Monday, December 27, 2010

Mundra

Mundra
Photos

Mundra
Another port town on the south coast of Kutch, Mundra was well-known for salt and spice trading in the past and now more for tie-dye and block-print textiles. The harbor is virtually unusable today, and only small local fishing craft navigate its silted waterways up the river.

The Mahadev temple has memorials to famous Mundra sailors, including some who advised the Sultan of Zanzibar and guided Vasco da Gama to India. Darya Pir, the patron saint of Kutchi fisherpeople, arrived here from Bukhara (now in Uzbekistan) in 1660. He was well-loved by the locals, introduced them to Islam, and they built the shrine that bears his name here when he died; this site still receives visitors of many religious backgrounds seeking blessings. The Mughal Emperor built a gate in his honor, which still stands and is known today as the Mughal Gate. Interestingly, the walls of the old city fortifications have a religious origin, as they were dragged from the ruins of the Jain city of Bhadreshwar.

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