The Junagarh fort, originally named Chintamani fort, is situated in the desert city, Bikaner in Rajasthan. It is one of the few forts of Rajasthan which is not situated on a hilltop. Also, the fort has remained unconquered except for a brief one day occupation by Kamran, the first Mughal emperor Baburís son. This magnificent fort complex was built by Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner. The fort was constructed from 1588 to 1593 under the supervision of Prime Minister, Karan Chand. The fort depicts a harmonious marriage of medieval military architecture with exquisite interior art. One finds beautiful palaces, temples and pavilions inside the fort.
Lord Red fort is one the best tourist attraction in Delhi. The main enterance to the fort is through two gates, the Delhi gate and the Lahore gate. Every year on 15th August, the Prime Minister of India flag hoisting in Lal Qila in the eve Independence Day and address the nation.
The fort complex covers an area of 5.28 hectares and has structures made of red and gold colored sandstone and marble. The fort has 37 main bastions, seven gates the 2 main gates are Karan pol and Suraj pol) and a moat (it no longer exists) to safeguard against enemy attacks.
Once inside the fort, the visitor must take note of the following structures:
It is the most opulent structure of the fort. The kings of Bikaner used the multi-storeyed Anup Mahal for administrative purposes. Italian tiles, exquisite latticed balconies and windows, beautiful wooden work on the ceilings make this palace breathtakingly beautiful. The visitor must note the gold leaf painting in this palace.
Otherwise known as the flower palace, the Phool Mahal is the oldest structure of the fort. It has beautiful inset mirror work.
This palace has luxurious rooms housing paintings inlaid with precious stones, paintings on lime plasters, gold plated deities and mirror work which stand testimony to clever craftsmanship.
This is an aesthetically designed palace with lovely gardens, stained glass windows and beautifully carved balconies. It has a big public audience hall and a coronation chamber.
This majestic temple is the royal chapel. Members of the royal family still offer their prayers here to Laxminarayan, the presiding deity.
The museum inside the fort is replete with royal paraphernalia- rare manuscripts, weapons, jewels, miniature paintings, costumes etc. A must visit to get a birdís eye view of rajasthani royalty.
Other monuments worth a visit are the Sheesh Mahal, Ganga Mahal, Badal Mahal and various Bikaneri havelis which are marvels of Rajasthani architecture.
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