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Lalgarh Palace, India
In the city of Bikaner in Rajasthan state
Year of Construction
1902 to 1926 A D
Maharaja Ganga Singhji
Lalgarh Palace was a blend of the Mughal, European and Rajput architectural style built in the year 1902 to 1926. In the year 1889 to 1925 the Lalagarh Palace was commissioned by the Maharaja Ganga Singh in his father’s memory Maharaja Lall singh and Sir Swinton Jacob a British architect had designed it. Made of red sandstone this building has many pavilions, cupolas, lounges and grand halls. The building also has Italian colonnades, elaborate fireplaces, huge pillars and delicate filigree and latticework. The palace also has important and large collection of the Sanskrit manuscript, Shri Sadul Museum and also the Anup Sanskrit Library. Part of this palace is used by the Royal Family of Bikaner and a part is converted into Heritage hotel which is being operated by Royal family Bikaner.
Construction – Lalgarh Palace
This was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob who was a British architect, after the rituals the constructed was started in the year 1896 on a land of 5 miles. Around the two courtyards was the palace arranged with the first wing Laxmi Niwas which was just too impressive complete the construction in the year 1902 and the rest of the three wings got over by the year 1926. The first honorable guest of the palace was Lord Curzon. Ganga Singh was known for his hunting especially during the Christmas the Imperial Sand Grouse hunts. This palace had many guests like Lord Irwin, Lord Harding, King George V, Georges Clemenceau.
Initially it was decided to give a budget of Rs. 1,00,000 by going in for cheap materials for construction, but then soon this was over ruled and the first wing the Laxmi Niwas was constructed with a budget of Rs .1 million as they used the best of the materials including the delicately carved stonework.
Red sand stone is being coated on the three storied complex, and consists of all the necessary features which are required for the late 19th century like the dining room with a seating capacity of 400 people, pavilions, cupolas, lounges, several grand halls, guest suites, smoking rooms, drawing rooms etc. It also has the fireplaces which are huge, magnificent pillars, delicate filigree and lattice work and Italian colonnades. The Karni Niwas has a swimming pool inside and also a darbar hall.
The Great History
The Lalgarh Palace which was built from the year 1902 till 1926 in European, Mughal and Rajput style being hugely in Indo Saracenic style. This was commissioned by regency which was British controlled for the Maharaj Ganga Singh ( he was born in the year 1881 and died in the year 1942 ) when he was still not in power as they didn’t find the prevailing Junagarh Palace suitable for modern monarch. It was decided that the palace be named after his father the Maharaja Lall Singh in his fond memory. In the year 1972 the Ganga Singhji Charitable Trust was established by the H H Karni Singh who was the Maharaja of Bikaner then. A part of the Lalgarh palacewas endowed by the Maharaja who wanted it to be used for the trust purpose. Two part of it were converted into two different hotels and the income generated out of The Lalgarh Palace Hotel was used for supporting the trust. In present date the Lalgarh Palace is run by the Maharaja’s daughter H H Princess Rajyashree Kumari.
Rules and Regulations
- Tourists are supposed to be in a group of 10 – 15 members compulsory and have to be accompanied by a guide.
- Spitting is not allowed.
- Smoking is prohibited.
- A person under the influence of alcohol is not allowed.
How to Reach Lalgarh Palace
The domestic airport is under construction and is at a distance of just 14 kms from the city and the flights are scheduled to start for Jaipur and Delhi from the later year of 2012 hence giving close proximity and making commuting easier for people.
Bikaner has trains connected to few of the major cities via broad guage and has direct trains to Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Jammu, Kota, Chandigarh, Thiruvananthapuram, Puricoimbatore, Jalandhar, Surat, Jaipur, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Baroda, Jalandhar, Agra and Kanpur.
The city of Bikaner is well connected to cities like Indore, Jodhpur, Haridwar, Ahmedabad, Ambala, Bhatinda, Ludhiana, Agra, Jaipur, Delhi etc hence making commuting easier for people.
One can commute with ease within the city as there are convenient modes of transport.
