The princely state of Wankaner was founded in 1605 AD by Sartanji, a member of the Jhala Rajput clan that came to Patdi in northwestern Saurashtra from Sindh in the 12th century and shifted capital to Halwad in the 15th century.
HH Amar Bane Singh, who introduced wide-ranging reforms in Wankaner, founded the Ranjit Vilas Palace in 1907 AD, half way up a hill and in the Precints of the 1880s Residency. It was Inaugrated by and named for his friend, Jam Sahib Ranjit Singhji of Nawanagar. In fact, Wankaner is one of the few princely capitals where most of the properties were named for rulers of different princely states.
The palace is a stupendous work of Venetian gothic architecture in an Orietalising vein, with arches, balconies, marble Biradaris and pillared porticoes. The interiors are equally delightful in their profusion of Italian marble, stained glass windows, European chandeliers, French crystal, Belgian glass, Burma Teak furniture, Persian rugs, custom woven Mirzapur carpets, magnificent drawing room and spiral staircases.
Accommodations are in the 19th century Residency, which once housed the British resident of Wankaner and the early - 20th century royal oasis, the former European Guesthouse. The properties are owned and family run by the son and grandson of HH Amer Sinh.
The Palace Museum
The Ranjit Vilas Palace has a memorable collection of swords, shields and daggers, 95 species of stuffed animals, duelling pistols, pigsticking spears, silver, linen chests, silver plated howdahs, thrones, paintings and portraits. The palace has magnificent spiralling marble staircase, stained glass galleries, chandeliers and period furniture.
Outside, one can see the garages with vintage cars like the 1921 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, some imposing American cars and horse drawn carriages. The palace has a stable of Kathiawadi horses. There are large grounds with beautiful Italianette fountains.
In the Royal Oasis Complex, the 3 storeyed stepwell, has 2 underground floors with cool subterranean marble rooms, fine sculpture and a fountain.
Wankaner town is known for it's brick makers, potteries, town is known for it's brick makers potteries, town gates, bazaars, old palace, playhouse cinema, memorial of Sartanji and his Sati wife, town gates and numerous royal initiatives.
Morbi is picturesque princely town, with fine palaces, gateways and cottage industries like pottery, brick making, clock making ceramics etc.
Halwad (approx. 75-km) The medieval seat of power of the jhala rajput clan, halwad has a lakeshore palace and oryal cenotaphs (chattries) with fine wood carvings and stone sculpture.
Tarnetar (approx. 45-km)
A historic temple site famous for its colourful bethoral fair (August/September) is among the places to visit in Saurashtra.
It's a beautiful creek with thousands of wading birds and eagles at entrance to Kutch.
Wankaner railway station is connected by trains to Mumbai. The palace is a 1 hour distance from Rajkot airport and a popular stopover midway of Ahmedabad & Bhuj kutch.
For travel Agents & Tour Operators in Gujarat - Click here