Prag Mahal Gujarat

Prag Mahal with clock tower on
Rao Pragmalji II began  the construction work in 1838 A.D  and took a few decades to complete it. Finished in  the year 1879, during the regency of Khengarji III (Pragmalji II's son) following Pragmalji II's demise in 1875, the architect of this palace was Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins, who got a good reputation during that period. The cost of  construction of this palace was  Rs 31 lakh,  a huge sum in those days. Saint Wilkins, who was British,  employed many Italian artists, engineers and artisans to  make it an impressive building. It is said the wages were paid in gold coins. You can see the entire Bhuj city from its 45-foot high tower. The Corinthian pillars and ornamental Jali work
Prag mahal, Durbar hall, Bhuj.
that  depicts European plants and animals are to be seen to be appreciated. The jigsaw pattern of red-tiled roof  and nicely carved wooden balconies add European flavor to the building. The dimension of Durbar hall is 25 M X 12 M X 12 m (height)  and has fine  verandas  and corner towers and zenanas decorated with Minton tiles, carving, gilding and marbles.  The architect sought the help of local builder communities - Mistris  of Kutch. The building is made of Italian marble and sandstone mined in Rajasthan.

The 2001 Gujarat earthquake severely damaged this palace as well as other historical buildings like Aima Mahal, part of Dhargharb palace. The unfortunate fact is this palace of beauty was broken into by thieves in 2006, who, besides stealing antiques worth millions of rupees damaged  countless valuable and rare items of historical value  throughout the palace. The stolen and damaged items can not be quantified and it was a big loss   Until recent past this structure was  in ruins. Thanks to Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachan who took keen interest in this old structure and repaired the palace, tower and  the Clock. Now, it is open to public view. Prag mahal is close to Aina Mahal.

Haresh Pandya. "Burglars targeting Gujarat palaces". (September 04, 2006)