Best Time to Visit :
October to March
The ideal time to visit this place is from October to March as the months from April till June are very hot and hence can lead to dehydration and the months from July till September are months of shower hence it is better to avoid this period and plan the trip to visit this place between October to March so as to enjoy your trip.
Tourist Places near Lalgarh
Camel Research & Breeding Farm
This is the only one kind in the whole of Asia and is just 8 kms from the city of Bikaner and is managed by the government. This farm is into training and breeding of camels. You will just enjoy the sight of the camels which are considered as the ship of the desert. All the kind of information that you ever wanted to know about the camels can be got here, you can also have a tour of the 200 camels or can have a camel ride or can also see the museum. At the camel fairs they put up the camels for sale and during this time the camels are dressed in the best of the ornaments which are very colorful.
Laxmi Niwas Palace
The Laxmi Niwas Palace was the residence of the former king Maharaja Ganga Singh and was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob in the British style of architecture and was built in the year 1902. Now this is being converted into a luxurious hotel owned by the Golden Triangle Fort & Palace P.Ltd.
Laxmi Nath Temple
Laxmi Nath Temple is considered to be one of Bikaner’s oldest temples with the foundation being laid by Rao Bikaji in the year 1488 and was constructed under the rulership of Rao Lunkaran and later modified by Maharaja Ganga Singh.
Maru Nayak Ji
Maru Nayak Ji was constructed in the year 1486 and was said to be Bikaner’s first Vaishnav Temple. The deity who is presiding is said to be Lord Moolnayak Krishna.
Bhandeswari Jain Temple
This temple was built in the 15th century and is the oldest shrine in Bikaner and is decorated with gold leaf paintings, mirrorwork.
There are many beautiful havelis which you get to see here and the Jain Haveli is just awesome and too beautiful. These havelis which are in Gogagate, Daddhon ka Chowk etc had belonged to the Dagas, Vaids, Rampurias and Kotharis.
Gaj Mandir was Maharaja Gaj Singh and his two queens private chamber. The chambers had doors made of rich ivory door, wooden walls of lacquer paint and many gold paintings.
Phool Mahal ki Sal
This is said to be one of the Junagarh Forts oldest part with sparking lovely flowers, rose water sprinkle and vases. The interior walls are made up mirror and glass work.
There is an access from Karan Mahal to the Dungar Niwas and is very beautifully painted Ganga Niwas is another similar kind of courtyard which is huge and has an entrance of red sandstone.
This is a very sacred spot and is dedicated to the Kapil Muni. In the Karthik month i.e., from October to November a fair takes place in this temple and many pilgrims come here in many numbers. This is also considered as a picnic spot as well.
Timing to see this is from 4:30 to 6:30 and is near Jassusar near Maruti Vyamshala near Bikaner.
Badal Mahal & Chandra Mahal
Badal Mahal as the name suggests has the clouds painted in blue and has a wonderful portrait of the Maharaja Sardar Singh along with the instruments Garud Veena and Mayur Veena. Chandra Mahal has many small rooms and has paintings as well.
Karni Mata Temple
This temple is about 600 years old and is the royal family’s god Karni Mata. The rats are also said to be worshipped her along with the Godess. It is believed that the rats need to be protected here as they are the Goddess soul. These rats are named kaba and are said to be harmless and never cross the temple boundaries. This temple has marble carvings and large silver gates.
This temple is open from 6 am to 9.30 pm
The Shivbari temple is of Lord Shiva and the idol of Lord Shiva has four faces which is in black color and had an idol of the bull Nandi in bronze. Baoris are the two huge reservoirs which are present here.
Fairs & Festivals
There are also many fairs and festivals which takes place here, the following are to name a few:
- 25 kms from the city of Bikaner is the Ladera Dunes, International Camel Festival.
- Deshnoke which is the Karni Mata fair in Bikaner.
- The famous fair Kapil Muni fair.
