Palaces and Forts of the Desert Triangle

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The Dune Retreat lies at the heart of the desert triangle, surrounded by the cities of Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer, each with wonderful forts and palaces to be examined and explored.

Like the icing on the cake, forts form the crowning glory of any excursion in Rajasthan. Usually perched atop hilltops, carved out of massive stone blocks, they peer down at the surrounding countryside, sentinels and rulers of a bygone era.

The Dune Retreat lies at the heart of the desert triangle, surrounded by the cities of Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer, each with wonderful forts and palaces to be examined and explored.

In Jodhpur, the Mehrangarh fort is located atop a high hill that overlooks the city. Combining massive defensive ramparts and bastions with beautifully carved panels and porches, it provides a fascinating insight into the life of the erstwhile ruling elite. The Umaid Bhavan Palace in the city, designed by the famous architect Vaughan Lanchester, has 347 rooms which combine architectural styles ranging from Indo-Saracenic, Classical Revival, and Western Art Deco.

Jaisamer can boast of perhaps the most iconic of Rajasthani forts, one that was immortalised by the famous filmmaker Satyajit Ray in his film ‘Sonar Killa’, The Golden Fort.  Built of yellow sandstones in the twelfth century, it is one of the oldest forts Rajasthan and one of the only ‘living’ ones, as a section of the city’s population still resides within its walls. It stands at the crossroads of various extinct trade routes, including the fabled silk route.

 The Junagarh Fort of Bikaner is one of those rare ones, that is not situated atop a hilltop, but has the city built around the fort, a process that began in the sixteenth century. Rectangular in shape, built largely of red sandstone and marble, it houses a number of palaces and temples.  In 1902, the royal family of Bikaner shifted to the Lalgarh Palace, which is adorned with terraced lawns and covered with beautiful bougainvillea.  

In closer vicinity of the retreat, there are also lesser known, but no less fascinating forts and palaces like the Lal Niwas.

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June 14, 2016 Dune Retreat
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