Kutch (Kachchh), Gujarat - The White Rann, Ekal and Bhuj
*Hotel rooms are cheap near the bus stand at Bhuj....
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Prag Mahal Palace
We started walking towards Aina Mahal. Instead of taking an auto, I always believe its better to walk and take in the street life of any city. We decided to go to Prag Mahal first and the palace was one of its kind. The 2001 Gujarat earthquake severely damaged the palace. Later the palace was burgled with thieves stealing antiques worth millions. Today, the palace is in a ghostly state. The beautiful picturesque stairway leads to the corridor which opens into a large hall with huge broken chandeliers hanging low. There are two rooms along the hall open for visitors which were in decay state. The palace indeed was shaken to the core by the earthquake and here lay the evidence of the catastrophe.
One of the most visited cities in Gujarat, Bhuj is home to a number of historical monuments, a lively culture and a historically rich past. Taking you back to a time of simple living, Bhuj is a traveller's delight. From the enlightening Kutch Museum to the bedazzling Aina Mahal, this small city welcomes travellers with forgotten stories, intriguing escapades and numerous hidden corners. There are a number of popular temples here including the Shree Swaminayan Temple; the Swaminayan temples were actually first built in Bhuj. Enveloped in white, the temple is a must visit even if religious sites are not a part of your itinerary. You should also visit one of the oldest museums in Gujarat, which is the Kutch museum. Taking you through Gujarat's exciting past, the museum is also home to Kshatrapa inscriptions and the now extinct Kutchi script. The museum is located along the beautiful Hamirsar Lake and is a must-visit. Do also head to Aina Museum. One of the best examples of Indian architecture under the influence of European architecture, this one is fascinating to visit. True to its name, the best feature of the mahal is the Hall of Mirrors. The palace also houses a number of rare and stunning artefacts and paintings from around the world and is a treat to explore, especially if you are an art enthusiast. This small city packs in a lot for travellers and a couple of days here is enough to take back a beautiful experience unless, of course, you fall in love with the city's magic. Reaching Bhuj from Ahmedabad is quite easy since it's a major town and buses, taxis ply almost throughout the day.
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