Mandvi was founded as a port town by the King of Kutch, in 1574. For 400 years, the shipbuilding industry has been the center of life in Mandvi and it was once the principal port of Kutch and of Gujarat. Shipbuilding yards exist even today along the Rukmavati River where wooden ships are still built by hand. The city used to have fortified walls around it, but only small portions remain. Mandvi is also well known for its beautiful silver sand beach and the imposing Vijayvilas Palace built in 1935.