Junagarh Fort Bikaner

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2013

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Raja Rai Singh (1571 to 1611) built this impregnable unconquered fort. U see front view of fort against rising sun. This is part 2 of pics on Junagarh Fort. Suggest you see part 1 first. To see pics Click here

Part 1 has pics of awesome Karan, Anoop, Badal Mahals. After we finished that part of the fort moved thru this corridor to the area where arms are on display n the Durbar Hall area. In hindsight pic might have been better if it was a horizontal pic. Ceiling was impressive to look at, not come as well in pic.

We now enter Ganganiwas and walked thru the bedroom, dressing room and office in that order. Swords on display in what was earlier a bedroom.

More arms on display. What I liked about Bikaner Fort was that artifacts are very well laid out and presented, spotlessly clean.

Shields of various designs. Rao Bikaji (1465-1504) founded the state of Bikaner in the middle of Thar Desert in Vikram Samvat 1545 (1488) with the blessings of Karni Mata. To see pics of Karni Mata Mandir Click here

Swords of various types. There were some old swords that weighed a lot.

Collection of guns. There was a gun which weighed 16 kgs. Bikaner is about 250 kms from Jodhpur which is well connected by road and air with Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur.

The dressing room had mirrors. What I found fascinating was this old FAN think probably made by Crompton Greaves.

An overview of the magnificent Ganga Niwas Durbar Hall. Did not feel like leaving the place. It is a huge hall where the King gave audience. At far end of pic is Maharaja''s throne which we shall see in next pic.

Maharaja sat on this throne which is made of chandan (sandalwood). Arms are on display in the Durbar Hall. Stone to make Durbar Hall came from Dunmera i.e. 60 kms from Bikaner. It took 14 years to make.

Swords on display. The Ganga Niwas Durbar Hall was made in 1896 by Maharaja Ganga Singhji who transformed Bikaner from a small principality into one of the premier princely states of India. He promoted the Ganga Canal project which converted large tracts of desert land into farmland.

Arrows on display. Bikaner is about 250 kms from Jodhpur which is well connected by train, air from Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur. From Mumbai take the Ranakpur Express that goes to Bikaner or Suryanagiri Express that goes to Jodhpur and drive down from there.

Arms on display.

Arms on display.

Maces (am I correct) on display.

See right of pic, below arch is door. Like that many doors which have been blocked by keeping cupboards before them displaying arms. Note pillar, intricate work on wall.

Small swords of various shapes and sizes.

King wore this protective gear when he went to war. On top of this he wore heavy coat that u see in next pic. Guide said both of these together weighed app 50 kgs. Kings must have been really strong to carry such weight and fight.

Centre is Surya or Sun God. This is what the King wore on top of the protective gear that you saw in the earlier picture.

This is how the arms are presented. Centre door blocked by cupboard. On either side are pillars that you do not see. Intricate stone work and image of a God or Goddess that you see in centre of pic. They could be Bhairoji, Satyanarayan, Hanumanji, Karthikayan on swan, Kuberji, Brahmaji, Narasimha avatar of Lord Vishnu and Durga Ma.

Example of intricate work above window with image of Lord Vishnu in centre.

Another example of intricate work, centre is image of Lord Hanuman. Let me know if am wrong.

Windows on 1st floor through which family of king could observe proceedings of Durbar Hall.

Scene is from Vrindavan Lord Krishna with Gopis.

On the1st floor of the Durbar Hall the Ranis (queens) sat and observed the proceedings. Note the design and intricate work.

A close up view of the pillar and intricate work thereon. Was very impressed.

On the wall of the Durbar Hall this is supposed to be a replica of a medal won by the Maharaja of Bikaner.

A vertical view of the intricate work. Doors on both sides. Bikaner is famous for Bhujiya. Suggest buy from Bhiravaram Chandmal. Buy with plastic cover because ie fresh. Ones with laminated cover packed few days ago. Rate in Feb 2013 was Rs 135/ per kg. Shop is in Kotgate area. Have kachoris, samosas, rasgulas also. All yummie.

We enter the office of Maharaja Ganga Singhji in Ganga Niwas. Quite a modern office. He was ruler from 1887 to 1943.

U see an intercom system of that time.

U see his office. Too much of light in these places makes taking pics difficult.

Last stop was Vikram Vilas Durbar Hall i.e. on the ground floor of the fort. For his contribution during World War I the British gifted the Maharaja a plane that you see in next pic. This board has details about the plane. The hall was made n 1935 by Maharaja Ganga Singhji.

This is the plane. Today the huge durbar hall has this plane and palanquins on display. Doors of the durbar hall open out into the fort ground which is the last pic that you see.

This is the throne on which the Maharaja sat. To see more pics on Junagarh Fort Bikaner Fort Click here

This is a Palanquin used by ladies. This was typically used in cooler weathers. Another one was used during the summer.

This is a front side view of the 5 storied fort on whose ground floor is the Vikram Vilas Durbar Hall that you just saw. Junagarh Fort is a must see for all. Takes you into a different world, best time to go is Nov to March. For functional reasonably priced hotel stay at Rajasthan Tourism Hotel or for a royal experience stay at Lallgarh Palace Hotels whose pics are on site.

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