|Just over five centuries old, Bikaner was founded by a scion of the house of Marwar (Jodhpur). The fort of Bikaner, Junagarh, however, was built in 1593 by Raja Rai Singh who also served
as a general in the army of Emperor Akbar. Made from red sandstone and encircled by a moat around which the modern city of Bikaner has spread in a somewhat erratic fashion, Junagarh consists of several
palaces and apartments in a remarkable state of preservation. The art of mason and sculptor is most obvious in the recreation of delicate stone screens, kiosks, pavilions and series of arched entrances to buildings
reached from corridors that have windows overlooking the city beyond.
Some of the palaces are among the most richly decorated in Rajasthan and include Anup Mahal, Chandra Mahal and Phool Mahal. They give the impression of rich inlay of pietra dura, though in fact the apartments
are merely richly painted. The paintings have been preserved as good as new because of extremely dry heat conditions of the desert town. Another palace, Badal Mahal recreated painting of clouds on its walls,
a reminder of the monsoon that often failed the settlement. The Anup Mahal courtyard has a throne set in a pool of water. Bringing alive the sensitivity the rulers showed in their building environment.