A KOKOindia family holiday in Rajasthan could see you visiting some of India’s most amazing forts. In the Medieval city of Bikaner, in the heart of the Great Thar Desert, lies the incredible Junagarh Fort. Constructed many moons ago, it is (rather fantastically) a castle, a palace and a fort all rolled into one.
Junagarh is an epic sandstone maze of palaces, courtyards, gardens, temples and pavilions. This was a result of every successive Maharaja demanding his own private chambers so he could leave his mark. The searing desert heat never failed to prove an architectural challenge for these new projects. One such King of Bikaner, however, came up with an ingenious way to both keep cool and get inspired.
Maharaja Sardar Singh was a passionate lover of music. He therefore commissioned a special room within Junagarh Fort to simulate a wetter climate. It was to be a uniquely chilled music room. One that would not stifle his musical creativity. One that would provide a soundtrack of gently gurgling water for his musical genius. The Maharaja called it the ‘Badal Mahal’ – meaning the Hall of Clouds.
The walls were decorated with whimsical murals of blue skies and fluffy white clouds. A clever natural cooling system saw thin sheets of water flow onto the floor, fanned by servants known as Pankha Wallahs. The Maharaja would sit up on his elevated platform and sing away to his heart’s content.
Our brilliant guide at Junagarh Fort had my son totally captivated. What a glorious notion that the royal children would be able to splash about in cool water. Xavier could imagine their thrill at experiencing rain for the first time. Just as my son, born and raised in tropical Goa, has never had the thrill of diving headlong into the snow…
By Joanna Lester-George
To read the full article please visit Joannalestergeorge.com – and for more inspiration about Forts and Family Holidays in Rajasthan, visit https://kokoindialuxurytravels.com/experience-india/rajasthan.