Friday, June 12, 2009

Lalgarh Palace - A Heritage destination.

Lalgarh Palace
The famous Lalgarh Palace (named after maharajah Lall Singh, who spelt his name with two lls), on one hand served to portray Ganga Singh's endeavor to make Bikaner prudentially more liberated while on the other, it also served as a link with the continuing tradition of the past.

A huge but compact palace, Lalgarh Palace is built entirely of red sandstone embellished with magnificent filigree work and is an integrated example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Its facade is almost entirely composed of the pierced stone screens called jaalis. A well known feature of Rajasthani architecture, the jaalis keep most of the sun out even as they let in the most trivial whiff of breeze.

The famous palace attractions of BIkaner lies in the main building that consists of the personal dwelling pads of several branches of the royal family, some of which are recently renovated while others still retain their past grandeur. Take for example the alcove where the Rajmata or Queen Mother resides, a section that has never being photographed because of the numerous shikar (hunting) trophies and old snapshots that embrace its walls. Walk over to the balcony to see the sprawling terraced lawns with blooming bougainvillea and peacocks dancing with tails fanned out, which make this palace a not-to-be missed visual retreat.

Go through the Lalgarh palace museum in Rajasthan. The fort museum, located inside the Ganga Niwas, holds an unique omnibus of miniature paintings of Bikaner school, manuscripts, terracotta wares, armors, armaments and even a world war I bi-plane. The eye catching and soul soothing library of the Lalgarh palace is supposed to have the largest collection of original Sanskrit manuscripts on parchments, copper and gold or silver plaques.

The exhibits are splendid masterpieces of Harappan civilization, Gupta and Kushan era, and sculptures of late classical time. A must see corner is the separate section displaying exclusive arts and crafts of the region. The museum is opened from 10 am to 4.30 pm and is closed on Fridays.

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