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Gujarat: Gondal

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Gondal’s claim to fame is the string of palaces that exist here. 
The Naulakha Museum is open to the public. It is located in a somewhat decrepit riverside palace. This palace was built in a mixture of styles. What stands out are the striking gargoyles. The Museum has a number of royal artifacts. Pride of place is taken by scales used to weigh the Maharaja in 1934.Apparrantly the Maharaja was weighed against silver, which was then distributed to the poor. This was an annual feature on his birthday. 
The car museum is interesting for vintage car lovers. The museum houses the Royal fleet of cars. You will see over 50 very impressive vehicles. The best loved, perhaps, dates back to 1907. This was made by the "New Engine Company Acton".
Another interesting place to visit is an Ayurvedic Pharmacy where the practice of indigenous ancient Indian medicine--Ayurveda, still continues using ancient treatises. This is the Shri Bhuvaneshwari Aushadhashram Ayurvedic Pharmacy. The founding physician of this Pharmacy is said to have first used the title of Mahatma (great soul) to address Gandhi and the name stuck.
This Pharmacy dates back to 1910 when it was founded by the Royal Physician. This pharmacy still manufactures medicines as per ancient texts. You can see all the machinery involved. It is possible to buy medicine for conditions such as hair loss, insomnia, vertigo etc. Have faith and the medicines just might work. 
A white 19th century building houses the Swami Narayan temple belonging to the wealthy Swami Narayan sect. This is built on land donated by the Maharaja and has an attached farm. Bird watchers will delight in visiting the Veri Lake. This is really a large reservoir that attracts many migratory birds as well.
The Udhyog Bharti Khadi Gramudyog is where you will find hundreds of women employed spinning cotton in the upper storey of what is really a huge shop. Downstairs you can buy Khadi goods made from the hand woven cotton made famous y mahatma Gandhi and the National leaders of the time, who wore Khadi as a protest against mill made textiles from England during the British rule. You can buy saris and khadi outfits. 
There are few places to stay and they are pretty basic. A short distance from the Orchard Palace and part of the Bhuvaneswari complex is the Bhuvaneshwari Guest House basic but clean.
The Orchard Palace, a small palace, was once a royal guesthouse for guests of the Maharaja. Its rooms are not opulent but are filled with 1930s furniture and so provide a link to its past glory. One advantage of staying here is that you get free admission to Gondal's attractions.
For a delicious vegetarian "thali" meal the best place is Dreamland near the bus stand. It is truly hot and good. 
Gondal is connected by bus to Rajkot (one hour) Junagadh (2 hours) and Porbander (three hours). Trains from Rajkot to Junagadh stop at Gondal.


Taj Mahal full day from Delhi

Taj Mahal full day from Delhi

Travel Period: 29-09-12

Overall value: Great Value



Review by: Walter





Overall Experience:

Liked everything

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