Prag Mahal is named after Rao Pragmalji II, who commissioned it and construction began in 1865. It was designed by Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins in the Italian Gothic style, and many Italian artisans were involved in its construction. The palace artisans' wages were paid in gold coins. Construction of the palace, which ultimately cost 3.1 million rupees, was completed in 1879 during the regency of Khengarji III (Pragmalji II's son) following Pragmalji II's death in 1875. The local Kutchi builder community (Mistris of Kutch) were also involved in construction of Prag Mahal along with Colonel Wilkins.
- The palace is made of Italian marble and sandstone from Rajasthan.
- The main hall, filled with decaying taxidermy
- Durbar hall, with broken chandeliers and classical statues
- Corinthian pillars
- Jali work depicting European plants and animals
- It has 45 foot high tower with a clock, from where you can see the entire Bhuj city.
- There is also a small temple in the courtyard behind the palace with nicely carved stonework.
In popular culture
The 2001 Gujarat earthquake severely damaged the palace. In 2006, the palace was burgled, with thieves stealing antiques worth millions of rupees and damaging other items throughout the palace. Today, the palace is in a "ghostly", "forlorn" state. However, the palace and the tower have been repaired, after Amitabh Bachhan took personal interest in restoration of palace. and its tower and clock have been repaired and are now open for public viewing. Visitors may enter the main palace halls and ascend the bell tower, which offers views of the city.
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- "All about Gujarat: Palaces". Gujarat State Portal.
- Haresh Pandya. "Burglars targeting Gujarat palaces". Rediff.com (September 04, 2006).
- "Prag Mahal". Gujarat Tourism.
- K. S. Dilipsinh. Kutch in festival and custom. Har-Anand Publications (2004), p. 81. ISBN 978-81-241-0998-4.
- K. S. Dilipsinh. Kutch in festival and custom. Har-Anand Publications (2004), p. 22. ISBN 978-81-241-0998-4.
- Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, vol. 5. Government Central Press (1880), p. 254.
- This palace was built for Rao Pragmalji II (1860-75) by the British architects and the Kutchi builders
- Nanji Bapa ni Nondh-pothi published from Baroda, in the Gujarati, 1999. pp:5-7.
- Jane Yang. Let's Go India & Nepal. Let's Go (2003), pp. 218-19. ISBN 978-0-312-32006-5.
- Joe Bindloss & Sarina Singh. India. Lonely Planet (2007), p. 760. ISBN 978-1-74104-308-2.
- Prag Mahal to be renovated on Amitabh Bachchan's suggestion DNA India News. 21-06-2010.