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Bhuj – A City Of Ancient Civilizations and Archeological and Natural Treasures
Places to Visit in Bhuj
Wildlife Sanctuaries and Reserves: There are numerous wildlife sanctuaries and reserves scattered around Bhuj, which house a wide range of animal, bird and plant species. Prominent among these are the Kutch Desert wildlife sanctuary, which is the largest seasonal saline wetland area. Then there is the Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, which is popular for housing endangered species such as Chinkara, Indian wolf, Honey badger and desert foxes etc. The Indian wild Ass sanctuary is renowned for its vast population of wild asses while the Chari- Dhand Wetland Conservation reserve is a treasure house for bird watchers as it houses nearly two hundred different species of birds.
Darbar Gadh and Aina Mahal: Darbar Garh is the palace complex which is houses the more famous Aina Mahal. Constructed by Maharao Lakhpatji, in the 18th century, the Mahal has been turned into a museum recently. This architectural treasure house is considered to indicate the love that Maharo had for art, literature and music. The beautiful design and layout of the palace is enhanced by the hall of mirrors, which is why the palace is named so. The main complex of Darbar Garh consisted of several royal chambers having magnificent designs, which indicated the art and culture of the city in that era. Even though the complex was destroyed in the earthquake of 2001, it has since been completely restored.
Prag Mahal: The palace is one of the major tourist attractions in the city of Bhuj. Even though its construction began in 1879, the palace took ten years to get completed. Built form sandstone and Italian marble, the Palace has beautiful jail work and numerous Corinthian pillars which have magnificent carvings of plants and animals from Europe. The design of the palace was conceived by Rao Pragmalji II in association with Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins, giving it a combined look of European and Indian Gothic style architecture.
Swami Narayan Mandir: This Hindu temple constructed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan in 1824 is another major tourist hot spot in Bhuj. When the temple was destroyed in the 2001 earthquake, it was reconstructed and re-opened for public in 2010. The new temple has been built only with marble and gold and is dedicated to Nar Narayan as well as Swaminarayan. The temple is known for the beautiful carvings made on the pillars and ceiling apart from which it also houses magnificent idols of various deities including Radha Krishna, Ghanshyam and Sukh Shaiya as well as the idol of Narnarayan Dev, established by Shri Swaminarayan himself.
Kutch Museum: If you are interested to know about the tribal life and folk tradition of Bhuj then it is must for you to visit Kutch Museum this is one of the oldest museum located in Bhuj area of Gujarat. It was founded in the year 1877. It was constructed by Maharao Khengarji. Here you will get to see collection of inscriptions of Kshatrapa of 1st AD period.
Hamirsar Lake: If you are visiting Bhuj in hot summer season, then must visit Hamirsar Lake to get cool. You can swim and enjoy scenic view sitting under the shade of tree. Swaminarayan Temple is located very close to this lake, so you can visit both these place in one go.
Sharad Baug palace: This palace was the king's residence till the time of King Madansingh, who was the last king of Kutch. He died in the year 1991 and since then this palace acts as a museum. The museum remains open all days of the year except Friday.
Black Hills or Kalo Dungar: If you want to enjoy the view where sky and desert touch each other then please visit the point which is highest in Kutch in the Black Hills. These Hills are also acting as a spot where you can get to see a 400 year old temple, which is dedicated to Dattatreya, which is an idol having three heads, one of lord Vishnu, One of Lord Shiva and one of Lord Brahma in same body.
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