Friday, January 15, 2010

Bikaner Prime Attraction

Forts & Palaces

Junagarh Fort
Built by Raja Rai Singh (who was a contemporary of Akbar), the fort remains unconquered till date except once, when Kamran supposedly captured it but could not retain it over 24 hours. It has 37 palaces, temples and pavilions that are built in red sandstone and marble. Richly decorated with mirror work, paintings and outstanding stone carvings, the architectural brilliance of the fort is worth seeing.

Suraj Pol (the Sun Gate) is the main doorway of the fort. The palaces are on the southern side of the fort and their courtyards, kiosks, towers and windows make a scenic view. The notable tourist attractions are Chandra Mahal (The Moon palace), Phool Mahal (The Flower Palace), Karan Mahal (Karn Palace), Anup Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas (Public Audience Hall), Hawa Mahal (the Wind Palace), Badal Mahal (the Cloud Palace), Rang Mahal (the Color Palace), Dungar Mahal, and Ganga Mahal. The fort is open from10 am to 4.30 pm daily and is closed on Fridays. The entry fee includes the fee of the guide.

Lalgarh Palace
Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881-1942) built Lalgarh Mahal, Sir Swinton Jacob being the chief architect. An imposing building, it has a captivation combination of Oriental style with its delicate latticework and European luxury with its overhanging balconies and terraced lawns. Peacocks and bougainvillea bushes provide the final strokes to the loveliness of its scenic beauty. The Lal Ghar Palace Library has a massive collection of rare, original Sanskrit manuscripts on parchments, copper and gold or silver plaques. The Lalgarh palace is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm and is closed on Wednesdays.


Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum
The museum has a plentiful collection of pre-Harappan, Gupta, and Kushan pottery, carpets, paintings, Bikaneri miniatures, armory and coins and also has a special section, which displays local arts of the area.

Fort Junagarh Museum
As the name suggests, it is located in the fort of Junagaarh and has an wide-ranging collection of manuscripts, carpets, jars, jewellery, armory, decorative items, treaties, and several other artifacts on its display.

Palace Museum or Shri Sadul Museum
The first floor of the Lal Ghar Mahal houses this museum, which displays royal exhibitories including well-preserved hunting trophies, personal possessions of former Bikaner rulers such as royal wardrobe, camera, golf tees, camera, books, electric toothbrush of the former 'maharaja', his earplugs and old photos depicting royal hunts.
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