Talking of Bhuj, a historical town which lies in the Kutch district of Gujarat, one would instinctively associate the municipality with the earthquake that almost wiped out the region in 2001. However, the township has a very colorful and intriguing past and the numerous old structures in the town stand as concrete testimonials of its glorious times of yore. Of all the monuments that mirror the township’s past, the Sharad Baug Palace is one edifice that occupies a pride of place.
The palace has an old-world charm about it and the architecture of the citadel judiciously blends in Italian and Indian styles. Sharad Baug Palace was considerably destroyed during the last earthquake and all the floors, starting from the first to the ground have been closed. However, visitors can view memorabilia and artifacts (related to the palace) that have been kept in a antechamber that once used to be the dining hall.
Sharad Baug Palace was built in the year 1867 and is positioned right in the middle of the Sharad Baug Park. The entire area has numerous gardens and orchards that are dotted with medicinal and fruit-bearing trees. The palace was owned by the Maharaos who used to govern Kutch. Maharao Madansinhiji Jadeja, the last of the Maharao rulers spent the better part of his life in this palace. Following India’s independence in 1947, Kutch became a part of Saurashtra after Madansinhiji signed the succession treaty.
The original building which got badly demolished during the earthquake appears quite unassuming amidst surroundings that are more grandiose. The bedroom, drawing room, and the guest room occupy maximum room in the palace. The dining room is housed in an adjacent building. Collectibles and antiques including paintings, statuettes, handicrafts, swords, spears, and hunting trophies are there on display at the palace which has been turned into a museum.
Best time to visit
Although, the palace witnesses visitors around the year but it is always recommended to visit the place during the months of November to March. Bhuj remains quite hot during the remaining part of the year.
Where is it located?
Sharad Baug Palace is situated on Sanjog Nagar Road on the eastern end of the Hamirsar Lake. The railway station and airstrip are located close to the building. Sharad Baug Palace is open on all days excepting Fridays. There is an entry fee of Rs.25 per head.