Bikaner

About Bikaner

Bikaner was founded in 1486 by Bika, one of the fourteen sons of Rao Jodha. Bikaner - lying in the north of the desert state, bikaner is dotted with many sand dunes. More popularly called the camel country , Bikaner is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. The exotic camel safaris, its gorgeous forts and the worship of thousands of holy rats at Karni Mata temple are some of the most interesting aspects of Bikaner. The camel festival at Bikaner held in the month of January is also an event worth witnessing if one wants to get the actual color of the place.

     

PLACE OF INTEREST AT BIKANER

Forts & Palaces : Juna-Garh,   Lall-Garh,   Gajner Palace
Temples : Shiv-Bari,   Devi-Kund Sagar,   Deshnok Temple,  Bhandeshwar Jain Temple,   Ratan Bihari Temple
Museums : Ganga Singh Museum,   Sadul Museum,  Old Museum
Other Places : Camel Research Center, Katariasar Village,  Kolayat, 
Fairs & Festivals : Camel Festival,   Gangaur Festival,  Kolayat Fair,  Holi
     

::: Forts & Palaces :::

     

Junagarh Fort 
It is an unassailable fortress, which has never been conquered. Built in 1593 A.D. by Raja Rai Singh, one of the most distinguished generals in the army of Emperor Akbar, the fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat.

     

Lalgarh Palace 
This grand palace is an architectural masterwork in red sandstone, and was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh Ji in 1902. Sir Swinton Jacob designed this oriental fantasy. This architecture is a fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European architecture. The exterior contrasts dramatically with the oriental interiors and amenities.

     

Gajner Palace
Gajner is an incomparable Jewel in the Thar. Built by the great Maharaja Ganga Singhji of Bikaner on the embankment of a lake with a generous dose of flora and fauna.

     

Shiv Bari Temple 
Shiv Bari Temple (6 kms from Bikaner) 
Fortified by a high wall the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

     

Devi Kund 
Devi Kund (8 kms from Bikaner)
The royal crematorium has several exquisite cenotaphs (Chhatris).

     

Deshnok Temple [Karni Mata Ji]
The Karni Mata temple, 30kms from Bikaner, is dedicated to an early fifteenth century mystic who was considered to be reincarnation of goddess Durga; she blessed Rao Bika and has been the tutelary daily of Bikaner dynasty. The specialty of the temple is that is inhabited by legious of brown rats, which scurry around the complex without any fear. The rats are believed to be repositories of the souls of dead ‘Charans’ the traditional bards. It is believed that the Maharajah of Bikaner had a vision in which the goddess asked him to protect the rats and for this reason. The temple has a rich carved entrance and superb silver doors with images of gods embossed on it; these were donated by Maharajah Ganga Singh.

     

Bhandeswari Jain Temple
Bhandeswari Jain Temple is a fifteenth century temple and is the oldest monument of Bikaner. The temple is decorated with rich mirror work, frescoes and gold leaf paintings.

 

     

Ratan Bihari Ji Temple
A splendid temple building made of white marble. It is a fime example of Indo-Mugal architecture, situated on King Edwats Memotial Road, near Junagarh Fort. The temple was built by the 18th rular of Bikaner state, Lork Ratan Singh, in 1846 A.D., It is dedicated to Lord Krichna. The outer portion of this this temple has an ethereal beauty.

 

     

::: Museums :::

     

Ganga Singh Museum 

Popularly described as the best museum in the state, it displays a rich array of archaeological discoveries from prehistoric Harrapan and early Gupta period.

     

Sadul Museum 
Popularly described as the best museum in the state, it displays a rich array of archaeological discoveries from prehistoric Harrapan and early Gupta period. 
 

     

OLD Museum 
It's a museum located in the great Junagarh Fort. The museum is dedicated to royal costumes, textiles and accessories.

     

::: Other Places :::

     

Camel Research Farm

Camel Research Farm (8 km): Spend a day with the indispensable ship of the desert at their camel research and breeding centres which is only one of its kinds in AsiaIndian Council of Agricultural research of central Goverment (I.C.A.R.) established the National Research Centre on camel (N.R.C.C.) in 1975 A.D. and its was set up in Bikaner. (Raj.). The farm is considered unique int the whole of Asia. In the beginning it was under the charge of Rajasthan state goverment but from July 5th, 1984, it has been under the charge of the central Gaverment of India. Travellers used to enjoy better facilities when the farm was under the state Gaverment of Raj.

     

Katariasar Village
It is located 50 kilometres from Bikaner. It is a temple complex of Kolyat and a holy place of pilgrimage for Hindus.

