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Sir.Takhtsinhji Hospital

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In a time where most of royalty in India was building ornamental palaces Maharaja Takhtsinhji was busy commissioning palaces for the people of Bhavnagar. These were often used for purposes such as schools and hospitals amongst other things. 

In the 1880’s Takhtsinhji commissioned the building of yet another such structure. This time it was the hospital, Sir Takhatsinhji Hospital popularly known in Bhavnagar as Sir T Hospital. The hospital has beautiful domes and a mix of Indo-Islamic architecture amongst other blends as well. The red-pink colour and the fortress like shape of Sir T makes a patient feel like they are entering a palace in comparison to a hospital.

The Bhavnagar State Engineer of the time Sir Proctor Simms designed this marvellous building. Simms served as the State Engineer at Bhavnagar for a period of 25 years. Many structures in the city are credited to him and continue to stand the test of time. Such was his design and planning. 
Sir T hospital was one of the largest and best equipped hospitals with medical facilities at the time in India. The hospital which, was built for the population of 50,000 back then continues to support Bhavnagar’s present population of around 10 lakhs. This was the foresight of the people at the time. 







Furthermore, the construction of the original operation theatre was done in such a manner that if the patient was being operated in any angle he or she would still be directly facing Takhteshwar Temple. Unfortunately with excessive and unplanned development in the premises this is not visible now. But this shows that science and faith in God were equally important in the progressing and planning of a state. 
To add to this adhbhut engineering of more than 100 years, the dome of the hospital was built in a way where even if there are no lights there is natural cross ventilation. There would also always be enough natural light to operate a patient. 
There was a time when passers by could see this monumental structure from far also. But today with cement structures all around the hospital and expansion in an aesthetically unpleasing manner the beauty and entrance of Sir T hospital is not the same as it use to be. While the hospital continues to serve the people there are several ways in which the inside of the medical facility can be improved and maintained. 


The original structure as well needs to be cleaned as dust and debris encircle it. Any heritage site to be preserved for a long time must be maintained daily. If development around the hospital was done in a way that matched the original monument it would look even better to tourists and people coming there. This would also help in preserving its heritage integrity. Given the vision and planning with which Sir T was built it is tragic to see that it is not a leading hospital of today. However, with correct maintainence and a little effort this hospital can welcome not only patients but also tourists from all over the world!

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Image credit : Chintan Vaghani

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