Junagarh Fort (earlier called Chintamani Fort) is a fort in the city of Bikaner in the north-western Indian state of Rajasthan.
Junagarh fort was built in 1478 AD by Rao Bika, who was the member of a royal family in Rajasthan. It is said that this is the first building established in the city of Bikaner, around which the rest of the city evolved. Rao Bika, who established the fort and the city was the son of Maharaja Rao Jodha of the Rathor clan, who founded another major city in Rajasthan-Jodhpur.
The fort was originally called Chintamani Fort, but was renamed Junagarh – translating to "Old Fort", in the early 20th century when the royal family moved outside the fort city.
Junagarh Fort is one of the very few major forts in Rajasthan which is not built on a hilltop. The modern city of Bikaner has developed around the fort.
The fort and the structures within it are mostly made of red sandstone (Dulmera) and marble.
The fort complex consists of various temples, palaces, gardens etc, and also some artefacts preserved within museums that give an insight into the grand lifestyles of the royal families of Rajasthan.
Junagarh Fort is open to visitors between 10 AM and 4.30 PM every day, on all days of the week.
An entry fee of INR 50 is applicable for every Indian national (adult) and INR 30 for every Indian student visitor to this place, and for foreigners (adult), the entrance fee applicable is INR 300 per head (for foreign national students, the fee is INR 150).
Bikaner is well connected, and is in close proximity to major cities in Rajasthan such as Jaipur and Jodhpur which are in turn well-connected to cities across India as well as other parts of the world. The city can be reached by air, rail or road.
By air – The closest airport to Junagarh Fort is Jaipur International airport, which is 281.16 kms (174.7 miles) away. Visitors can reach the airport from any part of India or the world, and can hire a cab, bus or autorickshaw from here to reach Bikaner.
By rail – The nearest railway station to Junagarh Fort is the Bikaner railway station which is only 2kms (1.24 miles) away. This can be reached from any city in India through inter-city trains, and visitors can hire cab, bus or autorickshaw from here to reach Junagarh fort.
By road - People can also travel to Bikaner by road on bus, auto-rickshaw or cabs from nearby cities from most neighbouring regions.
The heart and soul of Bikaner, the Junagarh Fort is nestled in the center of the Bikaner city in Rajasthan whose foundation was laid in 1478 by Rao Bika but the developments were completed in 1589. The several beautiful palaces inside the fort along with gardens, balconies, and courtyards reflect the architectural style of the different rulers of a different culture which makes the fort even more glorious to witness.