Bikaner is located in the northern part of Rajasthan. It was
founded by a descendent of the founder of Jodhpur whose name
was Rao Bhikaji. Bikaner, like Jaisalmer, was an important
town on the great trade route in the medieval period. The city
is surrounded by high fortifications comprising a seven-kilometre
long wall, which encircles the old city and has five
entrances-all constructed in the 18th century.
Bikaner has seen many upheavals in its long and eventful
history. Due to its proximity with Delhi, the capital of
Mughal India, Bikaner bore the burnt of Mughal attacks several
times. According to the legends, Rao Bhikaji sought the
blessings of Goddess Karni at Deshnoke before embarking on his
campaigns. Karni Mata Temple is still being patronized by the
erstwhile ruling family of Bikaner. Hundreds of pilgrims
throng the temple every day throughout the year to seek the
blessings of the Goddess, considered as an incarnation of
Goddess Durga. Bikaner is also the birthplace of world
renowned Bikaneri Bhujia and namkeen (a salted snack made of
lentils). Bikaner is renowned for being the place where one
can get the best riding camels for camel safaris. Welcome to
the Camel Country…
Rao Bhikaji was the sixth son of Rao Jodha, the founder of
Bikaner. He left the kingdom of his father when he realized
that his fortunes lay somewhere else. He founded Bikaner after
pastoral Jats of Northern Rajasthan submitted to his authority
in AD 1488.
According to the legends, Rao Bhikaji sought the blessings of
Goddess Karni at Deshnoke before embarking on his campaigns.
Karni Mata Temple is still being patronized by the erstwhile
ruling family of Bikaner. Hundreds of pilgrims throng the
temple every day throughout the year to seek the blessings of
the Goddess, considered as an incarnation of Goddess Durga. An
unusual feature of the temple is the innumerable rats that
have made this temple their home. Rats of this temple are
considered as the future incarnations of some mystic child of
the temple deity.
Merchant banking and other trading activities were the major
source of income for Bikaner till the British time. The city,
together with Jaisalmer and Jodhpur was the part of a great
inland trade route to Central and West Asia. Bikaner bore the
burnt of Mughal attacks several times and earned reverence
among its fellow Rajput states when it repulsed the onslaught
of the Mughal army under emperor Aurangzeb.
After the decline of mighty Mughals in the nineteenth century,
widespread anarchy came in India. Many princely kingdomsIn the
nineteenth century, alarmed by the widespread anarchy brought
about by the decline of the Mughals, many princely kingdoms
turned to the English East India Company for security. Bikaner
signed the instrument of agreement with the Company in AD
1818, along with other princely states in Rajasthan. Bikaner
proved a true ally at the time of the AD 1857 revolt, Afghan
War, and the Anglo Sikh Wars.
Climate: Being a desertscape, the summers are very hot
in Bikaner. It is situated on a slightly higher altitude and
has an arid climate most of the year. The best time to visit
this place is in winters when the weather remains cool and
Location : Bikaner is located in the northern part of
Rajasthan. If you are looking for Bikaner on the map, you will
find it in the Western India lying on latitude 28°01' north
and longitude 73°22' east. Bikaner is the fourth largest city
of Rajasthan and surrounded by great walls like Jodhpur. To
the north of the city, you will find Sriganganagar and
Hanumannagar while Churu is located to its east. In the south
of Bikaner are located Nagaur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer while to
the south of it is neighboring country of Pakistan. Bikaner
was one of the most important trade centers for the traders of
Best time to visit: An extensive green cover ensures a
pleasant season during spring and early winter. The best
season to visit the city though remains between October and
Places of interest
This tourist attraction of Bikaner was built by a Mughal army
general, Raja Rai Singh, in 1593. The courtyard of the fort
along with the balcony, kiosks and windows are perfect
examples of the artisanship of that time. The beautiful
cutworks and dots on the red stones and the marbles are
fascinating. The various parts of the palace-the Dewan-iI-khas,
the Phool Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal and Anup
Mahal-reflect the glorious architecture of Bikaner.
Built by Maharaja Ganaga Singh in memory of his father, this
tourist attraction of Bikaner is situated 3 km north of
Bikaner city. The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation as
part of their tourism promotion program has converted some
portions of the palace to tourist hotels. Other parts of the
palace have been converted into a museum named as the Sadul
Museum to preserve the glory of the yesteryears of Rajasthan
in general and Bikaner in particular.
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum
This must visit tourist place of Bikaner is one of the best
museums of Rajasthan. While in Bikaner do visit the Ganaga
Golden Jubilee Museum that has some fabulous collection of
antiques and artilleries.
The Bhandasar Jain Temple
The Bhandasar Jain Temple of Bikaner has been dedicated to the
23rd Jain tirthankara. Besides being a major religious spot it
is a must visit tourist place in Bikaner.
The Camel Research Farm
The Camel Research Farm is a major tourist attraction that is
renowned for breeding and training of camels. Camel in Bikaner
and Rajasthan was used in the wars as the fighting force and
as a medium of transportation.
Places of interest
Camel Fairs :
The Camel Festival is an event organised in
Bikaner by the Department of Tourism, Art and Culture,
Government of Rajasthan, every year in the month of January.
Desert region's Folk dances and Music, add on to what is
otherwise an exclusive camel affair.
A festival when the ships of the desert are
seen at their best. Camels fascinate tourists from all over
the world with their movements, charm and grace. A spectacle
of unusual camel performances: camel races, camel dances, and
the bumpy, neck shaking camel rides.
starts with the procession of beautifully decorated camels.
The procession heads towards the open sand grounds. Here, the
festivities begin in earnest. The Camel Pageant is held on the
first day wherein the camel owners show off their Camels'
decorations and jewellery. Camel dance performances are also
held. A competition for best decorated camel, fur cutting
design, camel milking and the best camel hair cut is organised.
The camels display amazing foot-work, dancing gracefully to
the slightest direction of their drivers. Colourful bridles,
bejewelled necks, jingling anklets and long, lanky camel
shadows on dusky sands, cast a magical spell.
In this festival tea and sweets prepared by camel milk are
made available to the visitors interested in enjoying them.
On the second day, the fleetest camels of the region take part
in the camel races. The competition is fierce as the best
camels vie for the honours. Thousands of excited tourists and
locals cheer the favourites.
On both days,
the evening ends with a rendezvous with the renowned folk
artists of Rajasthan. The jubilant, skirt swirling dances, the
awe inspiring fire dances and many other equally interesting
performances entertain the visitors. The grand finale is a
magnificent display of fireworks which illuminates the desert
city of Bikaner.