Top 5 places to visit in Bhuj
Located abreast of Kutch, Bhuj is a diamond jewel in the map of Gujarat. Be it culture, ancient heritage, glorious history, or the diverse tourism, Bhuj marks its presence sublimely not only in Gujarat but in the whole nation. Bhuj is probably the most visited region in Gujarat and the reason being, it is the gateway to the Kutch. From the era of Mahabharata to the Indus Valley Civilization and from Naga rulers of medieval era to the British Raj of recent history, Bhuj has witnessed a set of ups and downs but has always been a key player in Gujarat. Accumulating all its remnants, it represents itself beautifully in a form of a touristic hub. So, let’s explore the royal city Bhuj with a slow walkthrough.
Located on the western edge of Bhuj, Hamirsar Lake is famous in Bhuj for many reasons. Its natural splendor and the royal history are a few to name out. It was built and named after Jadeja Maharaja Rao Hamir during the 15th century. At that time, the king had built it to fulfill the water needs of his kingdom but now, it has become a tourist destination in Bhuj. It is located near to Prag Mahal. In fact, you can have an eye-catching view of Hamirsar Lake from the top roof of Prag Mahal. The migratory birds playing with the water are the most beautiful thing you can see in Hamirsar Lake. The water of Hamirsar Lake is a bit muddy, so don’t step into the lake.
Literally translated as ‘The Palace of Mirrors’, Aaina Mahal is the most resplendent royal edifice in Bhuj. It was commissioned in the 18th century during the realm of Maharaja Lakhpatji. The Indo-European architectural style and the meticulous paintings & art galleries of Aaina Mahal are the major catchment of eyes. However, now the glitter of Aaina Mahal is lost amid the misty storms of nature. An earthquake in 2001 hit the palace hard and it went all into the ruins except for a particular corner. Nevertheless, the palace is still the crowd puller in Bhuj. That intact portion of the palace has been converted into a museum and now it showcases the artifacts associated with the palace as well the rulers. Aaina Mahal was spread in such a whopping area that even after the destruction, the remaining portion seems no less than a palace.
Just turn your head from Aaina Mahal, the sumptuousness of Prag Mahal will enthrall you. Before starting the royal description of Prag Mahal, let’s get a clear picture of this palace. Remember, the blockbuster Bollywood movies ‘Hum dil de chuke sanam’ and ‘Lagaan’? who won’t, right? Well, a number of scenes from movies have shot in Prag Mahal. Now, you can imagine, if it looks so imposing in the film, how it would feel like to see it in front of your eyes. Built in the 19th century, the palace still appears as if it was built last year only. Boasting the Italian-Gothic architectural style, Prag Mahal is a one of its kind in Gujarat. The intricate carvings, fascinating marble work, and latticed windows are the central attractions of Prag Mahal.
Not only the Mandvi Beach but the entire Mandvi town deserves a visit. Located on the outskirts of Bhuj, Mandvi Beach is one of the most popular tourist destination in Bhuj. Being the only beach in the city, it receives huge numbers of visitors. Spreading against the majesty of Vijay Vilas Palace, Mandvi Beach is known for the camel riding and various water sports activities. If you don’t want to go for the water sports activities, just take a stroll along the sandy coastline of the beach. The tranquil ambience and the pristine beauty of Mandvi Beach steal the heart of every visitor. To add more to the amusement of Mandvi Beach, the food stalls set on the seashore leaves no stone unturned. So, visit the beach with your loved ones and create a bundle of memories.
Swami Narayan Temple
You can visit Swami Narayan Temple while you’re on Hamirsar Lake because it is located next to the lake. Like other Swami Narayan Temples, this one too was built by the ‘Swami Narayan Sampradaya’. Built impeccably stunning, Swami Narayan Temple is an architectural masterpiece of 18th century. Lord Shree Krishna and Goddess Radha are the presiding deities in Swami Narayan Temple. The destructing 2001 earthquake had shaken the splendor of Swami Narayan Temple. Even some parts of the temple fell apart but miraculously, the wooden sculptures of Lord Krishna and Radha remained untouched and are still intact. So, visit this divine temple and treat your eyes with spirituality as well as architectural beauty.
Best time to visit Bhuj
Summers are scorching in Bhuj, so better avoid them. And if you’re visiting during this season, be prepared to get beaten by the heat. Talking about rainy season, needless to say, monsoon months are always unpredictable in India, so you can have a good as well as bad trip experience. To avoid all these uncertainties, visit Bhuj in winters. This is the most preferred time to explore every bit of it. The average temperature during this season remains somewhere between 15°C – 30°C, so you can enjoy the city the way you want.
How to reach Bhuj
As I said before, Bhuj is a major tourist destination in Gujarat. It has its own airport and railway station. The Bhuj Airport is merely 9 km from the main city and Bhuj railway station is even nearer making it the most appropriate way to reach the city. From Bhuj railway station, it’s hardly 10 minutes’ drive for the main city. If you talk about the road network, the city is well-linked. The state buses connect it to the other cities of Gujarat. You can also reach Bhuj from the major city of India such as Delhi and Mumbai by your own vehicles.
The list of places to visit in Bhuj goes endless. These are just the prominent ones. The awesomeness of the tourism of Bhuj is that it is extremely diverse. If at a moment you’re in a royal palace, you might find yourself in a thrilling wildlife sanctuary in next moment and again in the very next moment, the spirituality of a temple can give you some inner peace. Thus, Bhuj is hard to capture in words. It can only be captured in heart. So, visit and experience.