Founded in 1488,
Bikaner is a desert built on an elevation and surrounded by a long
embattled wall pierced by five gates. A magnificient fort built
betwen 1588 & 1593 by Raja Raj Singh dominates the city. Season:
October to March.
Sheer beauty in
the desert is the royal fortified city of Bikaner. Lying at the
northern tip of the famous triangle of the desert cities, Bikaner
stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a long
embattled wall having five entrance gates.
The genesis of
Bikaner dates back to 1488, when a Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji, son
of Rao Jodhaji of Jodhpur, chose a barren wilderness called 'Jangladesh'
and transformed it to a charming city called 'Bikaner', after the
founder's name. Its location on the ancient caravan routes, which
linked Central Asia and North India with the Gujarat seaports,
made Bikaner a bustling trade centre in the times of yore.
palaces and temples – magnificent creations in red and yellow
sandstone, are living manifestations of its rich historical and
architectural legacy. One can feel the medieval aura pervading
the city's lifestyle.
Not only do the
traditions come alive here in colourful bazaars and havelis, but
Bikaner is also famous for the best riding camels in the world.
One can witness gaily caparisoned camels at the spectacular Camel
Festival at Bikaner, held annually.
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, pavilions Suraj Pol or
the Sun Gate is the main entrance to the fort. The palaces worth
visiting are 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.
magnificent fort in red sandstone, a fascinating juxtaposition of
the Oriental style and European luxury that leaves you truly
mesmerised. 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 add to its charm.
Beautiful 16th century Jain temples, dedicated to the 23rd
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.
to the places of cultural and architectural interest around
Bikaner can certainly add more fun to your trip. Some of them
Farm (8 km)
yourself with the indispensable ship of the desert at this camel
research and breeding centre, the only one of its kind in Asia.
Devi Kund (8
This is a
royal crematorium with cenotaphs of the house of Bikaji Rathore.
Many decorated Chhatris, built in the memory of the Bika dynasty,
offer splendid example of the Rajput architecture.
Wildlife Sanctuary and Palace
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.
Temple, Deshnoke (30 km)
prayers to Karni Mata – an incarnation of goddess Durga, at this
600 year old temple. The temple offers a haven to rats. Devotees
feed the rats, owing to the belief that these rodents will be
reincarnated as holy men. The entrance archway of the temple is
intricately carved in marble.
Kolayat (50 km)
spot, dedicated to Kapil Muni. The temple here is the venue for a
fair in the month of Kartik (Oct.- Nov.), attracting thousands of
pilgrims. Kolayat is an idyllic picnic spot as well.
Temple (6 km)
the 19th century by Maharaja Doongar Singhji, the temple is
encircled by a high wall. Beautiful paintings and a Nandi Bull
facing the Shiva Lingam are the attractions of the temple.
of havelis, built in red stone and intricately carved, embellish
remnants of the pre-Harappan and Harappan settlements have been
found at this place in Hanumangarh District. Surely of interest
to archaeology enthusiasts.
the month of January every year on the full moon night, the
festival is dedicated to the indispensable ship of the desert. A
fascinating spectacle of camel performances. Camel races, camel
dances and camel rides, along with the joy, colour and vigour
unique to Rajasthan, make this a joyous event.
October-November at Kolayat (53 km. from Bikaner). Devotees
throng here in large numbers to take a holy dip in the Kolayat
Lake on the full moon of Kartik or Poornima and offer prayers to
Delhi 510 km via
Ratangarh, Sardarshahar and Hissar
Jodhpur 256 km. via Nokha, Nagaur
Jaisalmer 325 km via Phalodi and Pokaran
Best Season: July-March
Rainfall : 44 cm
Climate Summer Mean Max. 44 'C Mean Min. 28 'C Winter Mean
Max. 23.2 'C Mean Min. 10 'C
Clothing Summer Light tropical or cotton Winter Woollen
: Nearest Airport is Jodhpur 240 kms.
Bikaner is connected by rail with Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur.
Bikaner to Delhi 949 km,Jaipur 316 km,Jodhpur 240 km &
Jaisalmer 330 km.
Junagadh Fort, Lalgarh Palace, Daily Rs.30 R.T.D.C.,
Ganga Golden, Jublee Museum & Parks Oct-March Tel: 5445,4595.
WHAT TO SEE
Lalgarh Palace, Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum.
Temple 5 km, Camel Breeding Farm 10 km, Devi Kund 8 km, Gajner
Wildlife Sanctuary 32 kms, Deshnok's Karniji Temple 33 kms.
(1) Information Centre,
Ghinani Area, Circuit House, Tel: 4595.
(2) Tourist Officer, Tourist Bungalow, Tel: 5445.