The Port of Veraval lies on the southwestern coast of the Kathiawar Peninsula on the Arabian Sea in the state of Gujarat in northwestern India. It is home to one of India’s biggest fishing ports. The Port of Veraval also produces agricultural products and timber and is home to manufacturers of textile bobbins, matches, and bone fertilizers. In 2001, more than 141 thousand people lived in the Port of Veraval.
The Port of Veraval was founded by a Rajput, Rao Veravalji Vadher. It was a fortified port owned by the royal Junagadh family until 1953 when their territory was merged with India. The city contains some impressive remains of its Nawabi heritage, including the graceful Nawabi summer palace. Ruins of the old fort and the town gates remain.
Before the Port of Surat emerged, the Port of Veraval was the major stop for pilgrims going to Mecca. Today, the Port of Veraval is home to a large fishing port where fishing boats and sea-going dhows are still built at the shore without any tools beyond a tape measure.
The local fishery has always been the town’s dominant industry, and the community of Kharwas (fisherfolk) is its largest subpopulation, using traditional trawlers and boats to land their catch. The Port of Veraval also has a healthy boat-making industry. Several fish processing factories are located there that export high-quality seafood to the United States, Southeast Asia, Japan, Europe, and the Gulf. Although started by the Indian government, the modern seafood industry is now flourishing, attracting many importers from around the world. In addition, research centers located in the port have done much to develop the state of Gujarat’s fisheries. One of India’s biggest rayon manufacturers, Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd., is located in the Port of Veraval.