Mani Mandir

Mani Mandir | Wagh Mahal Morbi

Mani Mandir is a stunning piece of temple architecture, situated in the courtyard of Wellingdon Secretariat, in Morbi, Gujarat. Built in 1935, this magnificent structure took shape in Jaipur stone, adorned with exquisitely carved elements-arches, brackets, jalis, chhatris and shikhara. The temple enshrines the images of Lakshmi Narayan, Goddess Kali, Lord Ram, Radha- Krishna and Lord Shiva.

Mani Mandir stands as a testimony to the excellent workmanship and dexterity of its master craftsmen and architects, who had conceived and materialized the structure at the turn of 20th century.

Morbi’s Mani Mandir, an excellent piece of temple architecture and a palace belonging to the erstwhile princely state of Morbi in Saurashtra is going to be renovated and converted into a first of its kind museum showcasing the socio-cultural heritage of the Saurashtra region.

Built by Thakor Saheb Sir Waghji to immortalize his love for a girl named Mani, the building is a symbol of love that stands testimony to excellent workmanship .

After Independence, it was transformed into a government building.In the 2001 earthquake, the palace was damaged to a great extent.The state government, on February 4, handed over the place to the Rajmata and Rajkumari on a 20-year lease at a token rate of Re 1 per year.

The erstwhile royal family has now accepted responsibility of the project to renovate and transform the building into a museum, right from funding to execution.The royal family has set aside funds amounting to a whopping Rs 20 crore for renovating the building and developing a museum which will act as a platform to promote cultural and social heritage of Gujarat with special focus on Saurashtra. The highlight of the museum post-renovation will be tableaux by over 700 erstwhile princely states that made up Kathiawar before Independence. The cultural diversity in attire, food, dances, arts and the like will find place in them.

Mani Mandir is a structure adorned with exquisitely carved arches, brackets, jalis, chhatris and shikhara. At the centre of the temple complex, overlooking the river Machhu is the temple of Radha Krishna. A rectangular double-storied complex with over 130 rooms surrounds the temple. Waghji had completed the structure at a cost of Rs 30 lakh in 1922 and died the same year.

The 25-metre high structure survived the massive flood that hit Morbi town in 1979 when the Machhu Dam broke, but not the earthquake. After the quake, the entire taluka administration, including the courts that the building housed, was moved to a new location.