As you all know I love art and history. The ancient monuments, temples always attract me and have a deep impact upon me. But amidst all these the havelis and forts of Rajasthan standing in the sandy trough in the deserts are always special. Their architecture, their history replete with their warriors make them special and leave a deep impact upon me.
One such place which impacted me with its palaces, havelis and forts was Bikaner. I entered the Junagarh fort. The fort is built in red sandstone. I entered it through the stone elephant flanked gates. There were hand prints of the queens who committed sati. I was transported into the history. Such was the impact of seeing the fort.
Then I entered the ceremonial courtyard. The fort is surrounded by a moat. Indeed the artisans who created this monument were great. I saluted them mentally. Such was the impact of visit to this fort.
Inside the fort I visited the opulent palace Anup Mahal. In Anup Mahal the coronation of the Kind was carried out in another section. This section was known as Raj Tilak Mahal. For some time I imagined that I was the King and I was coronated. Such was the impact of visiting this place that it transported me back into the times of Kings and Queens and made me feel like a King at least in my imaginations.
Then I went to the Badal Mahal. It is painted with Blue clouds. The word Badal means a cloud. The creators of this palace wanted to give a feeling to its residents that they were living in the clouds. There are open courtyards in this palace. Also there is a place in this palace where the king sat on a marble platform which rose from a pool of water. Wow! Was the only word which came out from my mouth. This palace took me to the clouds. Such was its impact upon me.
Then I visited the Har Mandir. Har Mandir is a temple in the fort. All the Royal weddings were solemnized in this temple. From the Karan Mahal courtyard I went to the Dungar Niwas. Dungar Niwas has fine designs made in the pietra dura style. Yes the same style which is found at the Taj Mahal. Precious stones are cut into the shapes of flowers and leaves and are fitted into the designs made on the walls. Rajasthan and its palaces display opulence and they give the feel of being a part of the royal to its visitors. Such is their impact on visitors like me.
After visited the fort I sat quietly on a rock. I closed my eyes and tried to save in my mind all the pictures of the palaces. I always wanted to live amidst this royal houses. Such was its impact upon me.