Left for Bikanir by road, the road goes via Pokaran. It is distance 333 kms in to be covered in 6 hrs
Arrived 1:15 pm and had lunch at Gallups
After lunch we met with Guide Anand Kumar to take us to The Junagargh Fort. The Fort was originally called Chintamani and was renamed Junagarh or "Old Fort" in the early 20th century when the ruling family moved to Lalgarh Palace outside the fort limits. It is one of the few major forts in Rajasthan which is not built on a hilltop and never fought a battle.
This fort is gorgeous, more a palace than a fort. All the rooms are beautifully decorated, well maintained and a must see.
Painter Raju Swami, recognized by UNICEF and Smithsonian, is the artist responsible for Fort renovations. We went and visited his studio/house and met him. He is a very humble man and gave us a peek into his talented handling of a paint brush. He operates a school with 6 students from there.
We checked into our hotel for the, The Maharaja GangaMahal Hotel.
This was built in 1886, as a guest house for the Royal Family. It started Operating as hotel since 9/22/2009 and changed ownership 6 months back.
We were in room 201, an enormous upstairs suite. Dinner was served on the terrace and included a dance performance.
The hotel/restaurant personnel were wonderful, they fetched a special dessert (রসগোল্লা) for us Bengalis as compliments of the House
A truly class operation and I wish them all the success.
Retired early, have 9-11 hour drive to Ranthambore tomorrow.