Bikaner-Founded in 1488 AD, by the Rathore prince, Bika the liveliest and most enterprising son of Rao Jodha of Marwar.Bikaner lies on the northern point of the desert triangle. The harsh desert surrounds this rich city, no doubt few could gather courage to venture into this part of the globe.
A city that goes back over 500 years has been able to keep its medieval flavour alive.The city is an exercise in architecture, one gapes in awe at the embattled wall with ornate gates. The lofty houses with excellent carvings still survive averring to the craftsmanship and prosperity of the people.
The wealth of its architectural heritage lies in its Fort, Palaces and Temples. Two outstanding Palaces of Bikaner are the Lalgarh palace & the Gajner Palace. Other important sights are Junagarh Fort, the Camel breeding farm, Ganga golden jublee museum.
The famous temple of Karni Mata at Deshnok is something not to be missed. The town is also famous for delicacies like Rasgullas, Bhujias & Papads. It has become a big wool production centre, and has a unique Camel Reseach Farm.
Hot summers (35 to 45 degree C).
Light tropical in summer, light woolen in winter.
Cameras, binoculars, hats.
Hindi, English, Rajasthani.
Best time to be here:
October to March.
Main attractions of Bikaner :
Junagarh Fort, the impregnable fort, which has the distinction of remaining unconquered. Raja Rai Singh (1571 - 1611 AD), built this impressive fort. A moat and houses many outstanding palaces, pavilions, and temples made of red sandstone and marble with kiosks and balconies encircle it. Some places of interest inside the fort are Anup Mahal, Ganga Niwas, Durbar Hall, Har Mandir, Gaj Mandir, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal and Chandra Mahal.
Laxmi Niwas Palace, on the outskirts of the city, this imposing red sandstone palace built by Maharaja Ganga Singh, in commemoration of his father Maharaja Lal Singh. This oriental fantasy designed by Sir Swinton Jacob is among the purest forms of a Rajput palace, full of European luxury.
Ganga Govt. Museum, a rich collection of antiquities from Harappan civilisation, Gupta and Kushan era etc. A separate section of arts and crafts, and a beautiful collection of paintings, weaponry etc.
Bhandeshwar Jain Temple, Laxminath Temple, 14th century temples, rich in mirror work, decor and frescoes.
Devi Kund, its the royal crematorium, with several exquisite cenotaphs. The Maharaja Surat Singh's Chattri is beautifully made of white marble.
Camel Research Farm, the only one of its kind in entire Asia.
Deshnok Karni Mata Temple, (30kms) shrine of Goddess Karni Mata, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, she blessed Rao Bika, and has been the titular deity of the Bikaner dynasty. The temple is unique as the rats are venerated over here and called Kabas the shrine is a sanctuary for them. It has a richly carved entrance and superb silver doors with images of Gods embossed over it.
Gajner, (32 kms) the wildlife sanctuary situated here, amidst lush green surrounding on the road to Jaisalmer. A haven for Chinkara, Black Buck, Nilgai and imperial sand grouse. The palace on the bank of river is has been converted into a hotel.
Kolayatji, (50 kms) ancient pilgrimage, with temple of Kapil Muni. It has many magnificent marble temples with sandstone pavilions and ghats (bathing places) are located around an artificial lake.
Kalibanga, (205 kms) a archaeologists delight, the findings of the remains of pre-Harappan and Harappan civilization has generated immense interest. It is almost as large as Harappa and Mohenjodaro, and designed on the same plan.
More places to visit - L.P. Tessitori Memorial, Ratanbihari ji Temple, wood fossil museum, soor sagar lake, public park, shivbari temple, sagar lake and cenatophs, camel farm, Archives, Haveli's, Rajasthani Turban museum, Sunset point (sand dunes), camel safari, Lalgarh Palace, excursion to Deshnok, khinchan for migrating foreigner birds, ramdevra temple, Shekhawati and Taal Chapar (Black buck century).