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.
Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Bhuj
Swaminarayan templeThis new temple built according to Swaminarayan Sampradaya stands bathed in pure white marble and gold and is a delight to behold. The intricate carvings inspired by episodes of Ramayana and Mahabharata and the architecture never cease to amaze you .The environment of the temple, is neat and clean ,kept us engrossed devouring the beauty of this place.
Mandvi and Bin Harif dabeliwala
Heading down the narrow lanes of Bhuj, making your way past the Bus stand onto the street which houses a host of food vendors; you will come across ‘Mandvi’ and ‘Bin Harif’ dabeli walas. The shops have benches to sit inside, while the dabeli makers work on their trade, spurning out one delicious dabeli after another. Dabeli is essentially a traditional Kutchi snack, a sweetish-soft bun like bread filled with a flavoured mashed potato filling, which is spiced up with a thin sauce (chatni) and peanuts. While it is available in a fried form; where the bread (paav) is shallow friend onto a flat pan in butter; the bread is served as is in its most original form. Both the Dabeli vendors recently won an award for the best dabeli vendors in Bhuj, on a national food show named ‘Highway on my Plate’. While the dabeli served by ‘Bin Harif’ is a bit pungent on the spices, with the typical muslim flavours hitting you with each bite; the ‘Mandvi’ one is more easy on your palate in terms of spices, and a bit sweeter as well. The Mandvi once would suit a wider palate, but the sharp flavour on the Bin Harif one made it for me; though I would say it is not for one who would be affected by spices.