Rajkumari Brijeshwari Kumari Gohil has been quietly cataloguing artworks, manuscripts, letters, registers, books, and even furniture — all digitally, for posterity, and for scholars of history — at her palace in Bhavnagar. A descendant of Maharaja Raol Thakore Sahib Takhtsinhji Jaswantsinhji Sahib of Bhavnagar, the love for heritage runs in her blood. Maharaja Takhtsinhji was the first to establish a railway line connecting Bhavnagar in southern Gujarat to the rest of British India in the latter part of the 1800s. He was also the first to put up Asia’s largest water filtration plant. A regular visitor at the exhibitions of the Bombay Art Society, Maharaja Takhtsinhji got British artist John Griffiths to come to create a memorial — the Ganga Teri — for his late wife the Maharani, in Bhavnagar.
“The ornate carvings, the sheer scale of the structure, and seeing my family crest intricately placed on the jaali windows made me fall in love with this monument,” says Brijeshwari. She herself worked at the Piramal Art Gallery in Mumbai full time, before moving permanently to Bhavnagar a few of years ago. She is currently a consultant there.
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November 15, 2020