About Halvad

Halvad

Halvad is a historical town located in the Morbi district in the state of Gujarat. Once it was part of Surendranagar district; but when Morbi district was carved out of Rajkot in 2013, Halvad was merged with it. Now it is the administrative headquarters of a taluka of the same name. More importantly, the town today represents the socio-cultural phenomenon typical of the Saurashtra region.

Geography of Halvad

Halvad is located at the coordination of 23.02° North latitude and 71.18° East longitude to the south of Little Rann of Kutch. The area has an average elevation of 46 meters (150 feet) and a flat terrain. The soil here is semi arid and yellow. This yellow soil gives off a yellow glow early in the morning. Samantsar Lake is a big water body located inside the town.  Two rivers that pass through this taluka are Kankavati and Brahmani.

Climate in Halvad

Halvad has a local steppe type of climate.  The annual rainfall received here is about 511 mm. Although most of the rain falls between June and October, the area experiences precipitations throughout the year. The maximum rain falls in July. May with an average temperature of 33.6 °C is the hottest month of the year while January with an average temperature of 19.1 °C is the coldest.

History of Halvad

History of Halvad

Halvad has a rich history dating back to the late fifteenth century.  For a brief period, it was the capital of the Jhala kings who migrated to this region back in 1479. Prior to that, they had their capital at Kuwa. Waghoji was the last king to rule from Kuwa.

In 1479, Kuwa was attacked by the Sultan of Gujarat and a bloody war followed. It was decided that the flag bearer would lower the royal flag only if the king died in the battle and if that happened the queens would kill themselves so as to avoid dishonor at the hands of the invaders. Unfortunately the flag bearer lowered the flag by mistake and seeing that the queens lost no time in committing Sati. When the king returned to the palace he was shocked to see all of them dead. He then went back to the battleground and fought until he died. The invaders ransacked and destroyed Kuwa. Fortunately his sons were saved and they began to look for a new capital.

Rana Rajdharji, the eighth son of king Waghoji, came to the region we now call Halvad. One day he went out hunting in the woods and began to chase a hare. At one point he was surprised to see the hare, instead of trying to flee, was actually confronting him. He soon realized that the place was protected by divine power and decided to build his capital there.

The new Jhala capital at Halvad was finally built in 1488 and Rana Rajdharji was crowned as the new king.  Unfortunately after his death his heirs began to fight over the throne. While the heir apparent to the throne died two of his sons escaped. They established their new capital at Wadhwan and Halvad became a part of Halvad-Dhrangadhra State.

Halvad remained the capital of this new Halvad- Dharangadhra state for few more centuries.  Later it was shifted to Dhrangadhra and with that the town lost some of its importance. Yet, it retained its old world charm. Its many temples, cenotaphs and the royal palace still tell us about the brave people who lived here centuries ago.

Tourism in Halvad

Indeed, Halvad has many places of tourist interest.  Visitors may begin their tour with a visit to Samantsar Lake. It is a huge lake, located in the middle of the town. Many of the places of historical interest are located on its bank. The Royal Palace is one of them.

Royal Palace in Halvad

Tourism in Halvad

The Royal Palace of Halvad is often referred as the EK Dandiya Mahal because of an octagonal tower located at the centre of its courtyard. The palace is a fine example of Rajput style of architecture. It uses a clever combination of sandstone and wood to create an enchanting effect. Wooden columns, friezes and jails add to the splendor of the place. 

The entrance to the palace compound is through a magnificent gate, which opens into a square courtyard. A two storied palace, decorated with beautifully carved columns, brackets, jails, and sit outs, is located around this courtyard. There is also the octagonal tower decorated with jharokhas located at the center.  From the top of the tower surrounding villages are easily visible. According to hearsay, at night the royal ladies sat behind those jharokas to enjoy the cool breeze blowing in from the lake. The palace compound also holds a Darbar Hall and a temple for the royal deity.  Today, the palace aso contains many government offices.

Temples and Dargahs in Halvad

Temples in Halvad

Halvad is surrounded by six Shiva temples, which are said to protect the residents from all evils and because of them the town is often referred as Chhota (small) Kashi. Among the six temples, Sharaneshwer Shiva Temple is located on the bank of the Samantsar Lake. There is step well inside this temple. Therefore, while you are visiting this temple do not forget to visit this vav.

