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Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
Location: In the heart of city
Built by : Raja Rai Singh
Built in: 1593
Highlights: Karan Pol ,Anup Mahal, Ganga Niwas, Quadrangle,Two lift size statues of elephants with riders
Description
The Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum, the Ganga Government Museum in Bikaner enraptures you with regal charm that takes you back in time.
The Junagarh Fort is one of the forts in India that has never been conquered or seized. Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of Emperor Akbar built, it in 1593. Enclosed by a moat, the fort has a number of gates. Karan Pol (gate) provides access to the fort. Next to it is Suraj Pol (sun gate). There are a number of buildings within the fort like Anup Mahal, Ganga Niwas and Rang Mahal.
There are many stories about the selection of site for Junagarh fort. The most popular is a story about the sheep that fell apart from its herd and gave birth to some young one under a KER bush (this KER bush existed on the southern side of Rai Niwas Chaubara in Junagarh fort till thirty years before). During the night when the wolves tried to kill the babies, their mother sheep bravely protected them. The omen tellers comprehended the whole story and declared that this place will produce brave men, if a fort is built here no enemy will be able to conquer it. Hence the site was chosen.
In 1585 AD, Raja Rai Singh ji sent a RUCCA KHAS (Sepcial Royal Order) from Burhanpur addressed to his Diwan (Prime Minister) Karam Chand Bachchhawat to build a new fort in Bikaner at the selected site.
The first dig ceremony for the construction of the fort was held on Thrusday, Phalgun Vali 19, V.S. 1645 i.e. 30th January, 1589 AD. The Foundation was laid on Monday, Phalgun Sudi 12, V.S. 1645 i.e. 17th February, 1589 AD and it was completed on Thrusday MAgh Sudi 6 V.S. 1650 i.e. 1645 17th January 1594 AD. Later on this fort became the most magnificent example of architecture and great temple of art. The present fort is a composite structure, the result of intense building activities of many rules through four centuries and one of the precious gems of Indian architecture in the midst of Thar Desert.
Raja Rai Singhji's fortifications of this fort followed of this fort followed, the type adopted in Turkish forts with walls slanting inwards, the bastions here are not as big but also not reduced to merely ornaments. The palaces in this fort have a view over the town, a typical characteristic adopted form Mughal palaces at Agra, Delhi and Lahore which overlook a beautiful river side. this fort is in the form of a quadrangle, with perimeter of 1078 yards and possesses 37 bastions, on an average 40 feet high surrounded by a strong curtain wall, which is encircled by a deep moat 30 feet wide and 20 to 25 feet deep.
To visit the fort one has to start from Karan Parol which is the main entrance today - when one enter into Karan Parol he can see some symbolic hands sculpted on a vertically fixed stone slab on the left side. These are SATI hands, reminders of the royal Royal ladies who committed sati. There are some more Sati symbols on the left side of the next Parol which is called Duulat Parol Later, the practice of Sati was stopped during the reign of Maharaja Sardar Singhji. All the Parols are named after some prominent Rulers/Princes of Bikaner Royal Family.
The many Parols also provided strong defence to the fort. In the past, no war was decided until the fort was conquered. The enemy had to break many barriers/obstacles in order to conquer for fort under strong resistance from inside. First the enemy had to cross the deep moat, then the curtain wall and after that the Parols had to be taken in order to enter inside the fort. The Parols were provided with
 
 
   
 
 
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