Daulat Mahal and its very original graffiti, Idar

As you walk up the steps to the 'Daulat Mahal' (originally Idariyo Gadh, or Palace of Wealth in English), the ruins look anything but impressive. This was my second visit to this Palace in Idar, and I wasn't expecting much this time either. We were all tired and sweating profusely, but were nevertheless keen on visiting this prominent landmark in the town.


daulat mahal idar gujarat graffiti
The palace ruins through the rocks
daulat mahal idar gujarat graffiti
A beautiful yellow block on the second level

There is little history shared at the entrance and all I could figure out from the local 'pan shop' was that this was built by a Jain king who controlled a few thousand villages around Idar. Looking at the rather humble palace, one could say that he was rich but not extravagant; or maybe most of the glory is already lost. He married at least twice. When he got his new wife home, the older one was furious and left the king for good. He built her a small palace atop the highest hill close to his own Palace where she lived in company of a horse and another maid.

daulat mahal idar gujarat graffiti vikram tej nid
Tej flaunting his assets in air!
daulat mahal idar gujarat graffiti vikram tej nid
The gang (am missing)!

The palace is all but destroyed by both nature and man. No past glories remains within the palace, except a few impressive arches. However, something unintentional has happened over the years as men and women professed their love for each other on the walls, ceiling and floor of the palace. Every part of the palace is covered with these words, often black with a few colors thrown in sometimes. The fact that most of these talk about love makes them even more wonderful.



daulat mahal idar gujarat graffiti vikram tej nid
Tej with the full-on attitude!
daulat mahal idar gujarat graffiti
Another friend in love!


daulat mahal idar gujarat graffiti
Graffiti art

And some of these are actually very beautiful. Since there is little left to be seen in palace, it was a pleasure to acquaint oneself with various modes of wall art. Though most have used the walls for writing, a few are also engraved on the walls and floor.


daulat mahal idar gujarat graffiti
Art on the floor
daulat mahal idar gujarat graffiti
Graffiti art
daulat mahal idar gujarat graffiti
Some art on the walls!

Any opinions on this bizarre art destroying an old palace? The new art is already a part of the experience of visiting the palace, but is it art at all? Should this be retained, if the palace is ever restored to its former glory?

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