BHUJ

Bhuj has a dramatic setting located rather low, it is in an amphitheater of hills, some of which approach the city within three or four miles and others within ten or twelve miles. The town is dominated by the Bhujia Hill, which rises to a height of 160 meters at one and and is, in itself, a landmark being flat on top and surmounted by the fortification of a hill fort which once served as a kind of outwork defense for Bhuj. In khengarji's line Maharao shri Lakhapatji came on throne in 1752 A.D. He welcomed foreigners at his court, and his hospitality was always open to travelers from foreign countries. Fortune brought to him after his own heart in the person of that remarkably versatile genius Ram Singh Malam whose abiding influence be traced in so much that is characteristic of Kutchi architecture, enamel work, jewelry, toe work and interior decoration. Ramsingh was Wager by caste and followed the sea from very early years. In the course of the voyage to Africa, while he was still lad, he suffered ship-wreck, and was rescued by a dutch ship which was making its way back ot the Netherlands. After many adventures, which included beating off on an attack by pirates, the vessel, with Ramsingh on board, safely reached its home port in Europe He board. He became an expert in the tile work, the glass blowing, and the enamel work for which the Dutch Craft men were famous. He also learned clock-making, designing of buildings and stone carving, after European fashion, as well as the elements of foundry work and gun casting. Maharao Lakhapatji believed so firmly in Ramsingh's capabilities that he sent him twice back to Europe to perfect his knowledge of glass making and of iron founding. A glass factory was set up near Mandvi where suitable sand was found. A tile factory was also established upon kutchi art and architecture. He designed the palaces at Mandvi and at Bhuj (Aina Mahal) as also the Chatedi of Maharao Desal and Maharao Lakhapatji outside Bhuj.

Bhuj: Headquarters of the district and the most important place in the area is the walled town of Bhuj, picturesquely placed between two streams. Bhuj was built by Rao Khengarji (1548-85). The city wall, 10.5mtrs high and forming a polygon, has 5 major gates and one small gate known Chathi bari. Not much remains of thrt wall. Bhuj,set againts the dramatic backdrop of Bhujio hill is an interesting city to explore. The tombs,palaces, museums and other buildings from the rule of Naga chiefs, the Jadeja Rajput's the Gujarat Sultans and the British also form a part of Bhuj's history.

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