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Bikaner Travel Guide

 
 

This Royal walled city is a part of the desert tourist triangle and lies on the northern tip of the triangle. The city 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 existence.

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 year.

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.

Lalgadh Palace: Designed by a Britisher for Maharaja Ganga Singh, this palace isplays a magnificient blend of Oriental and European style.

MUSEUMS

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.

EECURION TEMPLES

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.

FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

Camel Festival is much like Elephant Festival of Jaipur. Dedicated to the ship of the desert or the main mode of the transport for the desert people, it is held on the full moon night, every year in January. A lot of events featuring camel races and camel dances are held. You can enjoy camel rides and experience the buoyancy and colorful environment typical to Rajasthan.

Gangaur Fair is held in March/ April every year in the honor of Goddess Gauri. Maidens and married women enact processions throughout the city. They wear their best dresses and jewellery, sing folk songs and perform rituals to please the goddess and get her blessings for conjugal and marital bliss.

Kite Festival or the Teej Festival is generally held April/ May annually and as the name suggests the major event on this occasion is to fly kites. This cultural tradition bears special significance in Bikaner as it serves to venerate the historical fact that on this day the foundations of the city were laid. The hot climate and the sandstorms are unable to hinder the enthusiasm and fervor with which people of all ages celebrate it.

Karni Mata Fair is held twice a year on the ninth day of the Navratra (the nine-day festival) in March/ April and September/ October, in the honor of Goddess Karni Mata, worshipped by the royal family of Bikaner. All the devotees gather in the little desert citadel of Deshnok and offer their prayers and chant hymns and prayers.

Kapil Muni Fair is held in November on the sacred lake of Kolayat, which is about 55 Km from Bikaner, during the full moon of 'Kartik' (according to the Hindu calendar), in the honor of Kapil Muni who founded 'Sankhya' (statistics, which was one of the six major philosophical schools of ancient India). Not only the devotees who come here to take a holy dip in the lake, several other people and tourists visit the place only to see the renowned cattle fair held here during this occasion.

How to Reach There
Air : The nearest airport is Jodhpur 240 kms.

Rail : The Indian Railways connects Bikaner with cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Agra, Jaipur, Allahabad etc. The gorgeous 'Palace on wheels' also covers Bikaner in its eight-day tour of Rajasthan.

Road : Though the unfriendly desert sands surround Bikaner but the city is well connected by roads. There are local and inter-state bus services for Bikaner.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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