We were travelling to Somnath from Dwarka. Porbandar lies on the way. It’s a coastal city on the seashore between Dwarka and Somnath, where the River Asmavati meets the ocean. The city of Porbandar derives its name from ‘Porai’ and ‘Bandar’, which refers to the harbour of Porai, the local Goddess. The Indian mythology says its the birthplace of Sudama (a friend of Lord Krishna), hence its being referred to as Sudaamapuri or Sudamapuri. Sudama and Lord Krishna had studied together at the Sandipani Ashram in Ujjayini.
The discovery of ancient jetties along the Porbandar creek signifies the importance of Porbandar as an active centre of maritime activities in the past. Onshore explorations in and around Porbandar brought to light, for the first time, the remains of a late Harappan settlement dating back to the 16th – 14th century BCE, which is similar to that from Bet Dwarka. This is another evidence to suggest that the Harappan legacy of maritime activity continued till the late Harappan period on the Saurashtra coast.
Porbandar has evolved as one of the important industrial centres in the state of Gujarat though it still maintains the old city charm. It also houses a cement factory.
Porbandar is best known for being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, which is also a reason for the growth in Porbandar’s tourism. We visited his house and birth-place. Today also happens to be his birth anniversary. When we reached his house in the morning, it was being decked up. Durries etc were being brought in for the celebration in the afternoon. Only a few people were there then. We walked around the place and then went to the Sudama temple, also we had to reach Somnath.
The Sudama Mandir is a beautiful shrine dedicated to Sudama, the best friend and devotee of Lord Krishna. The temple, located in the center of the Porbandar city, is said to be the only temple in India dedicated to this ardent devotee of Lord Krishna.
There were many pigeons at the temple. Jaya fed bajra (pearl millet) to the flight of pigeons.
After praying at the temple, we proceeded towards Somnath.