The royal fortified city with a timeless appeal. Lying in the north of the Desert State, the city is dotted with many sand dunes.
Bikaner retains the medieval splendor that pervades the city's lifestyle More popularly called the camel country, the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. The ship of the desert is an inseparable part of life here. Be it pulling heavy carts, transporting grains or working on wells. Camels are the prime helpers.
The well of Bikaner-an important source of water are another attraction of the city. These are built on high plinth with slender minareted towers on each of the Four Corners and can be noticed even from a distance.
Bikaner's history date backs to 1488A.D. when a Rathore Prince. Rao Bikaji- a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur(1459A.D.) Rao Jodhaji, established his kingdom here. Rao Jodhaji had five sons but Rao Jodhaji had five sons but rao Bikaji was the most enterprising of them.
Bikaji chose a barren wilderness called "jangladesh" and transformed it to an impressive city, called Bikaji after the Founder's Name. The strategic location of Bikaner on the ancient caravan routes that came from west/Central Asia, made it a Prime trade center in the times of the year.
Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a seven km long embattled wall with five gates.
The magnificent forts and palaces created with delicacy in reddish-pink, sandstone, bear testimony to its historical and architectural legacy.
Undulating lanes, colorful bazaars and bright and cheerful folks make Bikaner an interesting experience. .
Places to See :
Bhandasar Jain Temple (5km) :
Beautiful 16th century A.D. Jain temple dedicated to the 13rd Trirthankra.
Camel Research Farm (8km) :
Spend a day with indispensable ship of the desert at their camel research and breeding centre-one of its kind in Asia.Timing 15.00hrs to 17.00hrs (Closed on Sundays and government holidays) Photography prohibited. The farm extends over 2000 acres of semiarid land is managed by the central Government. The camel crops of Bikaner were a famous fighting force during the Raj and are still an important part of the desert warfare and defence through the border security Force (BSF)
Devi Kund (8km) :
A yoyal crematorium with several ornamented cenotaphs or "chhatris' built in the memory of the Bika dynasty rulers. Maharaja Suraj Singh chhatri is the most impressive of all creative entirely in white marble with spectacular Rajput painting on the ceiling
Shiv Bari Temple (6km)
Built by Doongar Singhji in the late 10th century. The temple in surrounding by an embattlement wall. It has beautiful painting and a bronze Nandi facing the Shiva Lingam.
Deshnok's Karni Mata Temple (30km)
The famous 600 year old temple on the Jodhpur road dedicated to Karni Mata, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple has huge intricately carved silver gates, which were donated by Maharaja Ganga Singh The most interesting thing about the temple are the rats who scamper freely within the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. They are regarded as sacred and are fed by priests and devotees owing to the belief that they will be reincarnated as holy men.
A famous pilgrimage spot with a temple dedicated to Kapil Muni (saint) The temple is the venue for an annual fair held in the month of Kartik (oct-nov)when thousands of devotees gather in large number to take a sacred dip in the holy waters of the Kolayat lake on the full moon day. A cattle fair, especially for the trading of camels is a part of the festivals. The small oasis town is now an idyllic picnic spot.
The extensive remains of the pre-Harappan and harroan civilization found at this are of immense interest to archeology enthusiasts.
Fairs & Festivals :
The Camel Festival (January) :
A spectacular event of camel performances, camel races, camel acrobatics dances and camel milking competition are a part of of the celebrations.
Kolayat Fair (November) :
Coincides with Pushkar fair when pilgrims take a holy dip in the Kolayat lake on the full moon day in the month of Kartik.
Gangaur Festival (April) :
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.
Holi : March
Exuberant festivals beginning several days before the actual day of Holi, make it a special and spectacular occasion.
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