Bikaner’s forts and palaces are the magnificent creations which portray the glorious history of this land of valor. Most of these structures have been built in red and yellow sandstone. These historical monuments are living manifestations of the rich chronological and architectural legacy. The aura of medieval period can easily be felt influencing the city’s lifestyle. The traditions come alive when one glimpse through the finer and intricate details of these magnificent buildings. One can witness the majesty of these buildings by riding on merrily camels.
Bikaner was founded in 1488 AD by Rao Bikaji, and hence the name Bikaner. Bikaji chose the wild country ‘Jangaldesh’ as his territory and built the city of Bikaner. A seven-kilometer long wall protects the entire Bikaner city from the vagaries of the desert and any external attack. There are five entrances to enter into the city.
The most famous port of Bikaner is the Junagarh Fort. The fort has its great architectural splendor, which was built by Raja Rai Singh. There are as many thirty seven palaces within the fort. The main entrance to the fort is the Suraj Pol or the Sun Gate. The palaces within the fort which are worth visiting are Chandra Mahal, Phool Mahal and Karan Mahal. The fort is built in red sandstone and marble and is decorated with mirror work, carvings and paintings. A range of balconies adorn the fort at regular intervals. There is also a museum within the fort which consists of expensive miniature paintings and extraordinary antiques.
Lalgarh Palace is another magnificent fort made of red sandstone. This is a charming combination of the Oriental style and European style of architecture that leave the onlookers truly mesmerized. This was designed by Sir Swinton Jacob almost 90 years ago. Maharaja Ganga Singh had hired architect Jacob for the creation of this extraordinary monument. There is a billiards room, a cards room and a library in the palace. The palace has been decorated with Belgian chandeliers and cut-glass ornaments. So many oil paintings and glittering lamps also add to the charm of the palace.