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.