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Jamnagar city was founded by Shree Jam Rawal in 1540 A.D. who originally belongs to Kutch but settled in Jamnagar, knows as Nawanagar. Jamnagar was originally fortified with several gateways. Darbargadh is the original residence of Jam Sahib. There is a fusion of Rajput and European art and architecture. Nawanagar is situated in the western part of India, well known as Jamnagar. Darbargadh is situated in the center of the city where Jam Raval had laid the foundation stone of Jamnagar city. The construction of the city started with the construction of Darbargadh.
Darbargadh: An Overview
At present one section of the building is known as Tilamedi, which belongs to the old times. It is believed that the coronation ceremony of all the kings took place in that building. Darbargadh is in the form of a rectangular fort surrounded by walls, having gates in each direction to enter it. Darbargadh has Ashapura Mataji’s temple. The wooden throne of Jam Raval, his sword, spear and dagger are still preserved in Tilamedi.
Darbargadh: Nomenclature & Architectural Style
“Darbargadh”, stands for the city of palaces of the former kings of the princely kingdoms that once made up the region. The Darbargadh's pre-dated the coming of the British as it contains architecture, art and sometimes even artifact, dating back to several hundred of years with almost no influence from the European style. During the British Raj most of these maharajas constructed new residence outside the cities and moved away from their subjects, and thus these palaces have been of little use for close to many hundred years. These palaces are hidden from view of the common public except a few such as the Aina Mahal Museum at the Darbargadh in Bhuj.
Many of the British period architecture have also been damaged significantly. In older times these palaces were constructed and used as administrative unit of the princely states. The Jamnagar Darbargadh suffered significant damages in the earthquake, but not as much damage that happened in Bhuj.
A Glimpse into the 'Darbar' of Darbargadh
The rooms in Darbargadh are full of paintings portraying armies bearing images of men and women with olive shaped eyes in the setting of battlefields, palaces or ashrams. We see famous paintings of Bhuchar Mori war and various other paintings on the wall. In one of the hall, the ceiling is covered with the map of Jamnagar. It is believed that this map was engraved in the year 1912. There are many intricate carvings in the balconies of Darbargadh's front part. The walls outside feature carved jarokha balconies designed in the Indian tradition. The Darbargadh has some admirable architectural specimens of carved pillars, wall paintings, stone carvings, jail screens, fretwork, ornamental mirrors and sculpture. Court records are preserved after the first floor.
Jam Ranjitsingh built two important urban projects in from of the Darbargadh namely Willington Crescent and Chelmsford Market. There is a statue of Jam Ranjitsinghji in the middle of the crescent. This market is located in front of the Willington Crescent which is a two storied arcade with semi circular arches on both the levels. At this semi circular arcade outside the palace, the former Maharajas of Nawanagar once used to gather and hold his public meetings. To sum up the Darbargadh of Jamnagar is one of the most magical yet least known historic complexes in India.
Addresses: DarbarGadh Palace Central Bank Rd, Kadiawad Jamnagar, Gujarat 361001