City : Bikaner
Location : Western India
Language : Hindi, Rajasthani
Know About Bikaner
Bikaner is located in the northern part of Rajasthan and lies 316 kms from Jaipur, 240 km from Jodhpur and330 km from and Jaisalmer. The desert city shares its boundary with Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur and even Pakistan.
The deserts fascinate from a distance but it is only the true lovers of sun and sand who make it their homes and create miracles smack in the middle of the dry arid land mass. The city Bikaner narrates a similar tales of hardship and bravery of the founder, Rao Bikaji, a descendant of Rao Jodhaji.
The city of Bikaner was founded in 1488 from Jangaldesh or the country of wild bushes. It has been almost 550 years since its inception and the city has spread across the desert and has also acquired expertise viz, camel breeding and dry irrigation which is unique to it. Bikaner city alongwith its rocky scrubland, is located on an elevated plain in the desert. The old city is encompassed by a long embattlement wall which intermittently breaks to give way to five huge gates. Now a major trade center for wool, building stones, carpets, blankets, salt and grain, Bikaner has emerged as the lifeline of the state.
Bikaner state was founded in the 15th century and persisted until shortly after India's Independence in 1947.
Earlier this region was known as Jangladesh which was a region of northern Rajasthan state in India. It included the present-day districts of Bikaner, Churu, Ganganagar, and Hanumangarh. It is bounded on the south by Marwar and Jaisalmer regions, on the east by Ajmer-Merwara region.
Bikaner is situated in the middle of the Thar desert with very little rainfall and extreme temperatures. In summer, temperatures exceed 50 °C and during the winter it dips to freezing point.
The Royal family of Bikaner has created many numerous architectural marvels in Bikaner. The Gajner palace, often remembered as ‘a jewel in Thar desert', was conceptualized as a summer resort for the royal families.
Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner, upon insistence from his young bride ordered the creation of this amazing palace which stands tall on the embankment of a lake. The palace has been a witness and acted as the backdrop for numerous lavish shoots and grand entertainment. The palace has been tastefully carved in red sandstone and is famous for its intricately carved jharokhas, pillars, and screens.
The palace has been partially converted into a heritage hotel.
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum
Imagine a huge mansion which looks imposing from outside but still remains helpless in the deluge of artifacts it has to preserve and display. That is the Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum for you.
Established on the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Maharaja Ganga Singh in 1937, the museum is a store house of some of the most amazing collections of artwork, history and sculptures. The museum is housed in the Lalgarh palace and is divided into numerous sections thus dividing the available artifacts as per their hierarchy and historical importance.
The Museum is open from 10am-5pm daily except Fridays and Gazetted holidays.
One of the distinct monuments of Bikaner is the famous Jain temple dedicated to the 5th Tirthankar of the Jain religion, Shri Sumati Nath ji. The temple was constructed in the 15th century is one of the oldest shrines in the area.
The temple stands out because of its exquisite exteriors which shine with the combination of red sandstone and white marble. The temple exteriors as well as the interiors are beautifully carved into various religious carvings. Rich leaf paintings, frescoes and superb mirror work adorn the temple interiors. It is believed that the temple foundation is laid on a plethora of coconuts and pure ghee.
The famous fort of Junagarh was constructed by Raja Rai Singh in 1593. The fort is one of its kinds with a strong, innovative and formidable structure which is encircled by a water moat which is believed to have bred crocodiles in the past. An amazing network of havelis with courtyards and balconies, watch towers, armory, halls and other the fort exudes an aura of red sandstone (Dulmera) and marble. The grand fort has a long rampart which is almost a 1000m long and is studded with 37 bastions and two entrances.
Karni Mata Temple
One of its kind, the Karni Mata temple at Deshnoke is world famous for its, hold your breath, rat worship. Thousands of black, grey as well as the special white rats (kaba) reside within the shrine premises.
The temple is 600 years old and it is widely believed that feeding the rats at this temple and getting touched by them would bring good fortune. It is also believed that these rats would reincarnate as holy men especially the white rats are considered auspicious.
The chronic shopaholic never misses the whiff of local market food stuff and the by lanes which are hidden from the world, carving out magnificent masterpieces for throwaway prices. The Kote gate in Bikaner is one such place which is full of surprises for the ardent shopper. Being a part of history has endowed Bikaner with numerous art forms and handicraft artisans who produce creative wonders relentlessly.
The Lallgarh Palace named after Maharaj Lal Singh is an architectural marvel in red sandstone, dedicated by his loving son, Maharaja Ganga Singh. The palace has been tastefully designed and decorated with liberal help from the British designer Col Swinton Jacob.
The palace is open from 10am - 5pm daily except Sunday.
The Mahatma Gandhi Road has a special emotional value attached to it, not only because of the great man’s name but also due to the fact that this road irrespective of its city identifies the shopping avenues which are available over it. The M.G. Road in Bikaner is no different and is like a magicians pot which throws out surprise galore.
Sadul Singh Museum
The Sadul Singh Museum covering the entire first floor of the Lalgarh palace is dedicated to the lives and exploits of three successive kings of Bikaner, Maharaja Ganga Sigh, Sadul Singh and Karni Singh. The Museum depicts these three kings and their passions through numerous artifacts, displays as well as photographs and life size paintings in more than 20 rooms. The royal family of Bikaner still resides in one part of the palace.
A wide spectrum of Georgian paintings, hunting trophies and rare artifacts adorn the museum displays and walls.
The museum charges Rs 10 per head and is open from 10 am - 5 pm daily except Sundays.
Bikaner’s dusty streets and rustic by lanes are replete with numerous shops and small time vendors ready to sell their wares for a price. What is required is little bit ... (more) Bikaner’s dusty streets and rustic by lanes are replete with numerous shops and small time vendors ready to sell their wares for a price. What is required is little bit of bargaining ability and a lot of patience, of course alongwith some money. The Station Road market is one such fabulous place where it is possible to acquire embroidered footwear (jootis), local fabrics, leather goods and wood as well as traditional; artifacts.
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary
Nilgai, Gajner Wildlife, Bikaner Travel & Tourism(32 km): The lush foliage of woods on the Jaisalmer road are a haven to nilgai, chinkara, black buck, wild boar , flocks of imperial sand grouse and many more migratory birds that houses the sprawling forest in the winters.It can be visited by jeeps with the forest officers as the guides.
How to reach
The nearest airport is Jodhpur 235km
Bikaner is connected with Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhatinda, kalka and Howarh (Culcutta)
Some important train connection are :
Kalka Express (Bikaner-Jodhpur);
Bikaner Express (Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Bikaner),
Chetak Express (Delhi-Sarai Rohila-
Bikaner Mail (Delhi Sarai Rohila-Bikaner)
Bikaner is connected by road with the major cities of India.
Some important distance are : Delhi 456km Jaipur 334km, Jaisalmer 333 km