Did you ever wonder about the whereabouts of the magnificent palaces where some of the magical hindi movies were being shot?
Vijay Vilas Palace, Mandvi in Kutch is one such place.
Located 5kms from the ancient port town of Mandvi, the palace was inspired from the ones at Orchha and Datia in Madhya Pradesh. The construction material is mainly red-sandstone. The best artisans from all over India were brought to built the palace.
It was built during 1920-29, Maharao Shri Khengarji III, the King of Kutch.
The name Vijay Vilas comes from the fact that it was built as a summer retreat for his son Vijayaraji.
I had to walk for about 500 metres inside the compound through dense vegetation in the privately maintained sanctuary. There are jackals and chinkara in these areas. There are also a lots of peacocks.
As I entered, I was greeted by this camel and his new born baby. It was barely able to stand. The caretaker said that it was just three days old and it was standing for the first time that day.
After having a stroll to the entrance, the palace kind of appeared all of a sudden in the middle of the jungle.
I went around the rooms around the ground floor. You cannot enter the rooms but can take pictures from outside the windows.
The extended verandahs overlooking lush green lawns made a perfect setting for a get-together.
I took the flight of dark spiral stairs to the top. The morning rays of sun made a beautiful illumination.
The view from the top of the palace is just superb. You can see the palace surrounded by dense vegetation of shrubs of about 450 acres. It also houses a 2 kilometer private beach.
Can you see the shining water of the Arabian sea?
The morning sun shining through the jharokhas made some amazing sights. The pigeon waited patiently till I got my perfect click.
No matter which corner of the palace you go to, the views are always breathtaking.
There was a cannon in the compound as well.
Outsite the palace, there was a statue of His Highness Maharaja Dhiraj Mirza Maharao Shri Khengarji Savai Bahadur GCSI FCIE Maharao of Kutch. That was quite a long name 🙂
Though this palace is still being used as a private residence, part of it is open to visitors. It is also used for movies. Some of the blockbusters like Lagaan and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam were filmed here.
How to reach: Regular buses and jeeps depart from Bhuj about every 30 min.
Accomodation – The best accommodation is The Beach at Mandvi Palace.
Mandvi is also famous for the ship-building industry.
Thanksgiving – Visiting around Kutch would have been impossible without help of my friend Linesh Shah who was kind enough to give me his bike for my use.
Thank you for reading this post. You might like to read by previous posts.
Thank you for reading this post. Hope you liked spending time here. I will be back again with another interesting place.
You might like to read the previous posts
This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.
He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer through his Photography workshops and Photo Tours and Photowalks.
All rights reserved. No copying without permission of the author Saurabh Chatterjee