maze of enticing alleyways
and many examples of fine Gujarati architecture, exuberant
temple decoration and colourful inhabitants. This place is a
paradise of handicrafts and lifestyle lovers. There are some
villages in Bhuj which are rich in craft and culture.
Embroidery is the most important handicraft in this region.
History of Bhuj
Bhuj was the capital of the former princely state of Kutch
till 1947 AD. The Rajput rulers of Kutch came from Sindh in
the late 15th century and settled at Bhuj. Rao Khengarji I
chose the strategic location at the base of Bhujiyo Dungar
and founded the city of Bhuj in 1548 AD. The need for better
security arose only after the decline of Mughal power. In
1723 AD, Rao Godiji constructed the massive fort with gates
and 11 meter thick masonry wall, surround the whole town.
The city wall was also armed with fifty one guns. The
British took over the fort in 1819 AD and acted as
peacemaker between the Kutch rulers and Bhayad Jagirdars.
The treaty with the British resulted in peaceful period in
the history of Kutch and the state thus became prosperous
with surplus funds, enabling the rulers to undertake public
and royal building projects. Rao Pragmalji, who ruled Kutch
from 1860 to 1876 AD also undertook various projects like
the improvement of Mandvi harbour, construction of roads and
irrigation works, hospitals, schools and jail. He also built
the Prag Mahal and Ranjit Vilas Palace at Bhuj and Vijay
Vilas Palace at Mandvi.
Tourist Attractions in Bhuj
The main tourist attractions in Bhuj are the Aina Mahal,
Prag Mahal and Cenotaph Complex. Aina Mahal was constructed
by Rao Lakhpatji in 1750 AD. Aina Mahal is a unique example
of an Indian palace built in the mid-eighteenth century with
European influence. Rao Pragmalji II appointed a famous
architect, Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins to design Prag Mahal.
The Cenotaph Complex or Chattardi was built of red stones.
This complex was built for Rao Lakha in 1770, and is one of
the largest and finest complex.
How to reach Bhuj
The nearest airport is located at Ahmedabad.
Some trains operate between Bhuj and Ahmedabad on meter
gauge line and Mumbai on the broad gauge line from
Bhuj is connected to some of the various cities of Gujarat.
Bhuj is connected by State highway upto Bhachau to Ahmedabad
by national highway No. 8A.