FOUNDED BY a local prince, Jam Rawal, in 1540, Jamnagar’s old walled city is dominated by the Lakhota Fort, the original seat of its rulers, and the Ramnal Lake which surrounds it. The fort was badly damaged during the earthquake in January 2001, though visitors are still allowed inside. The museum in the fort has fine sculptures from nearby excavation sites, dating from the 9th to 18th centuries. Close by is the Kotha Bastion which once stored the rulers’ arsenal.
In the heart of the old town is the circular Darbar Gadh where the Jamsahebs (as the rulers were called) held public audiences. This structure was also damaged heavily in the 2001 earthquake, but the ground floor is safe for visitors. The lanes leading off from here are worth exploring as the city is famous for its tiedye fabric and silver jewellery. In this area are two Jain temples, the Shantinath and Adinath Temples, entirely covered with mirrorwork, gold leaf, murals and mosaics. Close to them is the 19thcentury Ratanbai Mosque, its doors inlaid with motherof- pearl. In the early 20th century, Jamnagar was ruled by the famous cricketer KS Ranjit Sinhji (r.1907-33). The city acquired several elegant public buildings and parks under his able administration.
ENVIRONS: The Marine National Park, in the Gulf of Kutch, is 30 km (19 miles) from Jamnagat. An archipelago of 42 islands, the park’s rich and diverse marine life is best viewed front the tranquil island of Pirotan.