Bikaner Tourism, Rajasthan

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About Bikaner - Rajasthan Tourism

Bikaner is a popular tourist destination in the state of Rajasthan that is part of the desert circuit with Jaisalmer and Jodhpur being the other two cities. Bikaner is located in the northern part of state of Rajasthan, and is bounded by the desert dunes. This city is also known as the camel country with city's desert ship being the main tourist attraction here. Another unique attraction of Bikaner is its Camel breeding and research centre, which is the biggest research centre in India.

Bikaner is the fourth largest city of Rajasthan state of India, located at 330 km north-west of the state capital Jaipur. This desert city was founded by Rathore prince Rao Bikaji in 15th century. Bikaji was one of the five sons of the king of Jodhpur, and he set-up his kingdom in Bikaner post a remark from his father that he didn't like. He developed the region, which was earlier known as Jangladesh into a flourished kingdom. 

Bikaner is a historical city that is known for its medieval grandeur. The main city is situated on a raised ground with a city wall surrounding the city and five gates providing entrance to the city. There are a wide plethora of tourist attractions here including majestic forts and palaces with notable architecture and design. There are also some beautiful temples in the city that were built in typical Rajasthani style. Travellers will love to walk through the ancient city walls looking at the old city buildings and colorful bazaars built with red and yellow stones. Some of the must visit travel attractions in Bikaner are Junagadh Fort, Laxmi Niwas palace, and Lalgarh palace. Bikaner is also home to the famous Karni Mata temple, also known as 'rat temple', where tourists can find thousands of rats being fed by devotees. 

Bikaner is the centre for Usta Art, a generic term for the Manoti-Naqqashi. The city is also known for its handicrafts and leather articles and its intricately carved Jharokas. These red sandstone jalis (screens) are found on the windows of the Junagarh fort, temples and havelis (mansions of Northern India) and would be used for ventilation. Tourists looking for shopping Rajasthani handicrafts and artefacts can go to the market area. 

The best time to visit Bikaner for travellers is during the October to March period, when the temperature is not so hot. Tourists can also take Camel safaris, Jeep safaris and desert camps to experience the life in deserts. There are multiple fairs and festival organized here for tourists, including the Camel festival, when thousands of camel are brought with colorful decorations. 

History of Bikaner - Rajasthan Tourism

The history of Bikaner begins with 1486 when a Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji, one of the five sons of Rao Jodhaji, founded his kingdom. Prior to the mid 15th century, the region that is now Bikaner was a barren wilderness called Jangladesh. Rao Bikaji decided to build his own kingdom in the area of Jangladesh. Though it was in the Thar Desert, Bikaner was considered an oasis on the trade route between Central Asia and the Gujarat coast as it had adequate spring water.

Bikaji built a fort in 1478, which is now in ruins, and a hundred years later a new fort was built about 1.5 km from the city centre, known as the Junagarh Fort. Around a century after Rao Bikaji founded Bikaner, the state's fortunes flourished under the sixth Raja, Rai Singhji, who ruled from 1571 to 1611. The hall where he held his Golden Jubilee as Bikaner's ruler is now a museum. Ganga Singh's son Sadul Singh succeeded his father in 1943 but In 1949, this princely state of Alwar was acceded by his Sadul Singh to the Union of India. The royal family still lives in a suite in the Lalbagh Palace, which they have converted into a heritage hotel.

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