At a distance of 42 km from Porbandar, Ghumli is a small village located near Porbandar, Gujarat. Known for its archeological ruins, it is one of the popular places of heritage in Gujarat and among the prime tourist destinations to visit near Porbandar.
Earlier known as Bhumli, Ghumli was the capital of Saindhava dynasty which ruled western Saurashtra from the middle of the 8th century to the middle of the 10th century. Later in the 12th century, Ghumli was declared as the second capital by Rana Shiyaji of Jethwa dynasty, who took the title of Rana of Ghumli. Ghumli remained their capital till 1313 CE when Rana Bhanji Jethwa was defeated at a war with Barmaniyaji Jadeja attacked and defeated Rana Bhanji Jethwa. He completely destroyed Ghumli and turned it into ruins.
Being the prosperous capital of Saindhava and then the Jethwa dynasty of Saurashtra, Ghumli is now an important and preserved archaeological site due to its architectural ruins. The Archaeological Survey of India and Government of India have initiated a number of efforts to restore the lost glory of the town. Built-in the 12th century by the Jethwa rulers, Navlakha Temple is dedicated to Lord Surya and is considered to be the oldest Sun Temple of Gujarat. The temple is built in Solanki style of architecture with entwining tusk of three elephants as a trade mark of the temple. As the temple was constructed at a cost of nine lakh, it was named Navlakha Temple.
Just outside the main temple, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh, popularly known as Ghumli Ganesh Temple. This temple is said to be built in the 10th century AD and was destroyed by Jadeja Jam Barmaniyaji when he attacked Ghumli in 1313 to take revenge of defeat of his father Jadeja Jam Unaji by Jethwa ruler Rana Bhanji in 1309. There are two step wells called Vikai Vav and Jetha Vav situated to the east of Navlakha temple. Vikai or Vikia Vav built by Jethwa ruler Vikiaji after whom it is named is the oldest and one of the biggest step wells of Gujarat measuring almost 60 by 40.5 Sq. m. The well has numerous flights of steps and string-coursed carvings. The entrance pavilions can still be seen standing intact at three places.
Ashapura Mata temple is little far westerly to Navlakha temple on a small hill summit. One need to climb approximately 700 steep steps to reach the temple. Vindyavasini temple is also on the same hill, located southerly to Navlakha temple. Trikamji Bapu Mandir is another place of interest, located further south. Trekking enthusiasts can consider trekking to the Barda hills to have a look at the wildlife sanctuary and a glimpse into the life of tribal communities like Maldhari, Gadhvi, Rabari, and Bharvad living on the hills.
How to get there
By Road: The city also has ample state and private bus services from major connections in the state.
By Rail: The city also has a railway station from major connections in the state.
By Air: Porbandar has a domestic airport which has reasonable connectivity to cities in India.