Rao Pragmalji's Palace, Bhuj
Rao Pragmalji's Palace is across the courtyard of Bhuj. It was designed by the British engineer Col. Wilkins, but some people believe that he was an Italian. This palace was officially started in 1865 to replace stables and small buildings. It has a wide and large Darbar Hall (25m x 12m) that is 12m high with verandahs, corner towers and zenanas decorated with carving, gilding, Minton tiles and marbles. Good views of surrounding countryside from the tall clock tower are connected to the palace by covered galleries. This palace was built for Rao Pragmalji II (1860-75) by the British architects and the Kutchi builders. Darbar Hall is a museum of Victorian-Edwardian taste with tiger-skins and mounted trophies on the walls, stuffed lions and Art Deco figurines. In one side of the palace, the Logge in Emilia or Romagna and in the second side, the ample terrace are situated. Both these places give us the way to a treeline on the horizon casting shadows into the limpid lake. A jigsaw of red-tiled roofs and trees still deep green months after the monsoon ended is in the third side of the palace. The fourth side has a distant prospective bungalows and offices and the fifth side has panorama which presents a higgledy-piggledy mass of close-fitting buildings in the market (bazaar). A munificent cornucopia of fantastic carved wooden balconies and window-screen enlivens walls are in the opposite side of the palace.
The fee to enter the palace is Rs. 5. The fee of photography and videography is Rs. 50.
Some part of bollywood blockbuster movie “LAGAAN” was shot in this palace. We should be proud of this palace.
Sharad Baug Palace, Bhuj
The last Maharao of Kutch, Maharao Madansinhji Jadeja died in the United Kingdom (U.K.) in 1991. After his death, his palace which was situated in the east of the beautiful lake ‘Hamirsar' of Bhuj was turned into a small museum. This palace was built in 1867 A.D. Sharad Baug Palace has airy and beautiful gardens, a drawing room downstairs and a bedroom upstairs. The dining room is in a separate building. On the display of the palace, there are many of the Maharao's personal processions.
The beautiful gardens of the palace have nurseries for a range of plants and grass to which leading tennis players were commonly invited. This palace is open for the visitors who want to buy plants from its nursery. This is the most relaxing and luxuriant palace in Bhuj.
Sharad Baug Palace opens daily (except Friday) from 9 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 6 pm. Its fees rates are: entrance fee is Rs. 5, photography fee is Rs. 10 and videography fee is Rs. 25.
Vijay Villas Palace, Mandvi
Vijay Vilas Palace is 8 kilometers away from Mandvi. It is summer palace built in 1929. This palace was built in the traditional Rajasthani style for Maharao Vijayrajji. This palace is monumental identity which has chhatris, chajjas, arches and complex marble jails. This palace is situated on a roomy ground facing the sea. The palace is uncovered to the warm sunshine and the banks of the sea that passes throughout. Because of the tiny and intricately impressed windows, one can get the feeling to be out in the open. There is a part of a museum in the palace. There is also a part of the prince's residence.
Having lovely gardens and forested trees, this palace is surrounded by the coconut trees. This palace offers an idyllic spot for peaceful and beautiful holidays. If you want to be the king for a day, come in Vijay Vilas Palace at Mandvi, give yourself up to sun kissed beaches and lovely blue waters.
Pragmalji, the current king of Kutch, still has his rooms in this palace. The marble-worked palace has many several family portraits. There is a lift to take the travelers to the roof of the palace where one can see the beauty of the sea.
The entrance fee of this palace is Rs. 5 per person. Photography and videography are permitted.
Some part of the bollywood blockbuster film “LAGAAN” was shot here. “Dholi Taro”, a very famous and popular song of the superhit movie “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” was also shot in this palace.
Rao Lakhpatji's Chhatri, Bhuj
This chhatri of Rao Lakhpatji was constructed in the 18th century. It is situated in the west of the lake Hamirsar. It was built in a polygonal shape. It has two galleries and two entrances. Its roof is stylistically covered with sustaining pillars at every corner. There is a stone image of Maharao Shri Lakhpatji (1710-1761) on horse back and memorial of fifteen wives around it in the chhatri. It survived the earthquake of 1819, but it was damaged in the earthquake of 26th January, 2001 but it was not completely destroyed by the earthquake. It was the oldest, largest and most complex monument of the memorials of the Maharajas of Kutch. There is a small tomb of Rao Desalji which is an impressive and quadrangular shaped monument. The memorial of Rao Pragmalji is a fine example of modern statue.
This chhatri is the most inspiring tribute of 18th century.