Bikaner, the royal fortified city, is surrounded by a 7 km long wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces constructed with reddish-pink sandstone bear testimony to its rich cultural heritage. The most famous of these forts is the Junagarh Fort. It was built by Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner who reigned from 1571 to 1612. During his imperial service he traveled extensively, giving him an appreciation of art and architecture. These ideas have been incorporated into the architectural style of Junagarh Fort. The Laxmi Niwas Palace is a former residential palace of the Maharajah Ganga Singh of the former Bikaner state. It was designed by the British architect, Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob in 1902. It is now a luxury hotel. The magnificent structure in red sandstone is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Bikaner.
Also designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, Lalgarh Palace was built between 1902 and 1926. The building was commissioned by Maharaja Ganga Singh in memory of his father. It is coated in red sandstone and has several grand halls, lounges, cupolas and pavilions. The building features magnificent pillars, elaborate fireplaces, Italian colonnades and intricate lattice and filigree work. The palace houses the Shri Sadul Museum as well as a large collection of Sanskrit manuscripts-the Anup Sanskrit Library. Though the Bikaner Royal Family still lives in the palace, part of the building has been converted into a heritage hotel.