Location : Bhuj, Gujarat.
Housed In : Aina Mahal.
Established in : 1977 AD.
Your Gujrat trip will never be successful if you miss out Mandansihji museum. This museum houses ‘Aina Mahal’ which is a spectacular riddle of reflection.
The Mandansihji museum is the ideal storehouse of art and culture of Kachchh. ‘Aina Mahal’ which is the prime feature of this museum and was established by the last ruler of Kachchh named Maharao Madansinhji on 1st January, 1977. The ‘Aina Mahal’ was designed and created by two artists namely, Ramsinh & Gaidhar Devsh during the period of Maharao Lakhpatji (1752-61).
Aina Mahal :
Aina Mahal or the hall of mirrors is a great masterpiece created by Ramsingh. The walls of this Mahal are made by marble and are covered by mirrors of various shapes and sizes. The mirrors are separated by gilded ornaments. The entire hall is lit by small pendant candelabra with varied shades of Venetian glasses. The hall is situated in the second floor of the building and has an elaborate pleasure pool and fountain. It is a miraculous job by Ramsingh who used ingenious pumps and several siphons to bring water to that height in order to operate the pool and fountain.
The artifacts displayed in this museum showcases the intricately designed Mahrao Lakhpatji’s bed. You will find miscellaneous objects like French celestial globe, a Durtch clock, mechanical toys, antique pictures and potteries made of glass and china. On the walls of the museum hang variety of pictures, some of which are European and other are Indian. The Aina Mahal also fetched a cost of eight million kories during its time and was owned jointly by Maharao and Ramsingh.
During 1757 Maharao Lakhpatji visitied emperor Alamgir in Delhi and was then awarded with the title of Mahi Maratib'. Subsequently he started inviting foreign guests in his court. And one day luck brought him Ramsingh who specialized in Kachchhi architecture, interior decoration enamel work, jewellery and tile work.