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Aina Mahal Bhuj Kutch

Aaina Mahal or the “Mirror Palace” was built during the rule of Rao Lakhpatji with an Indo – European architecture by Ram Singh Malam. The palace is located in the north east of the Hamirsar Lake. Although it was damaged by the 2001 earthquake, butthe palace still boasts of a magical‘Hall of Mirrors’.Decorated with delightful chandeliers and mirror-work, glittered with golden ceilings and walls, The Aaina Mahal offers a visual delight.

Walk able from most parts of the city, The Palace is open on all days from 9:00am - 11:45am & 3:00pm - 5:45pm. Entry ticket is Rs.10 and Photography charges Rs.30


The erstwhile ruler Rao Lakhpatji was not only a fierce warrior but was equally at ease with classical music and poetry. He belonged to the famous Jadeja Dynasty and undertook the construction of the Aina Mahal in the eighteenth century. Legend has it that the decorated architect Ram Singh Malam had devoted 17 years of his life in Europe and was still deprived of any recognition and appreciation. Disgraced and disgusted by the Europeans, Malam came to the royal court of Bhuj and made a humble appeal to the king for work. Lakhpatji approved of his ideas and ordered the construction of the grand Aina Mahal.

Ram Singh Malam being an expert crafts man possessed in depth knowledge of both Indian and European senses of architecture. As a result he designed the Aina Mahal in an Indo – European Style. Lakhpatji’s generosity poured over Ram Singh Malam as he commissioned a glass factory and manufacturing of China tiles. Moreover, he also approved of an iron foundry which could churn out canons for the palace. Malam exhibited his brilliant artistry and personally crafted the fountains, mirrors and glasswork. Amongst several of his wonders, Ram Singh also bestowed the Aina Mahal with a marvelous pendulum clock which works in sync with the Hindu calendar.

There were once a number of brilliant works or art stored in the Aina Mahal. Paintings like Hogarth's ‘The Rake's Progress’ and a portrait of ‘Catherine the Great cheek’ by Jowl shared spaces with several other worth wile pieces from Kutch that found the ruler’s patronage.


Malam’s year in Europe weren’t wasted as he learnt the nuances of the European sensibilities of art and architecture there. Once he was back, he found patronage from the king Lakhpatji, who along with Malam decorated the Aina Mahal with several Venetian style chandeliers. The Aina Mahal also boasts of glass paintings of Chinese inspiration. The Palace, not surprisingly, also has an array of mirrors everywhere. Ranging from full-length to tiny half-inch circles, the mirrors promise to draw awe from people as soon they put their eyes on them. The interiors of the palace exhibit the ceiling, doors and pillars which are glittered with work of mirrors and exquisite wood carvings. To add to the grandeur, there are beds with legs of gold surrounded by numerous mirrors in Baroque-style frames. The doors too were crafted from elephant tusk which boldly exclaim of the royalty of the king. The exteriors of the palace cum museum has carved doorways and extended window blocks.

Present Status

The Aina Mahal was converted into Madanji Museum in 1997; but the conversion was done with the palace’s royalty and grandeur intact and preserved. The efforts were annulled by the disastrous earthquake that rattled Kutch in 2001.Apart from the humungous toll of death and destruction; the major extensions of the palaces too were heavily damaged and were turned into mere ruins by the natural catastrophe. The visitors of the mahal had sharply decreased post the earthquake and the palace has slowly moved back to its old royal state. With most of the restoration done, The Aina Mahal is now back as the jewel of Kutch.

How To Reach Bhuj

Bhuj, A major tourist attraction of the state is well connected by all three major means of transportation. A functional airport and a railway station with enhanced connectivity of roads make it easily accessible for tourist and enthusiasts.

By Road

From Ahmedabad, the bus offers a higher degree of convenience when compared to the train. Many private companies offer sleeper buses that leave the city for Bhuj between 8pm and 11pm, arriving in Bhuj between 6am and 8am the next morning. They have their offices around Paldi in Ahmedabad. There are also State Transport buses that make the trip for with some respite to the pocket.

By Rail

The Railway is a very popular mode of transport in the country and Bhuj too is well connected with trains. Express trains travel through the city on a daily basis and can be hitched from almost every major part city of the country.

By Air

Bhuj also has a fairly good connectivity of flights. Its connectivity is particularly good with Mumbai as one or more daily flight connect the two cities.

Once in Bhuj, State Transport buses help you commute to most of the areas of the district. Private jeeps and vehicles are also a good option especially if you are traveling in large numbers.

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Aina Mahal Bhuj Kutch
Aina Mahal Bhuj Kutch
Aina Mahal Bhuj Kutch
Aina Mahal Bhuj Kutch
Aina Mahal Bhuj Kutch
Aina Mahal Bhuj Kutch

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