The 986 m long Junagarh Fort in Bikaner District
, is one of the few forts in India not built on a hill-top and that has never been conquered. Built in late 16th century by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of Akbar
, the Fort was the center of power for over four centuries. It has 37 palaces, pavilions and temples built by different kings.
The Suraj Pol or Sun Gate is the main entrance to the Fort. The palaces, the main attractions of the Junagarh Fort, have walls inlaid with semi-precious stones and decorated with marble and stone sculptures and paintings. Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) is ornamented with paintings, mirrors and sculptured marble panels; Phool Mahal (Flower Palace) with glass and mirror work; and Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace) with a fresco of rain clouds. Other palaces such as Anup Mahal, Karan Mahal, Dungar Niwas, Ganga Niwas, Gaj Mandir, and Rang Mahal are decorated by huge pillars, arches, and elegant screens.
The fort museum, partly housed in the Ganga Singh Hall built in as late as 1937, has a wide collection of historical documents, jewelry, jars and carpets, weapons, as well as a World War II airplane.
The Fort can be visited on all days of the week except Friday.