Fascinating Junagarh Fort of Bikaner, Rajasthan - 01

Bikaner, Rajasthan en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junagarh_Fort

Occupying roughly  5.28 hectares of land atop a small hill, the Junagarh Fort  complex was built  out side the  original fort (built by Rao Bikaji), under the direction  of Karan Chand, the Prime Minister of Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner, who ruled from 1571 to 1611 AD.  Construction of walls and moat that began in 1589 was completed in 1594.
Bikaner, Rajasthan junagarh-fort-alamy.com

An old fort made of stones was first built in 1478 by  Rao Bika, who founded Bikaner in 1472. Rao Bika was the second son of Maharaja Rao Jodha of the Rathor clan, the founder of Jodhpur city.  Among the rulers, Raja Rai Singhji, the sixth ruler of Bikaner, had a close rapport with the Moguls  by way of accepting the suzerainty  and  held powerful  position in the army and in the court of Emperor Akbar and his son Emperor Jahangir. His successful war exploits in the Mewar region won the appreciation of the Mogul rulers who gifted him jagirs (lands) in Gujarat and Burhanpur.  Raja Rai Singhji,who was an expert architect wanted  to have a big and strong fort built in his city of Bikanur and the additional revenue from the new lands was of great help to him in completing the fort construction  work after a lapse of some years in 1594. The fort is on a plain land  at an average elevation of 760 feet above the MSL.
Bikaner, Rajasthan. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junagarh_Fort

Various Mahals and additional buildings came up in the later period.  Ruler Karan Singh (1631 to 1639)  built the Karan Mahal palace, the Zenana quarter (royal dwelling for females). He later beautified  the Karan Mahal as  a Diwan-i-Am (public audience hall) and called it the Anup Mahal.  Later ruler Gaj Singh - 1746 to 1787  richly decorated  the Chandra Mahal (the Moon palace).  Further additions were made by  subsequent rulers. These included  the Badal Mahal (the weather palace; built by Dungar Singh) named so in view of a painting of falling rain and clouds (a rare event in arid Bikaner).  Ganga Singh had a cordial relation with the British  and served as  a member of the Imperial War Cabinet, represented the country at the Imperial First World War Conferences and the British Empire at the Versailles Peace Conference. Ganga Niwas Palace  was  built by him. This particular structure was designed by the famous British architect Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob who had built several Colonial buildings in India.   Ganga Singh's son Sadul Singh became a ruler in 1943  acceded to the Union of India in 1949 after independence from the British. He died in 1950
Junagarh Fort of Bikaner city of Rajasthan, which is  about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) from the city center,  is one of the popular forts in India. Earlier, it was known as  Chintamani and was renamed Junagarh or "Old Fort" in the early 20th century after  the ruling family had moved  over to Lalgarh Palace outside the fort limits. The city is part of the Thar desert of Rajasthan with the Aravalli range of mountains on the north side. The other cities are Jaisalmar and Jodhpur which have lots of tourist attractions including fine forts.
The fort with seven sturdy gates has many fine   palaces, temples and pavilions that were built with meticulous care and planning. Historical records point out though there were many raids on this massive fort,  none was able to capture it with the exception of a Mogul ruler Babur's  second son Kamran Mirza in 1534. Believe it or not, perhaps it was the  shortest occupation of a fort by an enemy; it was just a day and the ruler of Bikanur happened to be Rao Jait Singh who recaptured the fort following day. The structures built within the the precincts of  Junagarh fort - the palaces and temples etc  are all made of  red sandstone (Dulmera) and marble, specifically chosen for construction purposes. One can find fine embellishments in certain parts of the palaces. The style of architecture followed here is a blend of  Rajasthani (Rajput) and Mogul  architecture, in particular those store screens lattices and Chattries.