Located in the state of Gujarat, Bhuj is the westernmost city within the Indian subcontinent. Featuring a long history of empires and kings, Bhuj is a treasure trove of heritage and culture where you can peep in the past through its old and creaky palaces or discover the city’s culture while wandering in its narrow yet busy streets.
As a stopover for tourists who are bound for the Rann of Kutch and other interesting destinations within the state, Bhuj itself is no slouch when it comes to travel experiences. To underline this fact, we have mentioned the most famous places to visit in Bhuj that you should add to your itinerary: –
Also known as the “Hall of Mirrors”, Aina Mahal is one of the top places to see in Bhuj for those who take a special interest in architecture and history. With a rich collection of antiques and pieces of art, Aina Mahal stands within the compound of Darbargadh, another one of the popular tourist places in Bhuj.
Enter inside, and you will see Aina Mahal as a charming structure features elaborately mirrored interiors in the form of numerous glass exhibits on pillars, walls, ceilings, and even windows. The brilliance here is all mirrored!
Located in the eastern part of the city, Bhujiyo Hill is one of the top places for sightseeing in Bhuj. Overlooking the city of Bhuj, this place is associated with a popular legend that states that it was home to Naga chieftains in the past. There is also a temple dedicated to Bhujang, the last chieftain of the tribe worshipped as a snake god here.
We concur with what you are thinking right now – those were steadfast times indeed! Make sure you catch a glimpse of the Bhujia Fort as well, a structure built for strengthening the defense of the city by the Jadeja chiefs that stands atop this hill.
Located in the heart of the city, Hamirsar Lake is a manmade water body that was constructed by the former rulers of the region, to provide the locals with water for their domestic needs. Different tunnels and channels carried water from three rivers to fill this lake. However, the earthquake of the year 2001 that strongly affected Gujarat distorted the lake and its systems. Seeing the interest that this lake gets from locals and tourists alike, it was revived later by the joint efforts of the municipality and locals. The Lake has been named after Rao Hamir, a Jadeja ruler, and is yet another beautiful place for sightseeing in Bhuj.
Standing on the outskirts of the city, Prag Mahal is another architectural wonder that also happens to be quite a popular place to see in Bhuj. With its gothic style of architecture and the Corinthian pillars, Prag Mahal has a unique feel about it. Made out of red sandstone, this palace was designed by Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins and commissioned by the then ruler, Maharao Pragmal Ji.
The palace in itself is magnificent and imposing. The intricate carvings, meshwork on the jharokhas and wall arts are the key highlights of this palace. You’d think that all of this makes it a great location; well, you are right! Several popular Bollywood movies such as Lagaan, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, etc. have been shot here.
Popular as the oldest museum in the entire state of Gujarat, the Kutch museum is another famous place to visit in Bhuj for tourists. Located on the banks of Hamirsar Lake, this museum was established in the year 1887.
The museum has various curios like silverware, weapons, sculptures, and wildlife to costumes and artefacts related to tribes of Kutch, within its display, thus making it one of the most interesting things to do when in Bhuj.
Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Rann of Kutch, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary is among the largest seasonal saline wetlands regions and extends to an area of around 7505.22 square kilometers. The sanctuary is home to an interesting mix of animal species like Indian porcupine, black-necked storks, spiny-tailed lizard, Indian cormorant, and wild ass. If you have been ought to find the best places to visit in Bhuj, then add this one to your list.
A portion of the sanctuary forms the international border between India and Pakistan and is hence closed to the public. The white surface formed by the crystalline deposits here, when the water dries up, makes for a fascinating sight, like a vast endless canvas you can paint for a lifetime…
Shri Swaminarayan Temple
Built out of white marble, Shri Swaminarayan temple is among the most famous places to visit in Bhuj for tourists. Standing near Hamirsar Lake, this temple is a stunning structure that was constructed back in 1822. A Sampraday Swaminarayan temple, it was greatly distorted in the earthquake of 2001. Following this, the deities of this temple were moved and a new temple was constructed to house them. A walk around the temple complex will bring you face to face with some of the finest craftsmanship.
Sharad Baugh Palace
Built in 1867, Sharad Baugh Palace is an Italianate structure that was the house of the last Maharao of Kutch, Madansingh. After his death in the year 1991, the palace was transformed into a museum. The palace too, just like various other structures in the region was affected in the earthquake of 2001 and lost most of its third floor to it. What initially served as the dining hall of the Maharao in one of the lower floors, now houses the varied museum collection.
Interestingly, the coffin of the Maharao is still preserved in this palace, making it an intriguing place to visit in Bhuj.
Folk Art Museum
Better known as the Bhartiya Sanskruti Darshan Museum, this is where you can find artefacts related to the tradition and culture of Kutch. Located close to the collector’s office in the city, this museum is easily accessible.
Being one of the top places to visit in Bhuj, this museum has an extensive collection of textile items and objects belonging to the royal families of Bhuj. Carefully decorated within the museum, these items serve as symbols of the rich past of the city. Rabari bhungas (mud and mirror work huts), various objects carved out of stone and wood and different types of musical instruments, are among the prime objects to be seen here. An absolute haven for those who love museums!
Visiting Bhuj will allow you to experience hospitality that is rarely seen in modern times now. Now that you know of the top places to visit in Bhuj, start looking for travel packages for Bhuj that suit your budget and preferences, and witness the splendor that this wonderful destination has on offer.