Destination Guide India > Bhuj
GUIDE INDIA - BHUJ
ABOUT BHUJ CITY
city of Bhuj derives its name from the Bhujiyo Dungar, a hill,
overlooking the present day Bhuj town. Bhuj is a typical
example of a desert town located between two geographical
features- Bhujiyo Dungar on the east and Hamirsar Lake on the
west. Bhuj was the capital of the former pricely State of
Kutch till 1947 AD.
The Rajput rulers of Kutch came from Sindh or northern India
in the late 15th century and settled at Bhuj. Rao Khengarji I
chose the strategic location at the base of Bhujiyo Dungar and
founded the city of Bhuj in 1548 AD.
The rulers of
Kutch got exempted from paying tribute to the Mughal rulers in
return for free passage to the Mecca pilgrims. The need for
better security arose only after the decline of Mughal power
at the center. In 1723 AD, Rao Godiji undertook the
construction of massive fortification, with gates and bastions
(11meter thick masonary wall), surrounding the whole town. The
fort was equipped with 51guns to counter any attack from
The British took over the hill fort of Bhujiyo Dungar in 1819
AD and acted as peacemaker between the Kutch rulers and Bhayad
Jagirdars. The treaty with the British resulted in peaceful
period in the history of Kutch and the state became prosperous
with surplus funds, enabling the rulers to undertake public
and royal building projects.
ATTRACTIONS AND PLACES - BHUJ CITY
Lakhpatji's old palace, built in traditional Kutchi style, is
in a small fortified courtyard in the old part of the city.
It's a beautifully presented museum and is one of the
highlights of a visit to Bhuj. The entrance to the palace
houses the tourist office, and this is also the site of the
which has a varied collection of paintings, photos and
embroideries. There's a 15m long scroll depicting the Royal
Procession of Maharao Shri Pragmalji Bahadur (1838-75). Check
out the expression on the last blue-turbaned figure in this
epic painting he looks quite peeved at having to ignobly bring
up the up the of the procession!
attraction here, though, is the Hall of Mirrors,
created by the master artisan, Ram Singh Malam, under the
patronage of his poet-ruler, Maharao Shri Lakhpatji around the
middle of the 18th century.
Across the courtyard from the Aina Mahal is the
new palace, an ornate Italianate marble and sandstone building
which was constructed in the latter part of the l9th century.
Parts of it are now used for government of it are but the vast
and amazingly kitsch Durbar Hall and the clock tower
are open to the public. High up on the walls of this
unfurnished hall are portraits of past Maharaos, while down
below is the usual mausoleum of big game driven to the verge
of extinction by egotism and pompous pleasures.
last maharao died in the UK in 1991 and his palace to the east
of the lake has been turned into a small museum. Set in
spacious and beautifully tended gardens, the palace itself,
built in 1867, is of very modest proportions, with just a
drawing room downstairs and bedroom upstairs (closed). The
dining room is in a separate building and on
display here are a number of the maharao's personal
possessions, including his video player. Also on display is
his coffin, in which his body was brought back from the UK for
cremation. The palace is open from 9 am to noon and 3 to 6 pm
daily except Friday.
Kutch Museum was originally known as the Fergusson
Museum after its founder, Sir James Fergusson, a governor of
Mumbai under the Raj. Built in 1877, it's the oldest museum in
Gujarat and has an excellent collection. The well maintained
exhibits (labeled in English and Gujarati) include a picture
gallery, an anthropological section, archaeological finds,
textiles, weapons, musical instruments, a shipping section
and, of course, stuffed beasts. The museum is open every day
except Wednesday and the 2nd and 4th Saturday of
A unique Rabari
village, it has about 125 exquisitely designed Kachchhi huts
inhabited by about 400 Rabaris. Most of the male population is
generally away from the village. The interiors of the huts
present a pleasant spectacle of native art. A chat with the
womenfolk will introduce visitors to this insulated and
pristine culture, a world so different.
HOW TO REACH
Air : Bhuj is connected by air with Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
The Indian Airlines is on the New Station Road. Indian
Airlines and Jet Airways have daily flights to Mumbai.
Passenger aircrafts l and at the air force base 3½ km north of
the city limits.
» By Train: Bhuj railway station is 1
km north of the city. A few trains pass through Bhuj and one
has to go either to Palanpur (near Rajasthan border; 391 km)
or to Gandhidham, which have good rail connections to
important towns around this region.
By Road: One can also get state roadways buses as
well as private buses. There is good bus service for Ahmedabad
(7-hour trip) and to other towns in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
There are regular buses for villages around Bhuj.