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Home » Rajasthan » bikaner

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Bikaner

Sargam Tour and Travels - Bikaner RajasthanLying in the north of the desert state, the city is dotted with scores of sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval grandeur that permeates the city's lifestyle. More readily called the camel country, the city is distinguished for the best riding camels in the world and hence boasts of having one of the largest Camel research and breeading farm in the world. The ship of the desert is an inseparable part of life here. A camel besides doing transportation duties, also works on wells.

These are built on high plinths with slender minarets on each of the four corners and can be noticed even from a distance. The history of Bikaner dates back to 1488 when a Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji founded his kingdom. Bikaji was one the five sons of Rao Jodhaji the illustrious founder of Jodhpur. But Rao Bikaji was the most adventurous of them. It is said that an insensitive remark from his father about his whispering in the Durbar provoked Bikaji to set up his own kingdom towards the north of Jodhpur.

The barren wilderness called Jangladesh became his focus point and he transformed it to an impressive city. He accomplished his task with 100 cavalry horses and 500 soldiers, and established his kingdom on 84 villages abandoned by the 'Shankhlas'. When Bikaji died in 1504 his rule had extended to over 3000 villages.

Modern Bikaner is the result of the foresight of its most eminent ruler Maharaja Ganga Singh (1887 1943) whose reformative zeal set the pace for Bikaner transformation from a principality to a premier princely state. The strategic location of Bikaner on the ancient caravan routes that came from West/Central Asia made it a prime trade centre in those times.

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 rich historical and architectural legacy. Surging lanes, colourful bazaars with bright and cheerful folks make Bikaner an interesting experience to explore.



Attractions of Bikaner
Deshnoke Temple
Situated en route to Jodhpur , the temple is dedicated to Karni Mata -an incarnation of Durga. The temple has fascinating huge silver gates and marble carvings that were donated by Maharaja Ganga Singhji The most attractive feature of temple are the rodents who scamper freely within the premises and if one touches your feet its considered auspicious. They are regarded sacred and devotees buy prasad (feeding) to offer to them.

Kolayat Temple
A famous pilgrimage spot with a temple dedicated to Kapil Muni (saint) is situated 50 kms from Bikaner on highway leading to Jaisalmer.Kapil Muni sat in meditation near lake.Muni was propounder of Sankhya Philosophy The temple is the venue for an annual fair held in the month of Kartik (Oct-Nov) when the thousands of devotees gather in a large number to take a sacred dip in the holy waters of the Kolayat lake( Kapil Sarovar) on the full moon day. Lake is considered to have the effect of washing off the sins of devotees. A cattle fair ,especially for the trading of camels is a part of he festivities.The town is connected to Bikaner by road as well as rail.

Lallgarh Palace
The architectural masterpiece in red sandstone was built by Maharaja Ganga Sing (1881 AD-1942 AD) in memory of his father Maharaja Lall Singh between 1902 -1926.This magnificent palace is an example of pure Rajput martial architecture. Designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, this palace has several grand halls, lounges, cupolas and pavilions. The exotic palace has magnificent pillars, richly carved fire mantles , Italian colonnades and motif of lotus in full bloom, adding to the magic of this jewel of the desert. Walls of palaces are reminiscent of the past vintage etchings, hunting trophies and old portraits.

The treasure trove where the guests can spend hours 'walking in the past'. The palace has it's own museum and library (the fourth largest in the world), clay pigeon trap and skeet shooting traps facilities at adjoining ranges. Palace has wild peacocks spreading their feathers at almost every step flowering rows of bougainvillea. Bikaner royal family still lives in part of the palace. A portion of palace is now a hotel.

Gajner Palace
Gajner Palace -a summer resort of Bikaner Maharajas-has often been described as 'an incomparable jewel in the Thar desert'. Built by Maharaja Ganga Singh ji of Bikaner, palace stands on the embankment of a lake .The palace was used by Maharaja for grand shoots and lavish entertainment. Royalty, both Indian as well as international, Viceroys and other dignitaries have been entertained at this grand palace.

The architecture of Gajner palace is truly outstanding. Built in red sandstone with intricately carved pillars, jharokhas and screens , the craftsmanship here is amazing. Palace is surrounded by beautiful wooded area, now a preserved sanctuary which provides shelter to chinkaras , blackbucks, blue bull (neel gai) and flocks of imperial sand grouse. A part of palace has been transformed into hotel.

Prachina Museum
The princelly state of Bikaner was founded by Rao Bika Ji in the year 1488 A.D. Since the foundation of Bikaner, the rulers of Bikaner had a prominent and glorious role in the history of India.

Keeping with the rich and glorious past of Bikaner, daughter of present Maharaja Narendra Singh Ji recently (Oct, 2000) opened a museum "PRACHINA". It is an endeavor to recreate the past and highlight the pace of modernization activated with times and a representation of regional museum as there was a lacuna of courtly tradition and craft Museum in Bikaner.

"PRACHINA" is an effort to highlight the aristocratic patronage which thrived and survived in Bikaner. This museum hopes to build and develop a cultural center to revive the dying craft of Bikaner and amalgamate it to present life.

Devi Kund Sagar (Cenotaphs)
Devi Kund Sagar is situated 8 km in the east of city. The members of ruling family of Bikaner subsequent to Jet Singh, the great grandson of Rao Bikaji, have been cremated here.On the sides of reservoir of water lie the Royal cenotaphs of rulers of Bikaner dynasty from Rao Kalyan Singhji to last Maharaji Karni Singhji as well as those of their wives and other important members of families.There are cenotaphs (Chhatries) of 22 SATIES of royal family prior to Maharaja Gaj Sigh Ji (1745-1787). There is also one cenotaph of a SATA (male sati) of a ruler.The architecture of the cenotaphs is the prime attraction of this place. Maharaja Surat Singh's Chhatri is built entirely in white marble with spectacular Rajput paintings on its ceiling. Close by is a Dargah of Rustal Ali Shah Peer which is held in high esteem by muslim community and other people.

Shri Laxminath Temple
Lakshmi Nath Temple is one of the oldest temples of Bikaner. The foundation of Bikaner was laid here in the year 1488 A.D. by Rao Bikaji. It being a historical monument has special identity. This temple was erected during the reign of Rao Lunkaran and boasts of the superb archeological skills of artists and artisans . It was later develpoed by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji. Statues of deities- Vishnu and Laxmi - have all along received the unwavering devotion of countless people through the last four and half centuries.

Shiv Bari
Built by Dungar Singhji in the late 19th century. The temple is surrounded by an embattlement wall. It has four-faced black marble Shiva statue and a bronze Nandi facing the Shiva-Lingam. There are two large reservoirs of water known as bawaris.

This red sandstone temple attracts thousands of visitors during Shravan (Feb) especially on mondays.



How To Get There - Bikaner

By Air
The nearest airport is Jodhpur Airport

By Rail
Bikaner is connected with Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur and other parts of India through rail network.

By Road
Bikaner is also accessible by roads and buses are available.


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