Junagarh Fort, Bikaner, Rajasthan, INDIA
This fort is well preserved. Built in 1588 by Raja Rai Singh it is unusual in the sense that it was one of the few forts in Rajasthan not built on a hilltop but instead built on the desert plains. Beyond the main gate lies a complex of splendid palaces, each built by a different ruler over the centuries.
Bikaner was founded in the 15th century by the son of the Rathor Raja of Marwar (Jodpur). Taking offence at a comment that his father had made he left with a band of horsemen to set up his own kingdom in the desert. Spurred on by the blessing of Karni Mata (whose rat temple is whorshipped by Hindus till today) he fought the local desert clans for 30 years, ultimately carving out a kingdom approx. the size of England. Today this town is still at heart a medieval walled desert town. The thick crenelated walls encircling it are still there studded with five huge gates that were once locked at night. It is a pink city as it is carved out of pink sand stone characteristic of this region.