Porbandar district is a district of Gujarat state with its administrative headquarters located at Porbandar city. During the British Raj in India Porbandar was the seat of the eponymous princely state. In ancient times the place was popularly known as Pao Bandar, since there was a number of bread factories that used to export “Pao roti” to Arab across the Arabian sea. With the passage of time some changes in the language led to the change in its name to Pore Bandar. At that time Jethwa clan of Rajputs was the ruling family of the state. Then the place came under the control of Mughal governors but in the mid of 18th century it was overpowered by Marathas. Again, Porbandar district came under the authority of the Gaekwad court at Baroda and finally of the Peshwa. During the period of British rule, like the other states of Kathiawar, the state for the first time came into the ambit of British influence in the year 1807, when the East India Company ensured security in this region in lieu of a fixed annual tribute to be paid to the Peshwa and the Gaekwad. After India got its independence in 1947, the place was merged with the 'United State of Kathiawar' that effective from 15th February, 1948 and later on 2nd October, 1997 Porbandar district was emerged as a separate district in the map of Gujarat state.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of nation was born on 2nd October, 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat. He is also well known for Leadership of Indian independence movement, philosophy of Satyagraha, Ahimsa or nonviolence and pacifism. Udaybhansinhji Natwarsinhji Jethwa Sahib, the last Maharajkumar or Yuvraj of Jethwa dynasty of Princely State of Porbandar was born on 6th October 1901 at Shrinagar in Gujarat. In the post independent period of India, he was associated with cooperative movement. Moreover, he was honoured by the prestigious Padma Shri Award in the year 1971 because of his contribution in the field of trade and industry.
Geographically, the district lies at 21064'N latitude, 69063'E longitude and 1 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 5.47% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 2,316 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 23rd in the state and 464th in India. It is bounded by Jamnagar district on the North, Junagadh district on the South, Rajkot district on the East and Arabian Sea on the West. Natives of the district experience extreme hot in the summer and pleasant cold in the winter. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 417.7 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 3 talukas namely Porbandar, Ranavav and Kutiyana. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 2 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 6 towns and 182 villages. The administrative language in the district is Gujarati.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 5,85,449 out of which 3,00,209 are males and 2,85,240 are females. It has a sex ratio of 950 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 9.06% including 8.84% were males and 9.28% were females. The population density in the district is 253 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 8,869 including 4,586 were males and 4,283 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district is 3,898 including 2,274 were males and 1,624 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 93.90% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Gujarati with 96.76%.
The economy of the district is chiefly based on some prominent industries of Cement, Chemicals, Metallurgical, Ports and Ship building and fishing industries. The district is also rich in mineral resources like limestone, chalk and bauxite. Some of its population are also engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The principal agricultural products in the district are cotton, groundnut, gram, wheat, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the framers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. The district has some very big industries namely Saurashtra Chemicals Ltd, Saurashtra Cement Ltd, Orient Abrasives Ltd, D R Garment Pvt. Ltd, Geosoft Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd, etc which contributes in its economy to a great extent.
The district is an abode of many reputed educational institutions. It also provides platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Gurukul Mahila Arts and Commerce College, K H Madhwani Arts and Commerce College, V. J. Modha College, Maharshi Dayanand Science College, RAMBA Graduate Teacher’s College, D.D. Kotiyavala Municipal Law College, Birla Sagar Mahilla Commerce College, M.D. Science College, Dr. Virambhai Rajabhai Godhariya College of Arts, Commerce Home Science and Technology, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 75.78% including 83.45% are males and 67.75% are females.
The district has numerous places of interest which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Darbargadh established by Rana Sartanji is a fortified palace having a huge entrance made up of stone which embellished by high turrets and large wooden doors. Kirti Mandir, located in this place was the residence of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife, Kasturba Gandhi is which at present converted into a museum, a prayer hall and a Gandhian library. Sartanji Choro, a three storey summer pavilion was constructed by Rana Sartanji which depicts the Rajput style of architecture. The pavilion is enclosed by a marvellous garden and each side of the garden represents some different themes. Huzoor palace situated within the vast campus at the end of Marine Drive depicts European style of architecture with big windows, numerous wings and sloping roofs that overlook the sea. Some other centres of attraction in the district are Bileshwar, Ghumli, Gop, Porbandar Bird Sanctuary, Barda Hills, Bharat Mandir, Chowpatty, Daria Rajmahal, Khimeshwar Temple, Sri Hari Mandir, Tara Mandir (Nehru Planetarium), Barda Hills wildlife sanctuary, Sudama Temple, etc.