was founded in 1486 AD by the Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji,
hence the name Bikaner. Bikaji was son of Rao Jodhaji who
had asked his son to establish a kingdom of his own. The
challenge was accepted and Bikaji choose the wild country 'Jangaldesh'
as his territory and thus the city of Bikaner came into
A seven-kilometres wall with five entrances was built to
protect the city from vagaries of the desert and any
external aggression. The city flourished as an important
trade centre between Gujarat seaports and West Asian
countries. The unbroken line of descendants of Bikaji ruled
Bikaner till India got Independence. Bikaner is known for
good breed of riding camels, which are among the best in the
world. The Camel Festival held every year is famous all over
the globe. Bikaner has many magnificent buildings made of
Reddish Pink sandstone that transcends the surrounding
barren wilderness. Unlike other cities of Rajasthan, Bikaner
has been able to preserve its traditional aura of the
medieval era, which makes a visitor come here year after
FORTS AND PALACES
Junagarh Fort: One of the most imposing forts of
northern India-- Junagarh Fort-- has remained unconquered
till date. This fort was built in 15th century by one of the
most able and trusted generals of Akbar, Raja Rai Singh.
The Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum: This small museum has a
large collection of pre-Harappan, Gupta and Kushan pottery.
The rich collection of pottery, carpets, paintings, armoury
and coins make this museum one of the best in Rajasthan. The
Bikaneri miniatures, which are displayed in a sepetrate
section for local arts, makes visit to the museum a must.
Lalgadh Palace: Designed by a Britisher for Maharaja
Ganga Singh, this palace displays a magnificient blend of
Oriental and European style.
Bhandeshwar & Sandeshwar Temples: Five kms from the
city, these temples are the oldest surviving monuments of
aesthetic heritage. These were built by two brothers and the
temples carry their names. The mirror work and the gold leaf
paintings in the temple are noteworthy. The temples are
dedicated to 23rd Jain teerthankar, Parsvanathji.
Gajner Wild Life Sanctuary: 32 kms on the Jaisalmer Road
is located the Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary. Wooded hills and
lakes surround the lush green forest. One can easily spot a
Blue Bull, Chinkara, Black Buck or flocks of Sand Grouse and
Wild Boar living in the sanctuary.
Camel Breeding Farms: Take a ride on one or watch the
calves gambolling, or submit to a Raika or a Rebari from
traditional camel breeder, over a cup of camel's milk at the
camel breeding farms just eight kms away from the city. This
farm is the only of its kind in Asia.
Devi Kund: This is the royal crematorium with a number
of cenotaphs. The 'chhatri' of Maharaja Surat Singh is most
imposing. One cannot miss the spectacular Rajput paintings
on the ceilings. 8 kms from Bikaner.