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Junagarh Fort Bikaner Reviews
Junagarh Fort Feb 02, 2016
The Junagarh Fort or originally named Chintamani was founded in 1589 A.D. by Prince Rao Bika. This fort is probably one of the few forts that was not built on a hill top.
Bikaner as a city itself is does not attract a lot of tourist despite being in the Rajasthan route.
Our tour bus arrived during the week whereby the Indian Royal Airforce was enlisting candidates. Meaning thousands of young Indian men had come from all over to get enlisted so the streets outside the fort were crowded with young men. In the mass of men, I was only able to spot 2 very old indian women. So when our bus parked outside the fort for us to alight, the men just came and swam our bus that it was difficult for us to get out and walk towards the entrance gate! It was so scary cause there were just so many of these men. I think perhaps they have never seen westerners or are they are so deprived of seeing women (even though in my tour group its mostly old women above 50 with me being the only one in my 30s) after days loitering in the streets while waiting to get enlisted. Luckily the old guards of the fort paved the way for us by blocking these men with huge sticks. The men were trying to take pictures of us and they only respond to the huge stick. Thats the only thing that seems to ward them off.
Throughout my entire tour of the whole fort I was so scared for my safety as these young men were always trying to come close and get into our tour and some were giving me very lewd stares and doing indecent acts with their hands and private parts when you look at them. In between the guards always came through to warn off these men to stay away from our tour group. And we were the only tour group doing a tour at the time besides some small Indian families.
Entrance fee for us foreign tourist is Rs300 while locals pay Rs50. Typical. There are audio guides available but we have our own guide bringing us around the fort.
The fort consists of:
1. The Palace - audience hall, royal courtyard, privy council room, hall room, private apartment of the King and his 2 Queens, mirror room, Durbar Hall, souvenir room.
2. Museum - Armory Gallery, Royal heirloom Gallery, Royal transportation collection Gallery (where there was even a plane!), office equipment room.
3. Temples of Hindu & Jain religion.
A major feature of the fort is the stone carving done in red and gold coloured sandstones. The interiors of the palaces are decorated and painted in traditional Rajasthani style.
A lot of restoration work were in progress during our visit so some parts were off limits.
So the fort is worth a visit if you are travelling past Bikaner. Just make sure your dates does not coincide with the Royal Airforce enlistment date to avoid the stress I faced.
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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