Wankaner is a small city, which is situated in the Rajkot District, in Gujarat. It is located on the bend of Machchhu River. The name Wankaner is derived from the words wanka and ner, which in Gujarati language means bend and water stream respectively.
The city of Wankaner was ruled by the Jhala Rajput group until India got its independence in 1947. Till then, the city was also a princely state of Limbdi, Wadhawanand, Dhrangadhra of Jhalawad. Wankaner was founded by Sartanji in 1605 and was fortified in the late 18th century to protect against the neighbouring enemies and bandits.
Situated on a hill is Ranjit Vilas Palace, which was constructed and designed by King Amarsinhji. It took seven years to complete the construction of the palace, which began in 1907 and was fully completed in 1914. The king dedicated this place to Jam Ranjitsinhji of Jamnagar, who was his friend. Spread across a geographical area of 225 acres, this palace also houses a state guest-house and Chandra Bhavan.
Being a royal city, the palaces and hotels are beautifully decorated with swords, pistols, paintings, vintage cars, Italianate fountains and linen chests. Spiral marble staircase, stained glass galleries, furniture and chandeliers are the major attractions of these palaces and hotels.
Although the famous tombs and palaces of Wankaner have been turned into heritage hotels; however, their beauty has been maintained till now. Ranjit Vilas Palace and Jadeshwer Mahadev are the most popular tourist attractions of the city. Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti is celebrated in the region on 14th January every year. During this time, the city hosts the Kite Flying Festival.
The nearest airport to Wankaner is Rajkot Airport that is 50 km from Wankaner. Visitors can also reach Wankaner Railway Station, which lies on the Ahmedabad and Rajkot rail route. The State Transport Corporation and private buses operate buses from Kherva Bus Stop, which is located at a distance of around 18 km from Wankaner, connecting the destination to various parts of Gujarat.
The months starting from October to February are the best times to visit Wankaner. The climatic conditions during these months are pleasant and ideal for exploring the city.