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Shubhyatra >> Rajasthan Yatra >> Junagarh Fort

JUNAGARH FORT

Location : Bikaner in Rajasthan, India.
Built In : 1587 AD
Popular As : Unconquered Fort till date.
When To Go : September to February

A Dreamland In Stone - Junagarh Fort in Bikaner

Close your eyes and let your mind wander to another place, another time. There is a procession coming your way, bedecked in all colors of the rainbow. Join in their celebrations. They celebrate life everyday. Try on a flaming red turban, ah! that looks on you. Move on out into the countryside. See that fortress looming ahead...

The fort, 500 years ago, offered Bikaner's populace safety from invaders, while the rulers designed some beautiful alcoves within the red sandstone fort, which still echo that opulence. At first sight, it appears to be a low mass of architecture, which though impressive, does not exactly have a majestic mien. But in an almost oblate country enveloped by shifting sands, it was difficult to find a naturally grandiose site. Thus in 1586, Raja Rai Singh ordered the more voluminous and strategically distinguished fortification of Junagarh, surrounded by a moat for defense. Built entirely of red sandstone and designed by the eminent British architect Sir Swinton Jacob, it has been professed as the finest prototype of Rajput architecture. Despite the fact that Junagarh does not command a hilltop position, as do some of Rajasthan's other opulent forts, it is no less imposing and - a credit to its planners and architects- has never been conquered.

Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
Junagarh Fort In Evening

A Palace In Gold

Take a tour of the famous forts of Bikaner in Rajasthan. Shift gears. Enter through the pompous elephant-flanked gates, Surajpol, go past the solitary courtyards and you come to the impressive ceremonial courtyard, where you get a first glimpse of the architectural paragon of Junagarh. The Anup Mahal, built by Maharajah Karan Singh, displays an excellent endeavor of gold-craftsmanship; exquisite stone carvings embellished with delicate patterns and painted with gold leaf. Feel the striking lavishness of the embossed lacquer-work while wandering along the open courtyards, interspersing the fort. According to local lore, the maharajah was camping at Golconda, in southern India, when an artist, who originally hailed from Jaisalmer, showed him handsome efforts in gold craftsmanship. The maharajah was so inspired with the proficiency and beauty of the work, that he brought the artisan with royal patronage to Bikaner, and asked him to embellish his royal residence. The endeavor can still be seen at every corner and curve of the palace, where walls reverberates with the symphony of the artistry even today.

The fort also offers some peculiar evidences and attraction of Rajput idiosyncrasy; in one of the alcoves, durbars would be held with the maharajah seated on a marble platform rising from a pool of water. What an unique idea to draft away the detonating heat! In the Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace), the walls are painted with blue cloud motifs, perhaps aspirational in this desert state. The courtyards house the family temple of Joramal, Har Mandir, where royal weddings took place and royal births were celebrated.

In the Hawa Mahal (Summer Palace), is an ingenious gadget which alerted the maharajah to potential enemies; a mirror jelled over the royal bed bestowed maharajah Dunga Singh to see the reflections of those people walking across the courtyard below- or at least this is the benefit of the mirror as mentioned in the official fort guides!

Walking The Memory Lanes

Maharajah Ganga Singh, the last of the crown-heads to endure Junagarh, gifted it a pair of sandstone staircases as well as an august Durbar Hall, which has- somewhat bizarre for a Rajput monument-a floor as well as ceiling made utterly of wood. The hall is now a museum filled with eclectic collection of family and fraternity memorabilia. The Junagarh fort museum attractions in Bikaner is unending. In the armory are cyclopean bore guns which were used for shooting from the backs of camels, as well as the usual collection of diabolic pistols and swords. Beautiful if deadly weapons, each an exquisite work of art- swords with ivory and crystal handles, some in shape of lions- can also be seen here. Don't forget to visit the Diwan-i-khas, which houses an intricately carved mammoth sandalwood throne, placed along with three massive arches.

Shopping Delight

A few souvenir shops line up at the entrance courtyard which dens Prachin, a storehouse of vintage textiles and costumes. The galleria which opens its gate at 9 am and closes at 6 pm, offers a wonderful array of traditional handlooms and silver filigree ornaments. Get yourself some typical but colorful Rajasthani bangles, which will not only boost your fantasies but will also help you to cherish these memories, later at your home.

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Get Going

Bikaner Junction lies in the western parts of Rajasthan, and is well connected with Jaipur, Jodhpur, Delhi and Bhatinda. If one is at the national capital of Delhi, catch the Bikaner Mail, which departs from Sarai Rohilla at 9:15 pm and arrives at Bikaner at 8:15 in the morning. Bikaner is around 488 km from Delhi and 330 km from Jaipur. One can drive through NH 8, which connects Agra to Bikaner, and can halt at Jaipur, for a break. Tourists can also catch a bus from Kashmere Gate and Sarai Kale Khan, in Delhi. For more information, one can approach the Tourist Reception Centre, at the Dhola Maru Complex, 1 km from city centre at Pooran Singh Circle.

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Top 5 Reasons To Visit Junagarh Fort


Junagarh Fort - Bikaner

Junagarh Fort - Moment of Fortune
Visit the colossal Junagarh Fort in Bikaner, once the seat of power of the Marwars, now quoted as the finest example of Rajput architecture. Walk in the Anup Mahal, which displays an excellent endeavor of gold-craftsmanship; exquisite stone carvings embellished with delicate patterns and painted with gold leaf.


Take Your Spirits To A High
Among the famous forts in Bikaner, isit the magnificent Badal Mahal (Palace of Clouds) and see the mind-blowing blue cloud motifs, drawn on the walls, perhaps as an aspiration to this desert state


attractionss In The Museum
The famous museum attractions in Junagarh Fort will surely gives its visitors a great chance to peep into the history. Indeed you will be amazed to see the huge collection of diabolic pistols and swords. Beautiful if deadly weapons, each an exquisite work of art - swords with ivory and crystal handles, some in shape of lions - can also be seen here. Don't forget to visit the Diwan-i-khas, which houses an intricately carved mammoth sandalwood throne, placed along with three massive arches.


Taste the Flavour of Bikaner
This ancient city of Rao Bika is famous for its wide variety of namkeens (salty snacks) and sweets. Give your taste buds an impeccable flavour of desert by its numerous mouth-watering delicacies, while visiting the Junagarj fort in Bikaner.


A Rendezvous With The Setting Sun
Walk over to the ramparts of the famous forts of Bkaner and enjoy the magnificent vista of the setting sun in the midst of the Spartan surroundings. Just turn around to see how the delicate patterns painted with gold leaf reflects the aura of the bygone sun.


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