Population: About 4 lakhs people reside in this historic city.
Main Languages: Rajasthani, Hindi & English.
Founded By: Rao Bikaji
Tourist Attractions: Junagarh Fort, Lalgarh
Best Time To Visit: October To March
was founded in 1486 AD by the Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji, hence the name
Bikaner. Bikaji was son of Rao Jodhaji who had asked his son to
establish a kingdom of his own. The challenge was accepted and Bikaji
choose the wild country 'Jangaldesh' as his territory and thus
the city of Bikaner came into existence.
seven-kilometres wall with five entrances was built to protect the city
from vagaries of the desert and any external aggression. The city
flourished as an important trade centre between Gujarat seaports and
West Asian countries. The unbroken line of descendants of Bikaji ruled
Bikaner till India got Independence. Bikaner is known for good breed of
riding camels, which are among the best in the world. The Camel Festival
held every year is famous all over the globe. Bikaner has many
magnificent buildings made of Reddish Pink sandstone that transcends the
surrounding barren wilderness. Unlike other cities of Rajasthan, Bikaner
has been able to preserve its traditional aura of the medieval era,
which makes a visitor come here year after year.
One of the most imposing forts of northern India-- Junagarh Fort-- has
remained unconquered till date. This fort was built in 15th century by
one of the most able and trusted generals of Akbar, Raja Rai Singh.
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum: This small museum has a large
collection of pre-Harappan, Gupta and Kushan pottery. The rich
collection of pottery, carpets, paintings, armoury and coins make this
museum one of the best in Rajasthan. The Bikaneri miniatures, which are
displayed in a sepetrate section for local arts, makes visit to the
museum a must.
Designed by a Britisher for Maharaja Ganga Singh, this palace displays a
magnificient blend of Oriental and European style.
Bhandeshwar & Sandeshwar Temples: Five kms from the city, these
temples are the oldest surviving monuments of aesthetic heritage. These
by two brothers and the temples carry their names. The mirror work and
the gold leaf paintings in the temple are noteworthy. The temples are
dedicated to 23rd Jain teerthankar, Parsvanathji.
Gajner Wild Life Sanctuary: 32 kms on the Jaisalmer Road is
located the Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary. Wooded hills and lakes surround
the lush green forest. One can easily spot a Blue Bull, Chinkara, Black
Buck or flocks of Sand Grouse and Wild Boar living in the sanctuary.
Kalibanga: One of the major archaeology sites of the Harappan
civilisation. This place houses immense treasure of our past and is of
particular interest to archaeology enthusiasts.
Kolayat: 54-km from Bikaner, it is a picnic spot.
Camel Breeding Farms: Take a ride on one or watch the
calves gambolling, or submit to a Raika or a Rebari from traditional
camel breeder, over a cup of camel's milk at the camel breeding farms
just eight kms away from the city. This farm is the only of its kind in
Devi Kund: This is the royal crematorium with a number of
cenotaphs. The 'chhatri' of Maharaja Surat Singh is most imposing. One
cannot miss the spectacular Rajput paintings on the ceilings. 8 kms from
HOW TO GET
The nearest airport
is Jodhpur 240 kms.
Rail: The Indian Railways connects Bikaner with cities like
Delhi, Calcutta, Agra, Jaipur, Allahabad etc. The gorgeous 'Palace on
wheels' also covers Bikaner in its eight-day tour of Rajasthan.
Road: Though the unfriendly desert sands surround Bikaner but the
city is well connected by roads. There are local and inter-state bus
services for Bikaner.
counted among one of the major cities of the Rajasthan state and is well
equipped with varied hotel options, which include luxurious and
budget hotels as well as tourist lodges.
Festival: In the
festival, one can see the 'Ship of the Desert' at its sporting best. The
festival is held in January every year.
Karni Mata Fair: Held twice in a year--April/ May and October/
November-- the fair is celebrated on the ninth day of the Navratri.
Devotees throng the temple to worship Goddess Durga and her incarnations
on this day.
down the King Edward Memorial road and inside Kote Gate will reveal the
shopping pleasure in Bikaner. The purses, slippers made from the camel
hide are worth a bargain. The camel skin also ends up as cushions and
lacquered lampshades. The local carpets and the woodwork are very
popular among the tourists. And who can forget the world famous Bikaneri
Bhujias and sweets. Wide range of accomodation facilites are available
to meet the requirements of tourists. There are Palace hotels like the
Bhanwar Niwas, Karni Bhawan, Gajner Palace Hotel. Also, available are
the small but cosy comfortable private hotels. The government approved
Paying Guest system is very popular among the visitors.