Rajasthan is home to many magnificent forts and palaces houses many magnificent monuments, Junagarh fort is one of those amazing structures.
Junagarh Fort is a very beautiful and impressive monument that is situated in Bikaner city of Rajasthan state. The city of Bikaner was established around this fort. Earlier this fort was called Chintamani, It was renamed to ‘old fort’ or ‘Junagarh Fort’ in the 20th century.
Unlike most of the forts of the state, Junagarh Fort is not constructed on the hilltop. This fort was constructed in the year 1588 by Raja Rai Singh. Junagarh Fort complex is huge and included courtyards, Balconies, Palaces, Pavillions, etc. The construction work of this palace was supervised by Raja Rai Singh’s Prime minister called Karan Chand.
Junagarh Fort was originally built in 1478 by Rao Bika after whom the city of Bikaner is named. It was a stone fort during Rao Bika’s tenor the current appearance of it, however, is credited to Raja Rai Singh who rebuilt the fort in 1588.
One thing that everyone must know about this fort is that no ruler was ever able to take over the fort hence it remained unconquered. The enemies of this region obviously desired to take our this fort and they did try to do that but no one could ever capture the fort except the second son of Babur, Kamran Mirza who also had to leave the fort within one day.
Architecture of Junagarh fort:
The palace is built using red sandstone and marble. Junagarh Fort is bounded by a moat. Some structures of the complex belong to different eras and were built by different rulers. The palaces of the fort are richly ornamented with elaborate use of painting, carved stones, inlaid semi-precious stones, and marbles. One of the remarkable features of the complex is its stone carving. There are a total of 37 palaces in this fort complex.
There are two entrances to this magnificent fort namely Suraj Pol and Daulat pol and these have 986 walls having 37 bastions. Suraj Pol (Sun Gate) is east facing gate hence is called Suraaj pol. At Daulat Pol, you will find handprints of the royal ladies who printed their hands on the wall as part of the ritual before committing Sati after the death of their husbands.
Sati was a custom in which when a woman’s husband died she also used to end life by immolating herself in the same fire in which the mortal remains of her husband were rested. Inside the fort, there are inner gates these are called Fateh Pol, Sati stambh, Karan Pol, and Chand Pol.
One of the most stunning structures of the fort is a palace called Anup Mahal. This palace exquisitely decorated, it has gold and red-colored glasses inlaid on the walls. This multi-storied palace was the governance office of the rulers in medieval times.
The rooms of the palaces have many precious items on display. Another stunning palace of the complex is Badal Palace meaning cloud palace. It has white plaster on its surface which is beautifully decorated with intricate patterns and is covered with gold leaves. The walls of this palace have a fresco of rain clouds painted over it. There a beautiful painting of Lord Krishna and Radha with the clouds on their sides.
Other attractions of the complex include:
Phool Mahal meaning flower palace this palace is decorated with mirrors and glass.
Har Mandir: This is the main temple of the complex. The royal family performed their daily worship rituals in this temple.
Karan Mahal: This is a beautiful palace that was built to commemorate the King’s victory over the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
Other notable structures of the complex include Ganga Niwas, Rang Mahal, Dungar Niwas, Gaj Mandir etc
The fort complex also houses a museum called Prachina Museum. That houses various interesting articles like royal costumes, art pieces, carpet, Jewellery and much more. One must explore
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Must visit places of Rajasthan Also read about the other amazing places of Rajasthan Chittorgarh Fort, Jal Mahal , Amer Fort, Mehrangarh Fort , Jaislmer Fort, Ranthambore Fort. Bhangarh fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort