Imposing and enchanting, the Junagarh Fort in Bikaner of Rajasthan overwhelms you with its historic charm and monumental splendor. It is an unassailable fort of Rajasthan, a fort that has never been conquered, though it has been attacked many times. Junagarh Fort of Rajasthan is an impressive monument of Rajasthan, with huge towers and battlements for defence.
History of Junagarh Fort in Bikaner, Rajasthan
This fascinating piece of architecture was built between 1588 -1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh (1571 - 1611 AD), a general in army of Mughal emperor, Akbar. Raja Rai Singh, who lived in the times of the Mughal Emperors Akbar and Jahangir, was a famous military leader. He was rewarded for his bravery in battle by revenue from parts of Gujarat and Burhanpur. He used these funds in the construction of the Junagarh Fort. The ideas he absorbed during his travels across India after seeing many other forts and palaces were also applied in the construction of Junagarh Fort of Rajasthan. The Junagarh Fort of Rajasthan has defied all the attacks except for the brief stint by Kamaran who captured the fort but was unable to retain his victory more than 24 hours.
The Formidable Junagarh Fort of Bikaner in Rajasthan, India
The Junagarh fort of Rajasthan is a formidable structure encircled by a moat and has some beautiful palaces within. These palaces, made in red sandstone and marble, make a picturesque ensemble of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows dotted all over the structure.
The imposing fort of Rajasthan has 986 long walls with 37 bastions and two entrances. Junagarh Fort of Rajasthan contains 37 palaces and many temples and pavilions. A measure feature of Junagarh fort of Rajasthan is the superb quality of the stone carving-it rivals the best anywhere in the world. Many of the inner rooms of the palaces are beautifully decorated and painted in traditional style.
The two important gates that lead to the stately Junagarh Fort in Bikaner of Rajasthan are known as Surajpol and Daulatpol. Suraj Pol, meaning the sun gate, was the main gate to the fort and is east facing. The other gates that lead to the Junagarh Fort interiors are the Karan Pol, Chand Pol and the Fateh Pol.
The Daulatpol is historically significant as you can see handprints of the royal ladies who committed sati on the pyres of their deceased husbands on the Sati Stambh.
The lavish Zenana quarters at the Junagarh Fort of Rajasthan exhibit exquisite artistic skill. Though the women played a very important role in the regal household they were far removed from the affairs of the state. Women interacted with outsiders through carved stone screens. You can see these intricately carved marble and sandstone screens even today and marvel at the royal lifestyle of the days of the yore. A profusion of mirror work, paintings and lacquer work greet you on your tours to the captivating interiors of the majestic Junagarh Fort of Rajasthan with Rajasthan Holiday.
Badal Mahal in Junagarh Fort of Rajasthan
The walls of the Badal Mahal or Palace of Clouds of Rajasthan are covered with fresco paintings of Krishna and his consort Radha in the midst of rain clouds.
Anup Mahal in Junagarh Fort of Rajasthan
The multi-storeyed Anup Mahal of Rajasthan was the governance chambers for the rulers. The beautifully maintained rooms now display the treasures of the Royal family. The Anup Mahal of Rajasthan is a beautiful structure where the inner walls are covered with exquisite lacquer work of red and gold as well as inlay work in glass. Gold leaf has been used to decorate the pillars made of white plaster. The overall effect within the Anup Mahal Palace of Rajasthan is very ornate.
Chandra Mahal in Junagarh Fort
Among the places of interest is the Chandra Mahal or Moon Palace of Rajasthan, with paintings, mirrors and carved marble panels.
Other Attractions in Junagarh Fort of Bikaner, Rajasthan
The Phool Mahal or Flower Palace of Rajasthan is decorated with glass and mirrors. The Karan Mahal of Rajasthan was built to commemorate a notable victory over the Mughal Aurangzeb. Other palaces of Rajasthan worth visiting are the Dungar Niwas of Rajasthan, Ganga Nivas of Rajasthan, Gaj Mandir of Rajasthan, Rang Mahal of Rajasthan, Bijai Mahal of Rajasthan. Durga Niwas of Rajasthan, a fabulously painted courtyard and Ganga Niwas of Rajasthan which housed a finely carved red sandstone front, are the other places of attraction in this fort. Gigantic columns, imposing arches and graceful scenes, minarets and pavilions, in fact, make it worth a repeat visit.
The Har Mandir of Rajasthan is the majestic chapel for the royal family for worshipping their gods and goddesses. The premise also houses a museum which is an array of a rich collection.
Prachina Museum of Junagarh Fort
Established in 2000, the Prachina Museum located in the Junagarh Fort of Rajasthan endeavors to highlight the glorious heritage of the Bikaner rulers through the display of their extensive collection of illuminated manuscripts, jewellery, jars and carpets, arms and weapons, treaties, royal costumes, textiles, portraits, decorations and the 'Farmans'. In addition, it also attempts to revive the dying art and craft tradition of Bikaner of Rajasthan as well as provide a platform to the numerous craftsmen and folk artists to showcase their wares. The museum has a rich collection of ‘Poshaks’ or costumes. These costumes highlight the fine workmanship (karigari) of the artisans in their kalabhut embroidery, Zardozi work, Badala work etc. Apart from the costumes, the museum's Mandir Gallery has the intricately handmade idols poshak, the mukuts worn by Devi and the jewellery shringar while its protrait gallery houses the miniature paintings and the black and white portraits of young men and women in their traditional gear and group photographs of important events during the time of Maharaja Shri Ganga Singh. Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM everyday.
Timings: 10 AM to 4.30 PM on all weekdays except Sunday.
Fee for full Museum Rs 50 per head
Fee for part Museum Rs 10 per head
Fee for ordinary camera Rs 30
Fee for Movie Camera Rs 100
Location and Transport of Junagarh Fort of Bikaner in Rajasthan
Bikaner lies in the north-western part of Rajasthan state of India. Bikaner of Rajasthan is well connected with rail and road network with all major cities of the country.
Distances from major cities in km are
Bikaner of Rajasthan is directly linked by rail with major cities. Some important travel connections are from Delhi Sarai Rohilla, Jaipur, Mumbai, Calcutta, Jammu, Kalka, Ambala, Ahemadabad, Baroda, Surat, Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Bhatinda, Jodhpur of Rajasthan etc.
A wide network of bus services link Bikaner of Rajasthan with several destinations. There is Rajasthan Roadway Deluxe, Super deluxe and AC buses as well as private travels also available from the major cities to make your travel comfortable. Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe buses from Delhi (Bikaner House, Near India Gate) to Bikaner of Rajasthan. The roads are very good, and it takes around 8-9 hrs from Jaipur of Rajasthan.
With good road conditions you can also travel by private car/taxi.
Nal Airport is 17 Km from the city center. At present there are no commercial flights. Nearby airports are Jodhpur (254 km) of Rajasthan and Sanganer airport Jaipur (325 km) of Rajasthan.
Un-metered taxis, auto-rickshaws, and tongas are easily available for local transport.