Lying in the north of the desert State, the city is dotted with scores of sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval grandeur that permeates the citys lifestyle. More readily called the camel country, the city is distinguished for the best riding camels in the world and hence boasts of having one of the largest Camel Research and Breeding farms in the world. The ship of the desert is an inseparable part of life here. A camel besides being a mode of transport, also works on wells. These are built on high plinths with slender minarets on each of the four corners and can be noticed even from a distance.
The history of Bikaner dates back to 1486 when a Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji founded his kingdom. Bikaji was one the five sons of Rao Jodhaji the illustrious founder of Jodhpur. But Rao Bikaji was the most adventurous of them. It is said that an insensitive remark from his father about his whispering in the Durbar provoked Bikaji to set up his own kingdom towards the north of Jodhpur. The barren wilderness called Jangladesh became his focul point and he transformed it into an impressive city. He accomplished this task with 100 cavalry horses and 500 soldiers, and established his kingdom on 84 villages abandoned by the Shankhlas. When Bikaji died in 1504 his rule had extended to over 3000 villages.
The strategic location of Bikaner on the ancient caravan routes that came from West/Central Asia made it a prime trade centre in those times. Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a seven km long embattled wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces, created with delicacy in reddish-pink sandstone, bear testimony to its rich historical and architectural legacy. Surging lanes, colourful bazaars with bright and cheerful folks make Bikaner an interesting experience..
Modern Bikaner is the result of the foresight of its most eminent ruler Maharaja Ganga Singh (1887-1943) whose reformative zeal set the pace for Bikaner transformation from a principality to a premier princely state.
Tourists Attraction :
Junagarh Fort :
Revel in the architectural splendour, as you take an intimate look at this imposing fort, built by Akbar’s contemporary Raja Rai Singh. Within the fort are thirty seven palaces and pavilions. Suraj Pol or the Sun Gate is the main entrance to the fort. The most beautiful palaces in the complex are the Chandra Mahal, Phool Mahal and Karan Mahal. The palaces, exquisitely built in red sandstone and marble are ornate with mirror work, carvings and paintings. An array of kiosks and balconies embellish the fort at intervals, breaking the monotony. A museum with valuable miniature paintings and rare antiques is also located in the Junagarh Fort.
Lalgarh Palace :
The magnificent fort in red sandstone, a fascinating juxtaposition of the Oriental style and European luxury that leaves you truly mesmerized. Designed by Sir Swinton Jacob for Maharaja Ganga Singh almost -90 years ago, this is an extraordinary monument. The palace has a billiards room, a library, a cards room and a smoking room. Belgian chandeliers, cut - glass ornaments, oil paintings and lamps, all adding to its charm.
The Rajasthani museum houses some of the richest collections of terracotta ware, weapons, miniature paintings of Bikaner and coins of different ages are to be found. The collections in the museum show the splendid masterpieces of the Harappan civilization, the Gupta and Kushan era as well as scriptures of the classical period. The museum also has a separate section displaying exclusive arts and crafts of the region.
Bhandeshwar Jain Temples :
Beautiful 16th century Jain temples, dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankar Parshvanathji. Other important temples of Bikaner include the Lakshminathji, Ratan Bihariji, Shiv Bari, and Nagnechiji temple. The Bhaironji Temple at Kodamdesar, about 40 kms from Bikaner, is another noteworthy temple.
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary and Palace :
Watch flocks of imperial sand grouse, as you wander through the lush foliage of woods located on the Jaisalmer road. Gajner is also home to nilgai, chinkara, wild boar and black buck. Gajner Palace, a summer resort of kings built on the beautiful lake along the sanctuary, is a spot worth visiting.
Devi Kund :
The royal crematorium with a number of cenotaphs is situated 8 km east of Bikaner city. The chhatri of Maharaja Surat Singh of the Bika dynasty is the most striking one amongst them. The spectacular Rajput paintings on the ceilings and the Dome of the Kund is extraordinary to watch out for.
How to Get there :
Air : Nearest Airport is Jodhpur 240 kms.
Rail : Bikaner is connected by rail with Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur.
Road : Bikaner to Delhi 949 km, Jaipur 316 km, Jodhpur 240 km & Jaisalmer 330 km.
Climate in Bikaner :
Bikaner has got extreme desert type of climate with high temperature difference and low rainfall.