Bikaner, a miracle in the desert, was the work of Rao Bikaji, a son of Jodha Singh who founded Jodhpur. Connected by rail and road, Bikaner is about 450 km from Jaipur. The very plan to establish a habitation in this bleak region speaks of the courageous challenge men can throw to unsympathetic nature. Bikaner, however, has always been an important and beautiful city --on the bank of river Saraswati. The river has since gone underground.
Located in the northwest of Rajasthan, the city is surrounded by many sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval splendor that is visible in the city's lifestyle. More popularly called the camel country, the city is renowned for the best travel camels in the world. The history of Bikaner dates back to 1488 AD, when a Prince Rathore Rao Bikaji - a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur (1459 AD), Rao Jodhaji, established his kingdom here. Rao Jodhaji had five sons but Rao Bikaji was the most enterprising of them. Bikaji chose a sterile desert called 'Jangaldesh' and turned it into an impressive city, named Bikaner after the name of the founder. The strategic location of Bikaner on the ancient caravan routes that came from West / Central Asia, made it a main business center in the past. The town of Bikaner is built on a slightly raised ground and is surrounded by a seven kilometer long fortified wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces, built with delicacy in reddish pink sandstone, bear witness to its rich historical and architectural heritage.
The city is very popular for its confectionary, popularly called Bikaneri Namkeens. Bikaner is in the center of the Thar Wave Terrain and in summer the range of heat even surpasses 50 degrees and in winter season it falls to near zero. There is very thin rain in this area.
Places to see in Bikaner
The Junagarh Fort is accompanied with a beauty that can never be described in just a bundle of words. Also known as the Bikaner fort, it was constructed by Raja Rai Singh who was prominent as Bikaner’s sixth ruler. It is undoubtedly a true symbol of royalty since the fort belongs to the royal family of Bikaner! While being here, the travellers will be getting to know about the royal life and their living culture. Apart from that, there is a prvalence of an engaging museum perfectly maintained with all the necessary objects which are highly more than enough to keep the tourist engrossed in its ambiance. It is an exhibition of the distinct and good number of ornaments and weapons belonging to the previous era. The Junagarh fort is a true epitome of victory and this is because it has never been defeated in the history of wars.
Karni Mata Temple
Karni Mata Temple is a pilgrimage hub that is located at a distance of 32 kms from Bikaner at Deshnok. The temple was designed with an intention of paying homage to a local deity that is the ‘Karni Mata’ and as confirmed, she was the caretaker of the family of Rajputs. Here, the visitors are surely going to get thrilled to see thousands of rats running here and there within the temple’s vicinity and no one even would remove them. It is because people consider these creatures as the ‘holy ones’. Also, it is also believed that the person who spots the white rat is the luckier one and that is undoubtedly a good sign. On having a talk with the locales, they said that the white rats in the temple might be one or two in number! The walls and pillars of this temple are attractively crafted with the beautiful religious carvings undoubtedly adding a charm to its construction.
Camel Breeding Farm
Being a part of the activities in the Camel Breeding Farm has being referred as ‘one of a kind experience’ for many travellers. The farm is situated at a distance of approximately 8 kms from Bikaner and while being here, the tourists will be getting to know more about the breeding of camels including their food habits, different camel breeding methods. They can also roam in the farm and notice the manner in which these silent creatures are fed accompanied with a delicious lunch. It is also commonly called as the Government Camel Breeding Farm and not only this, it is recognized amongst the list of Asia’s most massive camel reproduction farms. Extended over an area of 2000 acres, tourists can easily walk in the farm as per their comfort. This is truly a different activity and is not merely a normal sightseeing activity, thus it literally is worthy of being experienced whenever you are at Bikaner.
How to Reach Bikaner
By Air :The nearest airports are Jodhpur and Jaipur at distances of 252 km and 325 km respectively.
By Rail : Well connected to Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, etc., with regular train services like Kalka and Chetak Express.
By Bus : Well connected, with easily available luxury AC and economical local state buses, plying on the nearest National Highway11.