Aina Mahal Palace is an extraordinary piece of structuring built in 18th century during the rule of Maharao Lakhpatji. It is also known as ‘the mirror palace’. History of aina mahal starts with Maharao Lakhpatji’s passion for music, architecture, literature and art. Consequently he thought of building a palace which resembles his royal dream of having a palace which is designed in a mixed Indo-European style. The person behind this extremely beautiful Aina Mahal Palace was craftsman Ramsinh Malam. he spend almost two decades of his life in Europe and received training in various fields like clock making, cannon fabrication, enamelling, tile making and architecture. He established a glass factory at nearby city Mandvi so that he could create materials locally. He also crafted the mirrors, fountains and glasswork for the palace by himself. There is a pendulum clock which is synchronized with Hindu calendar.
The palace is a two story building having the “Darbar” hall and royal suits for Maharao’s family at first floor. Second floor is the place where you will find the main attraction “Hall of Mirrors”. You will be left spell bound while you will have a look on white marbled walls covered with carved mirrors. The entire hall is lightening up by the elaborate pendant candelabra with shades of Venetian glass. This shows the expertise of planning and marvellous engineering of craftsman Ramsinh Malam. The hall also has various fountains that looks like a charm to viewer and helps to keep the temperature down. Carpeted floor still contains Rao’s bed along with collection of antique items.
In the earthquake of 2001, it was severely damaged and large part of Aina Mahal Palace is closed for repair. Though, Aina Mahal is a perfect place if you are fan of Indian history, architecture and antiques. The palace is run by a local trust and not by the government. You can plan your visit to the Aina Mahal Palace during winter months. The local weather stays pleasing during this time while the temperature ranges from 20 to 28. Aina Mahal is at the northeast corner of Hamirsar Lake. The palace is open all the way through 365 days from 9:00 in the morning to 11:45 and from 3:00 in the noon to 5:45.