Guj: માંડવી māṇḍavī
‘Settlement’ -Town (Kutch District), Gujarat
From Mandavya or Skt: mandira, ‘dwelling’, ‘resting place’, ‘house’, ’palace’, ‘camp‘, ‘temple’.
Like Mandya (Karnataka) the most popular derivation is the unlikely one that the town was named after the ancient sage, Mandavya, a legendary sage with mystical powers who was wrongly accused of theft and impaled. Some say he lived here, others that the village was named after him.
It is more likely that the name is a variation of or the catch-all mandira above.
Mandvi has been an important trading centre for centuries. It sits at the junction of two trading routes: the spice trade route heading eastwards across the Indian Ocean, and the camel caravan route across the Thar Desert to Persia and the Middle East.
In the 18thC Mandvi merchants built and sailed a fleet of 400 ships trading with East Africa, Southern India and the Persian Gulf. It is still a centre for traditional wooden boatbuilding.
The old city was enclosed in the fort wall and remains of the fort wall can still be seen.