Morvi, also known as Morbi is both a city and a municipality in the district of Rajkot, in Gujarat. This town is located on the banks of the river Machhu, which is 60 km from Rajkot in the Kathiawar Peninsula. Earlier the Jadeja clans of the Rajputs ruled this princely state until the independence of India in the year 1947.
Sir Lakhdhiraji Waghji ruled this town from the year 1922 to the year 1948 and till date, he is accredited for the town planning and heritage architecture of the buildings. He ruled the town by fulfilling multiple responsibilities of a ruler and police officer at the same time. Some of the contributions by him to the town of Morvi include roads and the railway network of 70 miles that connects Morvi with Wadhvan and the small ports of Navlakhi and Vavania.
This railway route was used to transport salt and cloth produced here to different areas of the town. The railway station here was built with an architecture combining both the Indian and European styles. Some of the popular and important buildings of Morvi town include Mani Mandir, Wellingdon Secretariat, Suspension bridge, Art Deco Palace and Lukhdhiriji Engineering College.
Morvi is popular for its exports of grain and cotton. Apart from these products, Morvi is known for ceramics and roofing tiles that have resulted in the establishment of many ceramic industries. Currently, Morvi contributes to 80% of the countrys total ceramic production. There are more than 500 ceramic establishments within Morvi town at present.
Darbargadh, which is located on the banks of the River Machchu, is regarded for its ancient history because it was the original residence of the early rulers of Morvi. Presently it has been converted into a heritage hotel. The Suspension Bridge on the Machchhu River is 1.25 m wide and 233 m in length, and connects Darbargadh Palace and Lakhdhirji Engineering College.
Other than this, the Mani Mandir, built in the courtyard of Wellingdon Secretariat, is an ancient temple that was built using Jaipur stone, featuring unique artistry in the form of carved elements: arches, brackets, jalis, chhatris and shikhara. In this temple, the images of Narayan, Mahakali, Ramchandraji, Radha- Krishna and Shiva are worshipped.
Green Chowk is a famous town square having three gates that are landmarks in Morvi. The Nehru Gate is popular for its Rajput architecture and another gate is inspired by western architecture. The Art Deco Palace is a reflection of the final phase of the European art deco movement and is similar to the London underground stations of Charles Holden.