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Lalgarh Palace
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Lalgarh Palace is a palace in Bikaner in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The palace was built between 1902 and 1926 according to Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles. The building was commissioned by the British controlled regency for Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881–1942) while he was still in his minority as they considered the existing Junagarh palace unsuitable for a modern monarch. Ganga Singh decided that the palace should be named in memory of his father Maharaja Lall Singh. The complex was designed by the British architect Sir Samual Swinton Jacob. After a ritual blessing ceremony construction commenced in 1896 on empty land 5 miles from the existing Junagarh Palace on what is now Dr. Karni Singhji Road. The palace was arranged around two courtyards with the first and most impressive wing, Laxmi Niwas completed in 1902. The remaining three wings were completed in stages with final completion of the complex accomplished in 1926. Lord Curzon was the palace's first notable guest. Ganga Singh was legendary for his shikars (hunts) at his hunting preserve at Gajner, in particular his Imperial Sand Grouse hunts at Christmas. As a result the palace hosted many guests including Georges Clemenceau in 1920, Queen Mary, King George V, Lord Harding and Lord Irwin. The palace was originally designed to cost 100,000 rupees due to the planned use of cheaper materials including the suggestion of using stucco instead of carved stone in the construction. Soon however all cost cutting was abandoned and by time of the completion of the first wing the cost had increased to 1 million rupees due to the use of the finest materials including the widespread employment of finely carved stonework.

The three-storey complex is coated in red sandstone quarried from the Thar Desert. The complex contains the features considered essential for a late 19th century palace: drawing rooms, smoking rooms, guest suites, several grand halls, lounges, cupolas, pavilions, including a dining room which could seat 400 diners. The complex features magnificent pillars, elaborate fire places, Italian colonnades and intricate latticework and filigree work. The Karni Niwas wing houses the darbar hall and an art deco indoor swimming pool. In 1972 the Maharaja of Bikaner, Dr. Karni Singh, established the Ganga Singhji Charitable Trust. He endowed a part of Lalgarh Palace to be used in service of the trust. Two wings were converted into independent hotels with the income from the Lallgarh hotel used to support the trust.

 
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