Among the most immaculately crafted Rajasthan heritage forts, Junagarh deserves a special mention. This fort in Bikaner, is one of the few forts of Rajasthan which aren’t built on a ridge. Junagarh Fort, being the beauty it is and was, stole hearts of many rulers, which led to many attacks to conquer it. However, nobody won except Kamran Mirza (Son of Babar) who did it for merely a day.
The Junagarh Fort of Bikaner is a magnificent structure around which the city of Bikaner grew up. The fort was initially called Chintamani and was then renamed as the Junagarh or Old fort in the 20th century. The foundations of the Junagarh fort was built in 1478 by Rao Bika. However, it existed just as a stone fort then. The present grand structure was inaugurated on 17th February 1589. Besides having a rich history, the Junagarh Fort is a feat of architecture. The palaces inside the fort, the gardens, balconies, kiosks, etc. depict a composite architectural style which is influenced by the cultural differences of the different rulers and also foreign inspirations. The impressive Junagarh Fort stands with all its regal glory as an epitome of architectural brilliance. The dazzling and exquisite structures of this fort attract thousands of tourists from all over every year.
The unique monuments which are on display in the fort represent 16 generations of rulers in Bikaner starting from the late 16th century. Junagadh is an ancient fortified city with a chequered past and has an eclectic mix of mosques, Hindu temples, Buddhist monuments, Gothic archways, and beautiful mansions.
One of the main features of Junagarh Fort is the stone carvings done in red and gold sandstone. All the structures are made of red sandstone. The interiors are decorated as per ancient Rajasthani style. The palatial fort has seven gates with many palaces as well as Hindu and Jain temples. It also has two main gates made of Golden sandstones. Earlier the Karan Pol was used for entry while the Suraj pol is used now. The Karan pol is east facing which allows the first rays of the sun to fall on it. The golden rays on the yellow sandstone is a beautiful vision and are also considered a good omen.
The lavish structures of this fort and the exquisite beauty of each structure stand witness to the regal lifestyle that had been led here centuries ago. The Junagarh Fort is called “a paradox between medieval military architecture and beautiful interior decoration.
Timings : 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Time Required : 2-3 hours
Entry Fee : Indians: INR 50,
Foreigner: INR 300,
Audio Tour: INR 350,
Phool Mahal and Chander Mahal: INR 100