Religeous place in HalvadAnother important place to visit along the bank of the Samantsar Lake is the Dargah of Moula Kazi. It is a place of pilgrimage, especially for the Dawoodi Bohra Community.

Other famous Shiva Temples, located around Halvad are Bhavani-Bhuteshwar, Gaulokeshwar, Shabaleshwar, Kashiwishvanath, Dholeshwar and Vaijnath. Among these temples, Bhavani-Bhuteshwar is dedicated to Bhavani Mata and Bhuteshwar Mahadev. They are located in the town’s cremation ground and are said to be 500 years old.Architecture of Gujarat

In addition, the town also has many Chhatris scattered all over. These are actually smaller than templesand usually have high plinths and corbelled roof in pyramidal shape. Many of them have beautifully carved columns

Cenotaphs in Halvad

The town also has many cenotaphs located in its fringes. They have been built in honor of those who died in wars and also for ladies who chose death over dishonor.  Today, newlyweds come here to seek their blessings and also to untie their nuptial knots.

Places to Visit from Halvad

Little Rann of Kutch, famous for its wild asses, is a good place to visit from Halvad. It is located at a distance of 16 km from the town. Apart from the wild asses the sanctuary is home to many other animals and birds. Because of its unique ecology, the area has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. Therefore, if you are in Halvad, you must take time to visit this place

Dharangadhra (32.1 km), Morbi (46.1 km), Wankaner (66.9 km) and Wadhwan (72.9 km) are few other historically important cities that you may also visit from Halvad.

Business and Economy in Halvad

Economy in Halvad

However, there is more to Halvad, than palaces and cenotaphs. Over the years, the city has become a center for trade and industry. In fact, Halvad has one of the biggest Market Yard in the entire Saurashtra region.

Crops Grown in Halvad

The Patel community, who migrated from Kutch, brought with them improved agricultural techniques. Now the area around the town produces huge quantity of high grade cotton. Groundnut is another important crop here. Kesar mango grown in this region is highly appreciated by the connoisseurs all over. In addition, one can find different types of crops such as mustard, castor, onion, watermelon, muskmelon, pomegranate, papaya, garlic, millet, jowar, tobacco being cultivated in the fields bordering the town.

Industry in Halvad

Industry in Halvad

In addition, the town has now become the center for cotton and salt industry. Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation has set up an industrial estate on GJ SH 7 just outside the town’s boundary. It houses many medium and small scale industries.

Among the bigger industries, we can name Astron Paper Board Mill. The mill is spread over 81 acres of land.  Among that, the constructed area is of 400,000 sq ft and the rest of the land has been dedicated to greenery. The pulp production capacity of the plant is 400 Ton per Day (TPD) and the Installed Machinery capacity is 250 TPD. It also has 3 MW Captive Power Plant (CPP)

Administration in Halvad

Since Halvad is a taluka town under Morbi District the District Collector of Morbi is the senior-most administrative officer of this region. Although he is posted in Morbi town, he can be reached through the following numbers:

Office phone no:  02822 - 240701
Fax No: 02822 - 241602     

However, the day today administrative work of the taluka is looked after by the Mamlatdar posted here. In case of any necessity you may call him at 02758-260031. The town also has a Municipal Committee to look after its civic needs and a Police Station to look after the law and order situation

The Police Station in Halvad is located near ST Chawk on Sara Road. In case of any emergency you may call either at 2758-261251 or at 2758-261100.

The post office in Halvad can be reached through 2758-260440.

Hospitals in Halvad

Hospita in Halvad
Source: Panoramio

Halvad is equally advanced in healthcare.  Following are some of the hospitals located in the town:

Government CHC Hospital

Sara Road, Halvad
Phone No: 2758-261525

Madhuram Surgical Hospital
MS Buiding, Station Road
Phone No: 2758-260500

Rana Nursing Home
Cinema Road, Halvad Bazaar
Phone No: 2758-261555

Krishna Maternity Home
Saranaka Chowk, S T Road
Phone No: 2758-261757

Banks in Halvad

Halvad is also offers adequate banking service. Most of the established banks of India have opened their branches here. Following are few of them:

Bank of Baroda (BOB)
Near Brahman Bhojanalay
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: BARB0HALVAD / 363012111 / HALVAD
Phone No: 02758-261261

Bank of India (BOI)
Post Office Road
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: BKID0002092 / 363013111 / 002092
Phone No: 02758-261202

Central Bank of India
Station Road
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: CBIN0283557 / NON-MICR / 283557
Phone No: 02758-260299

Dena Bank
Havad Chowk
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: BKDN0320256 / NON-MICR / 320256
Phone No: 02758-261449,

HDFC Bank
Bus Station Road
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: HDFC0002184 / 363240111 / 002184
Phone No: 02230751912/ 2041 / 2042

ICICI Bank
Near Shakti Takies
S B I Road
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: ICIC0001711 / 363229111 / 001711
Phone No: 9825406123

State Bank of India
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: SBIN0010969 / 363002111 / 010969
Phone No: IP 121215

Punjab National Bank
Station Road
IFSC Code / MICR Code / Branch Code: PUNB0793400 / 363024111 / 793400

Accommodations in Halvad

Accommodation in Halvad
Source

Halvad has few good hotels where you can put up. Most of them provide decent service at a reasonable cost.  Following are few of them:

Hotel Cross Roads & Guest House
Address: Crossroads Shopping Mall,
Sara Chokadi, Highway Road-Halvad,
State Highway 7,
Sardar Society,
City: Halvad,
Pin Code:  363330
Phone: 02758 291 113

Parishram Hotel
State Highway 7
City: Halvad,
Pin Code:  363330
Phone: 098254 15226

Pooja Guest House
Near Central Bank of India,
Station Road
Phone No: 9879949143

Hotel Visamo
State Highway 7
Shakti Nagar
City: Halvad,
Pin Code:  363330

Halvad at a Glance

It is to be noted that all these hotels offer vegetarian fare only. You will be disappointed if you look for non vegetarian items. Even roadside eateries do not sell anything other than fully vegetarian dishes; such is the culture of this town.

The town though small has quite a few shopping malls; Crossroads Shopping Mall and Octopus Mall are two of them. Both of them are located around SH 7.  In addition, it has many individual shops that all kinds of wares. Therefore, if you are here for a visit, do not forget to pick up some local handicrafts.

How to Reach Halvad

Transport in Halvad
Source

Halvad does not have any airport. If you are traveling by air, you must head for Rajkot and then travel by road to Halvad. The road distance between these two towns is 121.2 km

Halvad is connected to different parts of the state through a network of good roads. Gujarat State Highway 321 runs through the town from north to south while GJ SH 7 runs from east to west. These in their turn, are interlinked with other state and national highways, thus making an effective network.

Trains Passing Through Halvad

Halvad is also connected to the outside world through a network of railways. The railway station, coded HVD, is located in the Isanpur region in the northern part of Halvad. However, the traffic to this station is limited. Following are the pair of trains that stop at this station:

Train Name (Number):
Bhuj Bdts Express (19116)
Arrival: 01:56 hrs
Departure: 1:58 hrs
Working Days:  Daily

Train Name (Number): Kutch Express (19131)
Arrival:4:41 hrs
Departure: 4:42 hrs
Working Days:  Daily

Train Name (Number): Bdts Bhuj Express (19115)
Arrival: 253 hrs
Departure:  255 hrs
Working Days:   Daily

Train Name (Number): Kutch Express (19132)
Arrival: 23:29 hrs
Departure: 23:31 hrs
Working Days: Daily

Train Name (Number): Ala Hazrat Express (14311)
Arrival: 9:38 hrs
Departure: 9:40 hrs
Working Days: Thursday, Friday, Sunday

Train Name (Number): Ala Hazrat Express (14312)
Arrival: 16:22 hrs
Departure:16:24 hrs
Working Days:  Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday

Facts File of Halvad

Fact File on Halvad

Taluka: Halvad
District: Morbi
State: Gujarat
Coordinate: 23.02° North and 71.18° East
Elevation: 46 meters
Pin Code: 363330
STD Code: 2758

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