Junagarh Fort & Palaces at Bikaner in Rajasthan
Junagarh Fort is an ancient fort at Bikaner city in Rajasthan, India.
This fort in not on a hilltop, unlike other major forts in the state. The city is developed around this magnificent fort. Maharaja Raja Rai Singh constructed this fort. He was the sixth ruler of Bikaner, who reigned from AD 1571 – 1611. The work was started in 1589 and was completed by 1594. This fort built at a distance of one and a half kilometers from the old fort. Ruins of the old fort can be seen near the Lakshmi Narayan temple.
Except for a single day, Bikaner has never been defeated by enemies. Kamran Mirza, second son of the First Mughal Emperor Babur, occupied this fort in 1534, during the reign of Maharaja Rao Jait Singh.It was before this fort was constructed, when the old fort was there.
There are many palaces, temples, pavilions, etc, in the fort complex. They are of a mixture of architectural styles. The total area of the fort is around 5.28 hectares. The fort and the city of Bikaner is situated on the arid region of Thar desert.
This fort was renamed from Chintamani to Junagarh Fort (means “Old Fort”), after the Royal family moved from Junagarh Palace inside the Junagarh fort, to Lalgarh Palace, outside this fort. Lalgarh Palace is the extended place constructed in between 1902 and 1926. It is an extension of Laxmi Niwas Palace built in between 1898 and 1902 and commissioned by His Highness Sir Ganga Singh Ji in 1904.
Luxury Heritage Palace Hotels Outside Junagarh Fort
Laxmi Niwas Palace is the former residence of the reigning family. It is one of the most beautiful structures in Indo-Saracenic style of Architecture in India. This Palace is now a luxury hotel. It is managed by Golden Triangle Fort & Palace Pvt. Ltd., which was incorporated on the 16th March 1999.
Lalgarh Palace is also constructed in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. This palace is named after Maharaja Lall Singh, father of Maharaja Ganga Singh who reigned from 1881–1942. Lalgarh palace is is also a luxury heritage hotel. Lalgarh palace hotel is now known as The Lalgarh Palace.
Lallgarh Palace is currently owned by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji Trust, established in 1972. This trust was established by Karni Singh, former titular Maharaja of Bikaner and son of Maharaja Sadul Singh, the last reigned Maharaja of Bikaner. It is now under the guidance of Rajyashree Kumari, daughter of Karni Singh.
How Do I Go to Junagarh Fort?
Junagarh Fort is situated at the hear of Bikaner city, founded by Rao Bika in 1488, first ruler of the new kingdom established by himself. This fort city is at around 330 kilometers northwest of Jaipur, the capital of the state of Rajasthan.
Bikaner Junction railway station with station code BKN, is the railway station in the city.
The city is well connected by roads. N.H. 11, 15 and 89 meets at Bikaner. The airport at Bikaner connects the city with Jaipur and Delhi, daily.