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DESTINATIONS » WEST INDIA » RAJASTHAN » BIKANER
 
  
 

Bikaner is a true desert country and part of the ancient caravan route that came from west and central Asia. Located in the north of the State of Rajasthan, it was founded in 1488 by a Rathore Prince Rao Bika, a descendent of Jodha, founder of Jodhpur. Rao Bika chose a barren wilderness called 'Jangladesh' and transformed it to an impressive city. The old city is surrounded by a crenellated wall and was once an important staging post on the great caravan trade routes. The Ganga Canal, built between 1925-27, irrigates a large area of previously arid land around Bikaner.

Sheer beauty in the desert is the royal fortified city of Bikaner. Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by long embattled wall having five gates. Bikaner's forts, 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 prevailing in 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. Undulating lanes, colorful bazaars and bright and cheerful folks make Bikaner and interesting experience.

These are built on high plinths with slender minarets on each of the four corners and can be noticed even from a distance.

 
     
  Place To See  
 
Junagarh Fort, Lallgarh Palace, Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum, Jain Temples, Camel Research & Breeding Farm, Devi Kund, Deshnok, Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary
 
  Things to do  
 
Heritage Sight seeing, Tour Camel Farm, Wildlife safari, Jain and hindu Pilgrimages, Mueseum tours, Taste Salty snacks and cuisine.
 
  How to reach  
  By road and rail.  
     
     
 
DESTINATIONS
 
     
 
  Junagarh Fort   Lallgarh Palace   Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum  
             
  Jain Temples   Camel Research & Breeding Farm   Devi Kund  
             
  Deshnok   Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary      
 
     
     
     
 
Junagarh Fort
 
 
Destination Junagarh Fort
Location Bikaner
State Rajasthan
Destination Type Heritage Site
Activities Heritage sight seeing
Built between 1588-93 by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of Mughal Emperor Akbar, this impressive fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat. The Suraj Pol or Sun Gate, is the main entrance to the fort. Within the fort are thirty-seven palaces, pavilions and temples, which make a picturesque ensemble of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows. The palaces exquisitely built in red sandstone and marble are ornate with mirror work, carvings and paintings. Among the notable palaces are the Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), which is decorated with paintings and carved marble panels, the Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal and Anup Mahal. A major feature of the complex is the magnificent stone carving. The fort also has a fine collection of Rajput weapons and an old World War I biplane presented to Maharaja Ganga Singh by the British. This is one of the only two models of this plane in the world.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Lallgarh Palace
 
 
Destination Lallgarh Palace
Location Bikaner
State Rajasthan
Destination Type Heritage Site
Activities Heritage sight seeing,Visit Museums/ Libraries
Located 3km north of the city centre, this red sandstone palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881-1942) in memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh. The palace has beautiful latticework and filigree work. Part of the palace has been converted into a luxury hotel and a museum known as Shri Sadul Museum. The museum covers the entire first floor of the palace and houses old photographs of royal hunts, trophies of wildlife and an extraordinary collection of the former Maharaja's personal possessions.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum
 
 
Destination Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum
Location Bikaner
State Rajasthan
Destination Type Art & Culture
Activities Visit Museums/ Libraries
The museum has an interesting collection of sculptures, terra cottas, weapons, miniature paintings and musical instruments.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Jain Temples
 
 
Destination Jain Temples
Location Bikaner
State Rajasthan
Destination Type Pilgrim Centre/Holy Place
Activities Pilgrimage/Place of worship
The narrow streets of the old city have a couple of notable Jain temples. The Bhandasar and Sandeshwar temples date from around the 15th century. They have colourful wall paintings and some intricate carvings.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Camel Research & Breeding Farm
 
 
Destination Camel Research & Breeding Farm
Location Bikaner
State Rajasthan
Destination Type Modern Wonders
Activities Research exchange
   
Located about 8km away, this centre is probably unique in Asia. The British army had a camel corps drawn from Bikaner during World War I. The farm extends over 2000 acres of semi arid land. The Camel Corps of Bikaner are still an important part of the desert warfare and defence through the Border Security Force(BSF).
 
 
 
 
     
 
Devi Kund
 
 
Destination Devi Kund
Location Bikaner
State Rajasthan
Destination Type Heritage Site
Activities Heritage sight seeing
Located about 8km east of Bikaner, this is the royal crematorium with several ornamented 'chhatris' (cenotaphs) built in the memory of the Bika dynasty rulers. Maharaja Suraj Singh's cenotaph is the most impressive of all, created entirely in white marble with spectacular Rajput painting on the ceiling.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Deshnok
 
 
Destination Deshnok
Location Bikaner
State Rajasthan
Destination Type Pilgrim Centre/Holy Place
Activities Pilgrimage/Place of worship,View customs
It is a village located about 30km south of Bikaner. It is the site of the famous Karni Mata Temple. The famous 600 years old temple is dedicated to Karni Mata, a form of Goddess Durga. The temple has huge intricately carved silver gates, which were donated by Maharaja Ganga Singh. But the most unusual feature of the temple is the rats that scamper freely within the sanctum sanctorum. They are regarded as sacred and are fed by priests and devotees. Spotting a white rat is considered to bring good fortune.
 
 
 
     
 
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary
 
 
Destination Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary
Location Bikaner
State Rajasthan
Destination Type Wildlife
Activities Heritage sight seeing,Wildlife Safari/Bird Watching
Located about 32km from Bikaner on the Jaisalmer road, the lake and forested hills of this reserve are home to a number of wildfowl, deer and antelopes. Imperial sand grouse migrate here in winter. On the bank of the lake stand the Gajner Palace, the former winter palace. It is an impressive building made of red sandstone and is set in serene surroundings. It has now been converted into a heritage hotel.