- Punarasar Fair which is held in Bikaner at the punarasar village. The village got it name after Lord Hanuman who is the God of wealth, power, health and knowledge. All the Hindus who reside in the city of Bikaner and the surrounding cities go to this village two times in a year, The Bhaadava & Sarad purnima so as to celebrate this holy fair and offer many things to the baba Punarasar. All the devotees who go to this pious occasion are served refreshments and food by the other devotees who had gathered there. This fair is not to be missed and hence the people of Bikaner and surrounding cities stand in the queue inspite of it being very long which is more than 5 kms and the devotees do stand to visit the temple. As the Punarasar temple is very close to the highway road and hence leads to the city of Jaipur this is also called as the Punarasar highway.
- Kodamdesar Mela which is celebrated in the village of Kodamdesar is 20 kms away from the city of Bikaner. And it is said that the temple of Lord Bhairoon is located here. Lord Bhairoon nath’s statue which is there in this temple has no covering. The two purohits Chura & Surdashani believe Kodamdesar bahiroon blindly.
- There is another mela which is celebrated with great pomp & show and that is the Kolayat Mela.
- Among the caste of Hindu like the Ojha, Bhadani, chhangani and derasri the mela which is said to be very famous is the Siyana Bhairoon mela. All the devotees of this community and other communities as well reach the village of siyana bikaner by various transport like some come by bus, some by car, some on bike and few others on feet. In the village of Siyana lord bhairoon’s temple is there and it is said that the devotees wish gets fulfilled here and they get all the amenities that they are looking out for.
- Camel festival: Every year in the month of January the camel festival is organised by the state government and this is a festival where there is race among the camels, they also have the fire dance along with many other cultural events which is performed by Sidh people.
- Akkha Teej also known famously as Aksaye Tritya was saod to be the city of Bikaner’s foundation. On this auspicious day the foundation was laid by Rao Bika of this new empire. On this day every year people from all the walks of the society come together and enjoy this special day by flying kites and also enjoy a special meals like the Imlani & Khichra
- The biggest festivals of the Jain community called the Paryushan is said to be celebrated here with lot of dedication and interest in this city in the month of Bhadrapad according to the Hindu calendar. They decorate the temples very lavishly and the spiritual ceremonies and fasting by people can be see all over in this place.
- On the day of Kartik Poornima there is a big procession that the Jain community carries out which consists of musical brands, palki of tirthankar and paintings. On this day there are many bhajans that are sung and the spiritual bands and the local bhajan mandali performs with lot of enthusiasm on this special occasion.
- Rammat which is a marwadi word means ‘PLAY’ it is performed during Holi Bisso ka chowk, Barah Guwar and Bhattron ka chowk etc.the local actors enact the roles of famous legends like Amarsingh Rathod, Dhola Marwaani etc. The Rammat begins in the middle of the night and gets over by the early morning with salutations to the goddess. Every local present out there takes a lot of interest in participating in chorus and spreads colors all over the crowd there. Vyas & Rammat of Harsh attracts many people due to the distinctive feature which is their water play which is filled with lots of fun. All the members of both the communities Vyas and Harsh see to it that they fill their water tank with lots and lots of water and they hit water at each other with the help of a jug which is made up of leather. The one with no water is said to be the loser, irrespective of the winner this is played with lot of fun and they just enjoy playing it each year though every year the Vyas are the winners.
- Pata is a huge square shaped couch which is made up of wood where people sit & chat. The intention behind making of this Pata is to get people close to each other so that they can discuss on various topics everyday.
Year of Construction: 1902 to 1926
Completed In: 1926
Time Taken: 24 years
Built By: Maharaja Ganga Singhji
Dedicated to: Maharaja Lall Singh
Location: Bikaner, Rajasthan
Architecture: Mughal, European and Rajput architectural
Camel Research & Breeding Farm
This is the only one kind in the whole of Asia and is just 8 kms from the city of Bikaner and is managed by the government. This farm is into training and breeding of camels.
Interesting Facts of Lalgarh
- The fairs and festivals are carried with lot of pomp & devotion.
- Camel Research & Breeding Farm - This is the only one kind in the whole of Asia and is just 8 kms from the city of Bikaner and is managed by the government. This farm is into training and breeding of camels