Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Junagadh City Nawabi Places Saurashtra Gujarat India

The middle of the 19th century, peace reigned under the British umbrella,and the Nawabs moved down from Uparkot, and started built the walled sections of Junagadh, which is still a picturesque city with monuments and gardens.

The Nawabs depended for their state's development on assisitance from the British colonial rulers, and in consequence the preffered style of architecture was Venetian Gothic, as can be seen from the palaces and the public institutions-clock towers, schools, bazaars, hospitals, city gates, district court, prison and most of all, the imposing Bahauddin college.

The buildings have thick walls, carvings, cornices and elegant columns outside, while the interiors had wall paintings and stucco or canvas false ceilings.

The 160 sq foot hall of the Bahuddin college is noted for it's wood carvings seen on the timber roof, the galleries and the carved brackets, the Sardar bagh palace for it's stucco carvings and the Rang mahal palace for it's fancy canvas ceiling.

Maqbara Junagadh :-

The older complex of maqbaras (mausoleoms) of the Nawabs of Junagadh, located near Chitkana chowk offer some remarkable 18th century architecture with vertical columns, delicate carved arches, cornices and domes in a range of sizes, the whole accentuated by a wealth of brilliant stone carvings.

The newer complex, near the town gates, is even more impressive and attractive, besides being better maintained. The naya Maqbara complex was started by Mahabat Khanji in 1878, completed in 1892 by his successor, Bahadur Khanji, and enshrined also Rasul Khanji in 1911 ADThe complex includes the mausoleom of Baha-ud-din, minster of Nawab Rasul Khanji, which has an almost funfairish flamboyance-4 minarets with pirouetting spiral staircases, a facade rich in stone carvings, beautiful silver doors and large sized domes mark the architecture of this tomb of the great minister in the Nawabi court, titled Vazir-e-azam.

Beside the maqbaras is the Jumma mosque, dated to 1886-97 which has geometric rows of coloured pillars leading to a cool marble minbar, and an Islamic religious school.

Roaming around the streets of Junagadh look for a number of old havelis, known for their jarokhas (intricately bracketed balconies) and wood carvings and the town gates including the Majevdi gate, the Junagadh gate near the new Maqbara cluster and the Reay gate, an imposing 2 storeyed cresent archway with domes and minarets.

The New Bazaar and the Sardar bagh garden are other reminders of the Nawabi period.

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