The architectural trails in Gujarat
Gujarat has always been on impressive growth whether we talk about its history or present because of which it has been able to attract major section of tourism. Gujarat is an Indian state with extensive architectural heritage which were the result of the architecture brought by emperors ruled over Gujarat. Eventually the powers of Rajput and Europe especiallythe British resulted in the creation of buildings in a fusion of eastern and western style. The beauty of Gujarat is magnificent and it gives the view of both western and Indian culture which has made famous amongst tourists.
The best place to begin an architectural tour of Gujarat is none other than Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad’s walled city contains a number of majestic mosques and tombs which are the architectural gems and splendid secular buildings. These buildings are worth watching if you have not seen something like this till date it is because these are mainly ornate houses which are known as havelis with finely carved wooden facades, doors, balconies and exquisite filigree screens. Ahmedabad has two sides, the western side of Ahmedabad is delightful for those interested in the modern architecture and the other side is the walled city i.e. a living museum of mosques, temples and havelis.
Next is ‘Torana’ which is a rich sculptural heritage of North Gujarat. It has been the work of the time when Rajput ruled over Gujarat. Torana was built as the entrance to a temple; from here you can continue to the massive Jain temple, Modhera Sun Temple, etc. It is comprised of beautifully carved columns supporting a profusely carved arch and if this is missed then your journey to Gujarat will be incomplete. Apart from these there are many magnificent buildings that have been a gift form ruling dynasties to Gujarat which have now become tourist’s spot.
The powerful ruling dynasties of Gujarat built magnificent secular buildings, mainly forts, palaces and administrative centres, in their respective princely states. Names of some of the palaces and forts are:
- Hira Gate of Dabhoi: It is near Vadodar, and it is best known exuberantly carved sculpted getaway which was built by the Solanki Rajputs.
- The Lakshmi Vilas Palace: This palace is an example of the grand architectural style of British architects who incorporated Islamic and Hindu architecture into European classical and Venetian-Gothic styles to create striking palaces and buildings.
- The Vijay Vilas Palace: Standing on the terraces of this palace you can enjoy sea breezes and an unending view of the Arabic Sea.
- Aina Mahal: This mahal is known for its exquisite interiors embellished by Ram Singh. He brought with him skills like glass blowing, foundry and tile making from Netherlands.
- The Pragmahal: It was also built by the noted architect who was also an army general, Henry Saint Clair Wilkins.
Apart from these there are temples and many more places to visit in Gujarat. All of these place i.e. palaces, temples, forts etc. in together makes Gujarat one amongst best tourism places.