Today morning, after breakfast, Visit:
Prag Mahal: The gigantic Prag Mahal reflecting an unmistakable Gothic architecture at first sight doesn't seem to blend in with other structures in the surroundings. A commission or order for constructing a grand palace mirroring the Italian Gothic architectural style was given by King Pragmalji in 1865 and it was Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins who designed the layout for Prag Mahal. Artisans and craftsmen were indentured from Italy especially to help in the construction of this structure. Labourers received gold coins as remuneration for offering their services and it is alleged that more than 3.1 million rupees were invested for building this mansion. The palace has been constructed out of two materials-red sandstone and Italian marble. The sandstone was procured from Rajasthan. Upon entering the main or central hall, you'll see stuffed skins of different animals hung up on the walls, some of which have decayed considerably. You'll also stare in amazement at the grandiose chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and at the various statuettes placed in prominent corners around the palace. European flora and fauna done in 'Jali' style are going to impress you as well. Perhaps the feature or facet that'll appeal to you the most is the turret or bell tower plastered with a giant clock, going up to a height of 45 feet. Scaling to the top of the tower offers you breathtaking vistas of the entire city of Bhuj. A courtyard at the back of the Prag Mahal within which a tiny shrine having intricate stone engravings, can be seen.
Aina Mahal: The Aina Mahal was built under the supervision of Maharao Lakhpatji in the year 1761. The palace was converted into a museum by the last ruler of the Jadeja dynasty Maharao Madan Sinhji. Although this 18thcentury fortification is in an advanced state of decay, one can still see the magnificence of the structure by taking a detailed tour of its inner premises. You get to see the fortified wall constructed out of marble and ornamented with gold lacings and glass beads. There are large Venetian glass panels plastered on the walls layered with gilded ornaments. The palace suffered heavy damage owing to the earthquake that rocked Bhuj in 2001. The architecture of the Aina Mahal reflects a blend of Indo and European styles. The Swadeshi philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi also had a profound influence on the master craftsman whose effects are mirrored in the museum. The fountains, glasswork, and mirrors were specially designed by the architect. You should not miss exploring the quadrangle leading to the palace that looks marvelous because of the arched doorways, intricately carved balconies, and elaborate boxed-type windows. Proceed to Mandvi – an ancient port city (60 kms/ 1 Hour) and visit:
Vijay Vilas Palace: Situated on the outskirts of Mandvi, a municipality falling under Gujarat's Kutch district is the township's prime attraction-the Vijay Vilas Palace. This magnificent and grand palace that once used to be the summer sanctuary of the Cutch State's king is just about 2kms from the Mandvi Beach. The palace constructed fully out of red sandstone is still in pristine condition and looks breathtaking beautiful when viewed from close quarters. The architectural pattern of the Vijay Vilas Palace that was inspired by the layout of Datia and Orcha palaces mirrors the essential aspects of Rajput-style building architecture. The chief dome perched high atop the roof together with all the surrounding cupolas has a structure similar to domes seen in temples and shrines of Bengal. The windows along with the arches atop them have colored glasses, stone carvings with jali' work, broad verandas, and other elaborately engraved structural sections add to the magnificence of the palace. This stately fortress sits right in the center of meticulously manicured gardens that are in turn perfectly laid out highlighted with water fountains and channels. These fountains have been chiseled out of pure marble making them appear splendid. After scaling to the balcony of the palatial structure, one gets a breathtaking bird's eye-view of the surroundings. The beach area lying within the immediate neighbourhood is owned by the proprietors of the palace.
Kranti Tirth (Shyamji Krishna Verma Memorial): Kranti Tirth is the memorial dedicated to the freedom fighter Shri Shyamji Krishna Varma. It is created in a way to resemble the ‘India House’ – a mansion located in Cronwell, London. This is the replica of the house from where Shri Shyamji Krishna Varma and the Indian Home Rule Society carried on the fight for freedom. The replica of India House here, located at Kranti Tirth, hosts a number of paintings, pictures, library and an audio-visual presentation. Also, there is Viranjali Walk-through Gallery which hosts the documentation of Viranjali Yatra. The Viranjali Yatra was organized in Gujarat state, when the ashes of Shri Shyamji Krishna Varma were brought back to India from Geneva. The ashes traversed across the state, covering more than 2000 km distance. The urns of ashes are kept in ‘Smriti Kaksh’ at the memorial along with the excerpts from Indian Sociologist journal that Shri Shyamji Krishna Varma published in London. Also, there is a Dayanand Saraswati Chowk at the memorial which pays tribute to one of the greatest social reformer of India Swami Dayanad Saraswati. Relax at the serene beach in Mandvi and return back to Bhuj and Overnight at Bhuj.