History of Prag Mahal
The construction of Prag Mahal building commenced in the year 1865. Rao Pragmalji II is credited with the establishment of this Mahal. The construction of this Mahal was completed in the year 1879, more specifically during the regency of Khengarji III, son of Pragmalji II. It was designed by Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins in the Italian Gothic style.
Architecture of Prag Mahal
Prag Mahal is a fine representation of Italian architecture. This Mahal has been made using Italian marble and sandstone, which were brought from Rajasthan. The main hall of this Mahal is filled with decaying taxidermy. It also has a durbar hall which is adorned with chandeliers and classical statues. The support to the palace structure is provided by the Corinthian pillars. This Mahal has Jali work depicting European plants and animals. The tower of Prag Mahal has been provided with a clock (45 foot), the second tallest clock tower in the country that gives an amazing view of Bhuj city from the top. This Mahal has also been provided with a courtyard behind the palace. This courtyard is a home to a small Hindu temple. This temple is adorned with remarkably carved stonework.
Utilization of Prag Mahal
The magnificent Prag Mahal has been portrayed in many notable Bollywood movies like ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ and ‘Lagaan’, and numerous Gujarati films as well.
Restoration of Prag Mahal
Restoration of Prag Mahal is attributed to the 2001 Gujarat earthquake. This earthquake had severely damaged the palace, developing many cracks between the stones in the wall. In 2006, the palace also became a victim to robbery. Antiques worth millions of rupees were stolen by the thieves. They further damaged other items of the Mahal. The palace is today reduced not only to a pitiable, but to a ghostly state. Fortunately, India’s renowned actor, Amitabh Bachhan took personal interest in the restoration of Prag Mahal. Consequently, the Prag was repaired. Its tower and clock were repaired and the Mahal was open for public viewing.