvedic University) is another attraction of Jamnagar. It was built under the personal supervision of Dr. Pranjivan Manekchand Mehta, Chief Medical Officer of Guru Govindsingh Hospital. The Ayurveda University has a good library, workshop and been a place of research and international seminars on Ayurveda. Jam Shri Ranjitsinhji built solarium or the Ranjit Institute of Poly-Radio Therapy. This slowly revolving tower provides full daylong sunlight for the treatment of skin diseases. Bhujio Kotho enjoys a distinct place among the tourists because of its massive height and circumference. It is located on the bank of the Lakhota Tank, near Khambholiya Gate.
Shantinath Mandir, situated in Jamnagar is a popular tourist attraction. It has intricate carvings and the walls are adorned with fine murals, which depict the life of Jain saints. The floor of this temple is made of marble and decorated with distinctive Jain patterns in yellow, black, white and red. Vardhman Shah`s Temple is a popular Jain temple in Jamnagar. The foundation stone of this shrine was laid in 1612, during the reign of Jam Jasaji I and was completed in 1620. Fifty-two very small temples or `Deri` were built around the temple in 1622.