Spectre explores the former home of the Rao Pragmalji II, ruler of Bhuj, Koch, in the state of Gujarat. Commissioned in 1865 the Palace was designed by Colonel Wilkins of the Royal Engineers. The architecture both inside and out is a unique blend of Gothic and neo-classical styles, including the use of Italian marble, popular in Britain at the time, with stuffed hunting trophies adorning the walls and elaborate chandeliers hanging from the ceilings.
Handed down through the same family and now functioning as a museum, the Palace, partly destroyed by the 2001 earthquake, is marketed as the main tourist attraction in the city and lies neglected and forlorn under siege by pigeons and other creatures. The images show the Palace’s present state of decay, with the once treasured hunting prize rotting on the wall, and the broken chandeliers collapsing on their rosette chains.
The images comprising The Prag Mahal, while revealing and questioning layers of Indian history also reflect on the waning influence of the west and India’s rise to a global economic power.