Saturday, 21 October 2017

Naulakha Palace near Rajcot - an impressive royal residence


The Naulakha Palace,Gondal TripAdvisor
The Naulakha Palace situated in Gondal city,  is  about 38 kilometres (24 mi) away from Rajkot, Gujarat.The palace has an overview of the Gondal River. Considered as the  oldest extant palace in Gondal, India, dating back to the 18th century (1748), it name implies "nine lakhs" (Rs 900,000) which was the cost of building it at that time. The Naulakha Palace has a "sculpted facade" and is a part of the Darbargardh fort complex. It is famous for stone carvings with "jharokhas" (balconies), a pillared courtyard, delicately carved arches, and a unique spiral staircase. The big darbar hall is adorned with large chandelier, taxidermied (stuffed) panthers, gilt wooden furniture, and antique mirrors. The eaves above the stone fittings on the first floor have nicely made sculptures of real and mythical animals. The palace boasts of a small private museum  and here on display are a variety of  silver caskets that were used for carrying messages and gifts for the Maharajah Bhagwat Sinhji on his silver jubilee as ruler of Gondal. Also included are numerous artifacts,  toy cars, antiques, countless books, artwork, etc. The are different kinds of balances in the museum. They were used by the Maharajah  on the occasion of his birth day to weigh gold equal to his wight to be donated to the poor. 

The Naulakha Palace,Gondal TripAdvisor
 The ruling clan of Gondal was of a Jadeja Rajput decent. The three -storied palace is replete with rich architectural features and the well furnished durbar hall is still being used by the present rulers. The stone carved first floor is flanked by impressive towers on either sides. The beautifully decorated balconies offer a panoramic view of the Godal city. 

The Naulakha Palace,Gondal Traveljee
No palace is complete without zenana  and this palace is no exception. Th palace in the fort complex has additional structures built at different periods.
The palace has a curved arch way with a clock tower.
The palace being just away, rectangular forecourt adorns the front part.   

Interior, The Naulakha Palace,Gondal tripadvisor.com

Included within the palace complex are structures built subsequently such as the Huzoor Palace, a large building which is currently the residence of the royal family; the Orchard Palace, a wing of the Huzoor; and the Riverside Palace, which is 1.26 kilometres (0.78 mi) away from Naulakha. The near-by zenana is not well maintained. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naulakha_Palace