Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner
Bikaner, Lalgarh Palace is one of the most popular attractions of the city. Lalgarh palace in Bikaner was built during the year 1902 to 1926, for Sir Ganga Singh, the king of Bikaner back then. The palace is a beautiful three-storey sandstone structure, designed by Samuel Swinton Jacob. The lush greenery all around and the regal décor inside is what makes it such a charming place to spend your vacation.
The Lalgarh palace in Bikaner has been turned into a hotel now. It houses the Shri Sadul Museum, the Lallgarh Palace Hotel and the Laxmi Niwas Palace. In addition, one wing of the palace is still home to the royal family of Bikaner.
The Palace has an amazing collection of well-maintained paintings and hunting trophies. Sprawling lawns with blooming bougainvillea and dancing peacocks make a visual extravagance. Designed by a Britisher for Maharaja Ganga Singh, this palace displays a magnificent blend of Oriental and European style. The terraced lawns and the Bougainvillea bushes add beauty to the palace. Peacocks stroll around the palace, which has been partly converted into a hotel. The intricate filigree work and latticework exhibit the refinements and delicacy of craftsmanship. The palace museum displays well preserved hunting trophies and old photographs. The library of the Lalgarh palace is supposed to have the largest collection of original Sanskrit manuscripts on parchments, copper and gold or silver plaques.
Built in the memory of maharaja Lal Singh, Lalgarh Palace has a graceful facade of red sandstone, and is one of Maharaja Ganga Singh’s great achievements. The maharaja ruled for a period of 56 years. The state especially prospered under his rule. In the fort museum which is housed in the red sandstone Ganga Niwas, built during the reign of Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh, here can be seen a unique collection of miniature paintings, manuscripts, weaponry and even a world war I bi-plane. The Lalgarh palace has now been converted into a beautiful hotel. The large and airy rooms point towards a pervasive British influence, even though the Welcome group took over it's management in 1993 and made numerous renovations. The shri Sadul museum forms a part of the palace, and houses vast collections of books, photographs, manuscripts and albums that span several generations.
Architecture Lalgarh Palace
The complex was designed by the British architect Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. After a ritual blessing ceremony construction commenced in 1896 on empty land 5 miles from the existing Junagarh Fort on what is now Dr. Karni Singhji Road. The palace was arranged around two courtyards with the first and most impressive wing, Laxmi Niwas completed in 1902. The remaining three wings were completed in stages with final completion of the complex accomplished in 1926. Lord Curzon was the palace's first notable guest. Ganga Singh was legendary for his shikars (hunts) at his hunting preserve at Gajner, in particular his Imperial Sand Grouse hunts at Christmas. As a result, the palace hosted many guests including Georges Clemenceau in 1920, Queen Mary, King George V, Lord Harding and Lord Irwin.
How to Reach Lalgarh Palace
By Road – Bikaner is well connected by road
to all the major cities of north India like Delhi (458km), Jaipur (354 km), Jodhpur (235 km) and Jaisalmer (333 km).There are regular govt and private bus services that operate for all major cities.
By Train – Bikaner railway station connected to Delhi, Calcutta, Agra, Jaipur, Allahabad very well. The gorgeous ‘Palace on wheels’ also covers Bikaner in its eight-day tour of Rajasthan.
By Air – The nearest airport to Bikaner is Jodhpur Airport at a distance of 235 km.