Porbandar Knowledge Guide


Harappan settlement (1600-1400 BCE)

Onshore explorations in and around Porbandar brought to light the remains of a late Harappan settlement dating back to the 16th-14th centuries BCE. There is evidence to suggest that the Harappan legacy of maritime activity continued till the late Harappan period on the Saurashtra coast. The discovery of ancient jetties along the Porbandar creek signifies the importance of Porbandar as an active center of maritime activities in the past.Indian theology views Porbandar as the birthplace of Sudama, the friend Krishna. For this reason, it is also referred to as Sudaamapuri or Sudamapuri.

Princely Porbandar (1600 CE onwards)

Porbandar was the seat of the eponymous princely state in British India. In ancient times Porbandar was known to be Pao Bandar, due to its bread factories that used to export Pao ruti to Arab nations across Arabian sea. Colloquial changes in language results in name change to Pore Bandar Later the state belonged to the Jethwa clan of Rajputs and had been established in the area since at least the mid-16th century. The state was subordinate to the Mughal governor of Gujarat until being overrun by the Marathas in the latter half of the 18th century. After, they came under the authority of the Gaekwad court at Baroda and eventually of the Peshwa.

British influence

In common with the other states of Kathiawar, the state first came into the ambit of British influence in 1807, when the HEIC guaranteed security in the area in lieu of a fixed annual tribute to be paid to the Peshwa and the Gaekwad. In 1817, the Peshwa ceded his share to the HEIC; in 1820, the Gaekwad agreed to have the HIEC collect his due tributes in Kathiawar and remit the same to his treasury. During the British Raj, the state covered an area of 1,663 square kilometres (642 sq mi), encompassing 106 villages and a population, in 1921, of over 100,000 people. It enjoyed a revenue of Rs.21,00,000/-. By 1947, the rulers held the style of "Highness" and the title of "Maharaj Rana Sahib". They were entitled to a salute of 13 guns as a hereditary distinction.

After Independence

Upon the Independence of India in 1947, the state acceded to the dominion of India. It was merged with the 'United State of Kathiawar', effective 15 February 1948 and eventually came to form part of the present-day state of Gujarat. The last King of Porbandar was Natwarsinhji Bhavsinhji Maharaj.