Vadodara: Government to hand over Gaekwad-era Nyaymandir to civic body

The state government decided to hand Nyaymandir over to the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), nearly four years after the district court moved to its new premises in Diwalipura in March 2018.

Nyaymandir, an iconic landmark in Vadodara, is set to have a new purpose after the state government decided to consider the proposal sent by VMC in January 2021 to convert the building into a “city heritage museum”.

Late Thursday, a statement from the office of Gujarat’s Minister of Revenue and Law and Justice, Rajendra Trivedi, said: “It has been decided that the structure of Nyaymandir will be transformed into a heritage museum of the city and the court de Lal – which stands opposite the road to Nyaymandir – will be transformed into an art gallery. All measures will be taken to transform the two historic buildings into important places for the inhabitants of the city and will soon be inaugurated in a grand ceremony.

The statement also said that Trivedi, after meeting Rushikesh Trivedi, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of Gujarat, ensured that the officials of the health department, who occupied the Lal court building, the evacuated in time for his surrender. Located in the heart of Vadodara, across Lake Sursagar, the doors to architect Robert Chisholm’s creation have remained securely closed since March 2018.

Built at a cost of Rs 7 lakh at the time of its inauguration, it was originally titled Chimnabai Nyay Mandir – named after the beloved first wife of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III – at the time of its inauguration on November 30, 1896, by Viceroy Lord Elgin.

Interestingly, the structure was originally intended to be a two-story vegetable market in the center of town. But when Maharaja Sayajirao III witnessed the grandeur of the structure, he changed his mind and turned it into a town hall and a court.

The central hall of the building, decorated with distinct mosaics, also houses a statue of Maharani Chimnabai, created by Italian sculptor Augusto Felici. Before independence, when the Gaekwads ruled the former royal state of Baroda, Nyaymandir was the supreme court of the state.

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