veraval

Veraval is a Municipality and the headquarters of Gir Somnath district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is 6 km from Somnath.

Veraval was founded in 13th or 14th century by Rao Veravalji Vadher, a Rajput. Veraval was once a fortified port town of the royal family of Junagadh. It was a part of the Kingdom of Junagadh till 1947 when Junagadh was merged with India. The city still bears some remnants of the old Nawabi heritage, the beautiful Nawabi summer palace being among them. There are ruins of the old Nawabi fort and Nawabi Gates in and around the place. The old walls of the port are now ruined, but the impressive Junagadh gate and the Patan gate are still seen, but are in a very bad state.

The Nawabi Palace with gothic features which is one of the main attractions. It is popularly known as Somnath College (the palace was converted into a college after it was abandoned by the Nawab). At present it is the building of a Sanskrit university. The town is often known as the gateway to the magnificent temple of Somnath and the pilgrimage centres of Prabhas Patan and Bhalkha. Veraval is also the nearest town to the Gir National Park (42 km away).

Before the rise of Surat, Veraval was the major seaport for pilgrims to Mecca. Its importance now is as a fishing port, one of the largest in India. Sea going dhows and wooden fishing boats are still being built by the Fishermen’s without the use of any Hightech Machines. Traditional skills are passed down from father to son. About 25 km from the veraval a historical place is located at Savani village.

As of the 2001 India census, Veraval had a population of 141,250. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Veraval has an average literacy rate of 62%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 71%, and female literacy is 53%. In Veraval, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.