Aina Mahal in Kutch
A palace made over two centuries ago with techniques that amaze even today
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About Aina Mahal in Kutch
Literally meaning the Hall of Mirrors’, the Aina Mahal was built in 1761 by the flamboyant Lakhpatiji or Rao Lakhpatji, the ruler of the Princely State of Cutch between 1741 to 1752. It is said that the Maharao had a dream of palace made of marble and glass. However, there was no person who could make this dream a reality.
Then, one day, Ramsinh Malam came to Lakhpatiji’s court. The Maharao asked him to make his dream come true. Therefore, assisted by the mistris of Kutch, Malam built the Aina palace on the banks of the Hamirsar Lake.
Designed in the Indo-European style, the palace walls have gold lace and glass inlaid on them. The walls also are made of white marble and covered with mirrors, thus earning the name Aina Mahal. Gilded ornaments made from Venetian glass separate the mirrors. The Palace is dotted with huge carved doorways, elaborate window boxes and exquisite balconies.
The 2001 earthquake damaged a large portion of the palace. Some portion could be salvaged such as the bedroom, the music room and the courtroom. These have been restored and converted into a museum housing painting, arts, arms, the royal palanquin and many other artefacts.
Ramsinh Malam was a sailor, who during one of his trips lost his way in a storm only to be rescued by a Dutch boat. He stayed on and trained as an artisan in Europe for over seventeen years. However, he was unable to find fulfilling work there. So, he returned to Kutch in search of work when the Maharao gave him the palace to construct.
To bring to reality his unique work, Malam had to create most of the materials locally. He set up a glass-manufacturing unit in Mandvi, made china tiles in Bhuj and set a foundry too. He trained the local mistris of Kutch in the European styles such as glass blowing, clock making, gun casting and tilework. He oversaw the crafting of the mirrors and the glasswork and the fountains too. The palace is filled with his touch, be it a pendulum clock in sync with the Hindu calendar or the doors inlaid with gold and ivory.
Even to date Malam is known as the Sinbad of Gujarat and his songs dot the local folklore.
The locals can only tell the stories of love. Stories of kings, queens and their lives. In addition to that, to hear more of the stories, be sure to interact with the caretakers as you stroll through the palace. You will not find a better guide.
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Trip to GujaratIts great that travel triangle has booked a nice trip package though we have confirmed our requirements with a very short duration. Cab drivers were polite and helpful. What ever time it may be, late night or early morning The travel agent (Diu Travels) contact person was easily reachable over phone. The hotel The Grand Dwarka booked near dwarkadhish temple was really owsome. We enjoyed the stay
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Trip to GujaratWe have enjoyed the trip and really thanks to Diu Travels and Specially for the Driver who have taken as his Family Member. He tried his level best and given very good Veg Food, Accurate Time in for pick up and never hesitated for any travel delay. He has increase the value of Diu Travels and our interest to book more through travel triangle. I am going to give the contact for one my client for the same trip. thank you so much for all the support both from Diu travels as well as travel triangle.
Trip to GujaratThe trip was nicely arranged by the travel agent and she considered all my needs while planning the trip. Thanks for the same and keep doing the great work
Trip to GujaratThe entire trip was very well organised. The Street Romeo travels arranged a good trip for us. The one Hotel Gir Pride in Sasan Girl was not upto the mark. The staff was very rude. However, the owner atleast listened to the queries. The light and music show in Somnath. The amazing food across the trip.
Trip to GujaratMy trip to Gujrat with my better half wef 09 Feb 2017 to 13 Feb 2017 was wonderful. The arrangements undertaken by Dream Planner Hub Pvt Ltd was excellent. I would like to thank specially to Mr Durgesh Kumar Solanki and his associates for making my trip enjoyble. They were very cordial, co-operative and helpful. BRAVO I would suggest all who intend to make a trip to Gujrat, must contact Travel Triangle/Dream Planner Hub Pvt Ltd for a great experience and enjoyble visit. Mr Durgesh Kumar isa very flamboyant and helpful chap who will make your trip smoother, happier and fun loving.
Trip to Gujaratthe tour was good only disappointment was that we were not able to see loin in GIR forest it was suggested that we could go some 12 kms distance where the tourist are taken through bus and seeing liin probablity is 100% Rest all was very good thanks would approach next time whenever i plan again for tour last year june to Bhutan was not good
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Trip to GujaratOverall happy with the arrangements done.Hotels were good in all places other than Dwaraka.Dwaraka hotel was average.Car and the drivers were very good. I think one area to improve upon is giving local info to the customers since we would no be aware of that.For example, Gir forest sanctuary visit was a real waste and strain trip and we could hardly find anything there.Locals there were telling that this is the normal situation there and it is good to visit Devalia sanctuary instead which is less time consuming, saves money and definite chances of seeing animals.Also we could have been told about the Kutch festival happening so that we could have included that in the itenary.Passing on this important local information was the missing part in the package. Travel people always accessible and ready to make changes if any. Vehicle and the driver. Hotels.
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FAQ's of Kutch
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Police Control Room: 100
Women's Helpline: 181
Medical Helpline: 108
Ambulance helpline: 102
Fire Service: 101
Gujarat Tourism Helpline: 1800 233 7951
Ahmedabad is considered one of the safest city in India, especially for solo travellers. The Gujaratis are very warm and welcoming people. However, it is best to take care of yourself like in any other place during travel and keep your luggage safe at all times.
Navaratri, Rann Utsav, and Uttarayan (kite festival) are famous festivals in Gujarat. The Bhavnath Fair in Junagadh, Vautha Fair in Vautha, Shamlaji Mela near Himmatnagar, and Dang Darbar in Ahwa are popular fairs to visit in Gujarat.
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