: Bhuj, Gujarat.
: Aina Mahal.
The heritage of Kachchh art and culture is displayed in the Madansihji Museum (Aina
Mahal) Bhuj. The last ruler of Kachchh Maharao Madansinhji established the
Maharao of Kachchh Aina Mahal Trust on 1st January, 1977. Aina Mahal means a 'mirror palace'. It was created by the artists Ramsinh & Gaidhar Devshi
in the period of Maharao Lakhpatji (1752-61).
In 1757, visited the emperor Alamgir in Delhi. He was graced with the title of
'Mahi Maratib'. He welcomed foreigners in his court. Fortune brought him a man named
Ramsingh Malam who specialized in Kachchhi architecture, enamel work,
jewellery, tile work and interior decoration.
The speciality of Ramsingh is the Hall of Mirrors in the Aina
Mahal. The walls are white marble covered with mirror which are separated by gilded ornaments. The hall is lit by elaborate pendant candelabra with shades of Venetian glass. The hall of mirrors is on the second floor of the Aina
Mahal but Ramsingh devised ingenious pumps and siphons to raise water to fill the pleasure pool and to operate fountains, which cast spray in an intricate variety of patterns charming the eye and cooling the air.
The small state residence, carpeted with exquisite Kachchhi silk embroidery, its walls paneled high with the same priceless fabrics still contains
Maharao Lakhpatji's bed. The hall is filled with a miscellaneous collection of objects; a Dutch Clock, English and French celestial globes, some antique pictures, mechanical toys, glass and china. On the walls of the corridor are a variety of pictures, some European and many Indian. The
Aina Mahal alone cost eight million kories and was only one of the many enterprises which the
Maharao and Ramsingh undertook together.