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Bikaner also means Bika's fort, this city as its name suggests is a homage to its very creator.
Decide your favourite colour and pick a city to match, Rajasthan's kaleidoscope of colours covers all.
Bastions of history, bristling with memories, these splendid treasures stand battling the vageries of time.
The desert sands shimmer and pulsate with an energy and a spirit of festivity permeates the air, every season provides many reasons to celebrate.
Ride a camel over the dunes or horses through the hillside, speed ahead in a jeep and camp under open skies.
A delicate ecosystem, part desert part marshy lands and even a small section of lush water filled valleys, sports a wildlife rich in variety.
Whichever Budget Hotel you choose you will always experience a traditional hospitality that you may never want to forget.
Rajasthan Tours Travel » Fascinating Cities of Rajasthan » Bikaner
Bikaner also means Bika's fort, this city as its name suggests is a homage to its very creator. The story goes that Rao Jodha of Jodhpur once reprimanded his brother and son Bika, for whispering in court, asking in jest whether the two were plotting their own kingdom. They took the remark to heart and set out with a band of warriors to tame this harsh desert land and bring prosperity to the region. Apart from its architectural marvels Biakaner is hugely famous for its hot and spicy savouries, the Bikaneri Bhujiya being the most famous.
Soon after its creation Bikaner became an important trade destination as it lay on the caravan trail that brought merchants and goods from Arabia, Africa and the West. Situated on slightly raised ground Bikaner is protected by seven-kilometers-long embattled with all of five gates for entrance and exit. It has a rich heritage of magnificent forts and palaces, created with delicacy in reddish-pink sandstone, they bear testimony to the rich history and architecture bequeathed upon it by its creators. Surging lanes, colourful bazaars with bright and cheerful folk make Bikaner an interesting experience to explore.
Also called the camel-country, Bikaner is famous for using the loyal, submissive and low maintenance camel for all its needs. They transport grain, pull heavy carts, work the wells and have a rich historic significance. In medeival times along with pulling caravans camels were also an integral part of the state's defence strategies and to this day they are used by the Border Security Forces to patrol the border along Pakistan.
In this dry desert landscape water lies sometimes 122 metres below the surface, so wells are not only important but almost sacred. Built on raised platforms they have slender minareted towers at their four corners which proclaim their existence from afar, like a shout of welcome.
Tourist Attractions of Bikaner
The spacious and strategic fort of Junagarh has never once been conquered in all its history. It was built in 1593 A.D. by Raja Rai Singh, one of the most distinguished generals in the army of Emperor Akbar. The fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat and contains within some magnificent palaces like Anup Mahal, Ganga Niwas and Rang Mahal or Palace of Pleasure. The Har Mandir was the royalties' chapel of choice at which to worship gods and godesses. The fort complex also houses a museum with a diverse collection of artefacts.
At a distance of about 3kms from the city this palace is a remarkable red sandstone structure. It was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh. Its architecture draws inspiration from Rajput, Mughal and European styles of construction thereby creating a dramatic contrast between its foreign exterior and oriental interior. The fort is embilleshed with overhanging balconies and delicate lattice work. The palace museum allows you a peep into the personal lives of all those who lived here, it displays well preserved hunting trophies and old photographs. The library of the Lalgarh Palace is said to have the largest collection of original Sanskrit manuscripts on parchments, copper and gold or silver plaques.
Camel Research Farm
Managed by the government this farm is unique for it houses over 200 camels and extends over 2000 acres of desert soil. Spend a day looking at baby camels, wander through the museum situated within and finish off with a camel ride.
To enjoy the inexorable beauty of the desert landscape one has to experience it on camel back. Make it as long or short as you want, watch the flaming orange sunset as you ride a camel or take a trip lasting a few days, whichever you choose when in camel country definitely try the safari.
The Camel Festival , usually held in the month of January makes the city come alive with music and dance. Handicrafts, local delicacies and camel races are to watch out for.
Bhandaser Jain Temple
This temple dedicated to Sumati Nath Ji, the 5th Tirthankar of the Jain Religion was built in the 15 century and is the oldest monument of Bikaner. Carved in red sandstone and white marble it is decorated with rich mirror work, frescoes and gold leaf paintings.
Lakshmi Nath Temple
Lakshmi Nath Temple is another ancient monument, it is said that the foundation of Bikaner was laid here in the year 1488 A.D. by Rao Bikaji. Statues of deities- Vishnu and Laxmi installed within command great reverance from the people of this land.
Ratan Behari Temple
This Krishna temple has a delicate beauty, made of white marble it also incorporates the Indo-Mughal style of architecture in its construction.
A visit to Deshnok's fascinating temple of Karni Mata, an incarnation of Durga, is an experience of its own. Here the rats roam around freely in huge numbers and are considered to be reincarnation of the members of Karni Mata's family. Legend has it that Karni Mata decreed that her family members would be incarnated as rats. The temple is an important place of pilgrimage and an image of the goddess is enshrined in the sanctum. There are special arrangements in the temple courtyard to help and protect the rats and their movement.
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