Pragmahal- Stands tall with pride in Bhuj
Kutch was an island before the Earthquake divided it. Major trade was done on the coastline. Slowly and steadily, everything declined. History and proofs show that it was an island. Amidst this princely state that is surrounded by sea on one side and by desert on the other three parts, there lied the ruler who could not be defended.
Maharao Pragmalji ruled the throne for fifteen years only and died at the early age of thirty-seven. However, in this small life span, he had done major work that included the end of slavery, major public works like building more than forty schools. Pragmahal that lies speaking the history of the Royals was built by him. It was constructed in 1864 and took over ten years for construction. It cost 20 lakh which was quite a big amount in that period. Architecture is awesome and Henry saint ClairWilkins was the architect. The Pragmahal is built in the Italian Gothic Style. It has a lofty bell tower that stands 150 high. The Pragmahal showcases various marbles of Kutch. We visited this place and were left in awe looking at the beauty it reflected. The major feature was the three-storey clock that stood as a hero of its time. Though it was not working the magnificence it showed could tell its story. I was more intrigued by the history and tried to dig more by inquiring with the guide and fellow travellers who carried the same interests as me. Also, when you visit make sure to buy something from the small shops that are set up in the ground adjacent to Pragmahal. They are priceless and will help you bring back home memories of Kutch. At walking distance from the Pragmahal lies Aina Mahal and that is a piece to visit as well. It is converted into a museum that protects valuable resources from the past.
Palace is a three-storey and ground floor was used for administrative offices. The second was used for Darbar hall and the third floor was used as a residence. Mahal had more than fifty rooms including the rooms for the conference, guest room, library, gym, pantry, chess, and many more. Furniture that is used for building was imported from France and Italy.
The clock in the mahal was initiated in 1879. It cost around 2119 Rs, which was huge. It is one of a kind and the largest in India. The grand staircase in the mahal is of Italian marble but it was made of wood temporarily. It was completed after his demise. Darbar hall has a very high ceiling which keeps the hall cool. The balcony has decorative elements which add to the beauty of the Mahal. When you visit the balcony, you get to view the beautiful Hamirsar lake and the wind is enough to blow you out. Even though it would be 40 degrees outside you can feel the cool breeze on the balcony of the Pragmahal. Such is the construction. It is an example of the lavish lifestyle kings lived in the era. India is a country that has a massive history beyond words and it can only be known after visiting such heritage sites. Presently this building is under the observation of trust.
I visited this place with my family friends and was lured by the history that is reflected back. No sooner in a month, I planned to travel again to check on the heritage that spoke the marvel of the past. Apart from Pragmahal, there are ample heritage sites that can be visited. If you are a real heritage love, don’t miss those sites. You can get a glimpse of that heritage site from my Instagram account.
Kutch is mammoth and all the time you visit, it is not enough.
This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Queen’s Brigade.
Oh I love visiting these architectural buildings and places. Lovely write up!
Fascinating! I enjoy learning about the history and architecture of buildings and places.
Loved the way you have crafted the post! It has been exciting to see Bhuj through your eyes. Keep writing and spreading information. God bless
Indian palaces in gothic style are very rare. We never had the chance to visit it when we were posted in Gujrat. You are right, Kutch is huge and there is never enough time to visit everything.
My elder son always love to visit heritage sites. I know he’ll be excited to visit Pragmahal as I’ll tell about your post. Will definitely plan a trip there very soon.
I did not know this part of the history about Kutch, especially The Kutch was an island. Interesting article.
Vasumathi_The Scarlett Dragonfly
Interesting post about the history of Pragmahal . Another place to visit when the Gujrat trip happens.
Visiting Kutch is in my bucket list just let this corona kaal get over…am going to visit this place. I am so much interested in historical places and especially palaces…what an amazing architectural design and construction of those royal times, thanks for sharing such hidden gem like place I was unaware of.
I was not aware of these facts stated by you. There always remains much more to explore, thanks for sharing your inputs 🙂
It was so wonderful reading this post! My mother’s native place is bhuj and I have practically removed my school vacations there. I have visited these places a number of times and yet I love to visit them everytime I am there. Even the Vijay Vilas Palace is amazing. The cultural history of Kutch is very vast. Lovely post!
It is a rarity to see gothic-style structures in palaces in India. All those boards are an eyesore, but that is that. Would love to check out the palace the next time we visit Bhuj. Thank you for sharing about it.
Kutch seems to be full of culture and history. I definitely want to visit Kutch. Thanks for sharing.
I would love to visit Pragmahal whenever we visit Kutch. Great and detailed information shared here.
Now I want to visit this part of the country even more. Have heard so much about this place.
I was not aware about this place in Bhuj.. it certainly looks quite an intriguing place to visit. Added to my bucket list.
Noor Anand Chawla
Wow this is really amazing! I actually thought it was some central square in a European town!