Junagarh Fort is one of the most imposing forts situated in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. It is located in the city of Bikaner also known as the “Camel City” or “Camel Country”. This magnificent fort was originally known as Chintamani Fort. It was renamed as “Junagarh Fort” or “Old Fort” in the early 20th century. It is an exception amongst all other forts of Rajasthan because it is not situated on a hilltop.
This magnificent fort was built by Raja Rai Singh Ji (the Sixth Ruler of Bikaner) in 1588 to1593 under the supervision of Karan Chand, the Prime Minister of Raja Rai Singh Ji. The fort is very popular as an unconquered fort till date. The fort is surrounded by a high wall and deep moats. There are 37 bastions guarding the fort with only two gates as the entrance pathway to the fort - the main one being the Suraj Pol or the Sun Gate. Just like the 37 bastions, there are 37 red sandstone marvels inside the premises of the fort, which include palaces with intricately carved windows, delicate balconies, towers and cabins, temples and pavilions.
The highlights are the Chandra Mahal or the Moon Palace decorated beautifully with mirrors, paintings and carved marble panels, the Phool Mahal or the Flower Palace, the Karan Mahal and definitely the multi-storied Anup Mahal, which was once used as the governance chambers for the rulers. Ganga Niwas, Dungar Niwas, Vijai Mahal or Victory Palace, and Rang Mahal or Color Palace are also fine examples of the splendid architecture. The fort also houses a museum with an extensive collection of illuminated and rare scripts, jewellery, utensils, carpets, arms and weapons, treaties and other royal belongings. It also features a beautiful temple, Hari Mandir, where the royal family used to worship.