The unconquered Junagarh Fort

junagarh-fortThe airport to reach Bikaner is the Jodhpur Airport and is well connected by public transport links to the major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Chennai, Ahmedabad etc. Junagarh Fort is among the most prominent attractions of this city. Located much near to the railway station of Bikaner city, the fort is strategically situated making it an easy place to visit.

Originally called Chintamani Mahal, Junagarh Fort or as some affectionately calls it, the “Old Fort” was built in the early 20th century and still stands undefeated in the war of time. Its glorious history speaks how it withstood the ravages of time and remained unconquered. It also boasts of the wide collection of artifacts and collections of ancient Bikaner which adds to the tourist attraction.

History

This impressive fort of Northern India is widely popular amongst the tourists and the tour packages mainly for its architecture, decoration and design.  Built in1593 A.D by Raja Rai Singh, who was the Army General of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, it remained as an unconquerable fortress. Raja Rai Singh was the sixth ruler of the city of Bikaner from 1571 to 1612 AD. Interestingly, the son of Babur, Kamaran Mirza, was able to win the fort but could not retain it for more than one day.

Fort architecture

Made of red sandstone and marble, the structure has an assortment of courtyards, kiosks and balconies built in traditional Rajasthani style. It has a rectangular layout with a peripheral length of 1,078 yards with seven gates in total. The stone carving done in red and gold sandstones gives the fort its regal look.

Dominated by Gujarati, Mughal and Rajputana architecture, The Junagarh Palace have a large number of rooms. Chandra Mahal has the most royal looking room in the palace which gold plated divinities and paintings inlaid with costly stones. It was the bedroom of the Maharaja.  Badal Mahal,  Zenana quarters, Ganga Mahal, Har Mandir are some of the other famous quarters of the fort.