Karan Mahal

Karan Mahal (Public Audience Hall), the first monument of Bikaner and second oldest in Rajputana is based on the classic Mughal style, the plan for the construction of which were conceived during the reign of Raja Karan Singhji. It was erected in about 1690 by Maharaja Anup Singhji as a memorial monument of his father Raja Karan Singhji. This monument is also a tribute to the restoration and elevation of the status of Bikaner State.

Karan Mahal is covered with rich Rajput elaboration of Mughal style in terms of the purity of white marble and stucco design. The exquisite economic design is so characteristic of classic Art like Diwan-I-Khass, Rang Mahal and Mumtaj Mahal at Delhi. It has the same wooden ceiling resting on a board cornice and a surrounding Gallery behind a row of cusped arches resting on short bellied columns of the type of fashion under Aurangzeb.

Maharaja Gaj Singhji was shrewd observer and an erudite scholar, was quick to fathom helpless Mughal empire where the residue of artistic life came to an end. People from Delhi Lahore and other unemployed artisans came under the patronage of Rajput Kings. Gaj Singhji was quite to take quite a few of them into his service and of course it proved to be extremely beneficial.

Under Maharaja Gaj Singhji Karan Mahal was provided with throne niche and covered with Mughal painted ornament in a style fundamentally identical with but much richer and more involved and colorful, than classic designs of the 17th and early 18th Centuries. The floral mouldings of bellied columns between arches, was gilded. The wall and gallery ceilings covered with network of garlands, bouquets, vases and bowls filled with flowers with flowers and cornice with other flower arrangement in and out of oval cartouches.

Behind the silver throne in Karan Mahal the state flag of Bikaner is displaced. It has two colours called Kesaria & Kasumal (Saffron & Red). Upper colour Kasumal is symbolic of Karni Mata the presiding deity of Bikaner Royal family and the lower colour Kesaria symbolizes Laxmi Nathji the tutelary deity of the Bikaner Royal family. The center of the flag has the coat of arms of Bikaner state with title “JAI JANGAL DHAR BADSHAH” meaning Victory to the King of the Desert.