     

Kolayat
Kolayat is located 50 kilometres from Bikaner. It is a temple complex of Kolayat and a holy place of pilgrimage for Hindus.

     

::: Fairs & Festivals :::

     

Camel festival
A spectacular event of camel performances, camel races, camel acrobatics dances and camel milking competition are a part of of the celebrations.

     

Gangaur Festival
Dedicated to Goddess Parvati- the consort of Lord Shiva. Grand processions of the deity accompanied by dancing women are a part of the eighteen day long celebrations.

     

Kolayat Fair
Coincides with Pushkar fair when pilgrims take a holy dip in the Kolayat lake on the full moon day in the month of Kartik.

     

Holi 
Exuberant festivals beginning several days before the actual day of Holi, make it a special and spectacular occasion.

     
Other Details

A city - awesome and beautiful. A vast expanse of rippling sand and scorching sun.An arid, rocky scrubland. It is situated on an elevated ground, surrounded by a seven-kilometer-long embattled wall marked by five gates.

The Rathore prince Rao Bikaji, the liveliest and most enterprising son of Rao Jodhaji of Marwar, founded Bikaner in 1488 AD. The harsh desert surrounds this rich city, no doubt few could gather courage to venture into this part of the globe.

The old part of Bikaner city is surrounded by a stone wall that is 15-30 feet (5-9 m) high and has five gates. Bikaner is now a trade centre for wool, hides, building stone, salt, and grain. Bikaneri woolen shawls, blankets, carpets, and sugar candy are famous, and there are also ivory and lacquerware handicrafts. The city has electrical and mechanical engineering works, railway workshop, and factories that manufacture glass, pottery, felts, chemicals, shoes. The old part of the city is overlooked by a fort and has numerous buildings of bright red and yellow sandstone. Within the fort are several palaces of different periods, a museum housing Rajput miniature paintings, and a library of Sanskrit and Persian manuscripts. Bikaner is situated in an arid tract of undulating sand hills where the breeding of camels, horses, and sheep is the principal occupation. Bajra (pearl millet), jowar (sorghum), and pulses are the main crops grown in the locality.

The fortified town still preserves the aura of medieval times, as it is protected by harsh desert and remained untouched by outside influence. The city is an exercise in architecture ,one gapes in awe at the embattled wall with ornamental gates.The lofty houses with excellent carvings still survive averring to the craftsmanship and prosperity of the people.

The Town is also famous for delicacies like Rasgullas ,Bhujias and Papads.It has become a big wool production centre,and has a unique Camel research farm.

 

History

Bikaner's history dates back to 1488 AD when a Rajput prince Rao Bika ji a descendent of the founder of Jodhpur (1459 AD)., Rao Jodha Ji established his kingdom here. Bika Ji chose a barren land called "Jungladesh" and shaped it into an impressive city, called Bikaner after the founder's name. Archeological surveys and excavations have established beyond doubt that civilization flourished here even before the Harappa period . Excavated statues, coins and carvings of stones and clay stands as testimony to this fact. Ever since the foundation of Bikaner till its accession into Indian Union in 1947 A.D. and there after it's integration in Rajasthan state in 30-3-1949 A.D., Bikaner has played a notable role in the history of the country.

City, north-central Rajasthan state, northwestern India. It lies 240 miles (386 km) west of Delhi.The city was the capital of the former princely state of Bikaner. About 1465 Bika, a Rajput chieftain of the Rathor clan, began to conquer the area from other Rajput clans. In 1488 he began building the city of Bikaner (the settlement of Bika). He died in 1504, and his successors gradually extended their possessions. The state adhered loyally to the Mughal emperors, who ruled in Delhi from 1526 to 1857. Rai Singh, who succeeded as chieftain of Bikaner in 1571, became one of the emperor Akbar's most distinguished generals and was named the first raja of Bikaner. As Mughal dominance ebbed, wars between Bikaner and the princely state of Jodhpur raged intermittently in the 18th century. A treaty establishing British paramountcy was concluded in 1818, and order was restored in the country by British troops. The rebellious behaviour of the local thakurs, or subsidiary chiefs, continued, however, until the princely state was made subject to the Rajputana agency in 1883. The state's military force included the Bikaner Camel Corps, which gained renown in China during the Boxer Rebellion (1900) and in the Middle East during World War I. In 1949 Bikaner, which by then totaled more than 23,000 square miles (60,000 square km) in area, became part of the Indian state of Rajasthan and was divided into three districts .

Official Website : www.bikaner.rajasthan.gov.in  
 

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