The Aaina Mahal palace, or ‘Hall of Mirrors’ was built during the flamboyant rule of Lakhpatji in the middle of the 18th century. The responsibility of engineering, architecture and embellishment was entitled to Ram Singh Malam – a genius of an artist who took his training in Europe for 17 years but came back to India seeking name and fame. He was asked by the king to create this palace of dreams for him, and thus the Aina Mahal came into existence.
However, what once stood proudly with glittering glasses, antique clocks and exotic tile works was shaken and dishevelled in the 2001 earthquake that hit Bhuj. The loss was tragic, but it has now been recovered and renovated for people to visit safely again. The Aina Mahal is at the northeast corner of Hamirsar lake, easily walkable from most of Bhuj. Be sure to explore the rest of the compound outside the palace, with its beautiful carved doorways, elaborate window boxes and balconies.