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
city 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.
A 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.
Fort: 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.
The 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.
Palace: Designed by a Britisher for Maharaja Ganga Singh, this
palace displays a magnificient blend of Oriental and European
Bhandeshwar & Sandeshwar Temples: Five kms from the city,
these temples are the oldest surviving monuments of aesthetic
heritage. These were built 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
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
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
TO GET THERE
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.
is 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.
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.
stroll 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.
has got extreme desert type of climate with high temperature
difference and low rainfall. The best season to visit Bikaner
between October and March.