As you drive down to Gondal from Rajkot, you will be surprised to see vintage cars streaming past on this 40 km stretch.
The Gondal state was one of the eight first class princely states of Kathiawar Agency during Bombay Presidency. Gondal finds mention in texts like Ain-i-Akbari (written in the reign of Akbar) and Mirat-i-Ahmadi as Vaghela state in Sorath (Saurashtra). The Gondal state in Kathiawar Agency was founded in 1634 by Thakore Shri Kumbhoji I Meramanji from Jadeja dynasty, who received Ardoi and other villages from his father Meramanji.
Apart from being royal rulers during the British times, the family was an enthusiast for automobiles, and a huge collection of vintage cars is housed in their Palace, even today.
Image Credit: nativeplanet
The palace, Naulakha Durbargarh, was built during the 17th century. This palace is one of the oldest and the most beautiful palace in Gondal. Situated on the banks of the river on a grand masonry base, rising to the monumental scale of at least 30 meters above the river bed, it offers a breath-taking sight.
The main entrance to the palace is guarded by a replica of the Big Ben in London. There are stone carvings with exquisite balconies, fabulous pillared courtyard, delicately carved arches, and a unique spiral staircase in the palace. The Darbar Hall has large chandeliers, stuffed panthers, gilt wooden furniture and antique Belgian mirrors. Standing amidst its remnants, you cannot but think of the royalty that presided in some parts of India, not very long ago.
Image Credit: tripadvisor
Apart from the ancient cars, the museum also displays horse-drawn carriages. There is also a colonial railway coach, once a part of the Gondal Royal Railways. From Vintage Ford to Buick taxis, Gondal hosts probably the largest collection of vintage automobiles in the country.
Image Credit: timesofindia
In the vicinity is the Orchard Palace. It is known as the Orchard Palace because of its huge surroundings of fruit orchards, lawns and gardens. There are many peacocks in the gardens of the palace. The Room of miniatures is a splendid sitting room with a collection of miniature paintings, brass, and antique furniture.
You can reach Gondal from Rajkot by road. You can also try the fried fritters which are a popular delicacy in Gondal.
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