Bikaner (Rajasthani,(About this sound pronunciation  is a city in the northwest of the state of Rajasthan in northern India. It is located 330 kilometres (205 mi) northwest of the state capital, Jaipur. Bikaner city is the administrative headquarters of Bikaner District and Bikaner division. It was formerly the capital of the princely state of Bikaner. The city was founded by rajput Rao Bika. in 1486 and from its small origins it has developed into the fifth largest city in Rajasthan. The Ganga Canal, completed in 1928, and the Indira Gandhi Canal, completed in 1987, facilitated its development.

Bikaner is famous for sweets and snacks (or namkeens in Hindi).

 

History

Prior to the mid 15th century, the region that is now Bikaner was a barren wilderness called Jangladesh. In 1488 Rao Bika established the city of Bikaner. According to James Tod, the spot which Bika selected for his capital, was the birthright of a Ner Jat, who would only concede it for this purpose on the condition that his name should be linked in perpetuity with its surrender. Nair, or Nera, was the name of the proprietor, which Bika added to his own, thus composing that of the future capital, Bikaner. Rao Bika was the second son of Maharaja Rao Jodha of the Rathor clan, the founder of Jodhpur and conquered the largely arid country in the north of Rajasthan. As the second son of Joda he had no chance of inheriting Jodhpur from his father or the title of Maharaja. He therefore decided to build his own kingdom in what is now the state of Bikaner in the area of Jungladesh. 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. Bika’s name was attached to the city he built and to the state of Bikaner (“the settlement of Bika”) that he established. Bika 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 Bika founded Bikaner, the state’s fortunes flourished under the sixth Raja, Rai Singhji, who ruled from 1571 to 1611. During the Mughal Empire’s rule in the country, Rai Singh accepted the suzerainty of the Mughals and held a high rank as an army general at the court of the Emperor Akbar and his son the Emperor Jahangir. Rai Singh’s successful military exploits, which involved winning half of Mewar kingdom for the Empire, won him accolades and rewards from the Mughal emperors. He was given the jagirs (lands) of Gujarat and Burhanpur. With the large revenue earned from these jagirs, he built the Junagarh fort on a plain which has an average elevation of 760 feet (230 m). He was an expert in arts and architecture, and the knowledge he acquired during his visits abroad is amply reflected in the numerous monuments he built at the Junagarh fort.Karan Singh, who ruled from 1631 to 1639, (Savior of hindus Mugal emperor pland to trick & convert all hindus to islam but the plan was failed By Maharaj Karan singh Rathore of Bikaner ), built the Karan Mahal palace. Later rulers added more floors and decorations to this Mahal. Anup Singh, who ruled from 1669 to 1698, made substantial additions to the fort complex, with new palaces and the Zenana quarter, a royal dwelling for women and children. He refurbished the Karan Mahal with a Diwan-i-Am (public audience hall) and called it the Anup Mahal. Gaj Singh, who ruled from 1746 to 1787 refurbished the Chandra Mahal (the Moon palace).

During the 18th century, there was internecine war between the rulers of Bikaner and Jodhpur and also amongst other thakurs, which was put down by British troops.

Bikaner, Jain TempleFollowing Gaj Singh, Surat Singh ruled from 1787 to 1828 and lavishly decorated the audience hall (see illustration) with glass and lively paintwork. Under a treaty of paramountcy signed in 1818, during Surat Singh’s reign, Bikaner came under the suzerainty of the British, after which the Maharajas of Bikaner invested heavily in refurbishing Junagarh fort.
Left: Lalgarh Palace, built (Indo-Saracenic style) for Maharaja Ganga Singh and named after his father, presently a heritage hotel and also a residence of the Bikaner Royal Family. Right: Ganga Singh as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet at No. 10 Downing Street, 1917.

Dungar Singh, who reigned from 1872 to 1887, built the Badal Mahal, the ‘weather palace’, so named in view of a painting of clouds and falling rain, a rare event in arid Bikaner.

General Maharaja Ganga Singh, who ruled from 1887 to 1943, was the best-known of the Rajasthan princes and was a favourite of the British Viceroys of India. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India, served as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet, represented India at the Imperial Conferences during the First World War and the British Empire at the Versailles Peace Conference. His contribution to the building activity in Junagarh involved separate halls for public and private audiences in the Ganga Mahal and a durbar hall for formal functions. He also built the Ganga Niwas Palace, which has towers at the entrance patio. This palace was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, the third of the new palaces built in Bikaner. He named the building Lalgarh Palace in honour of his father and moved his main residence there from Junagarh Fort in 1902. The hall where he held his Golden Jubilee (in 1938) as Bikaner’s ruler is now a museum.

Ganga Singh’s son, Lieutenant-General Sir Sadul Singh, the Yuvaraja of Bikaner, succeeded his father as Maharaja in 1943, but acceded his state to the Union of India in 1949. Maharaja Sadul Singh died in 1950, being succeeded in the title by his son, Karni Singh (1924-1988). The Royal Family still lives in a suite in Lalgarh Palace, which they have converted into aGrand heritage hotel.

Fairs and festivals

  • International Camel Festival, Raisar Dunes, 15 km away from Bikaner City.
  • Karni Mata fair, Deshnoke, Bikaner
  • Gangaur
  • Kapil Muni fair – Kapil Muni Fair is also known as Kolayat Mela.
  • Punarasar Fair : This fair is held at punarasar village of Bikaner. The village is named after lord Hanuman who is considered the god of power, knowledge, health and wealth. Hindus of Bikaner and its adjoining cities head towards this holy village twice (Sarad purnima & Bhaadava) in a year and celebrate this pious occasion with lot of offerings to Punarasar baba. Devotees who approach this holy occasion (following the path between hamlets) are served with food and refreshment by the gathering of another devotees. This fair is considered must visit among local public of Bikaner hence a very long queue (more than 5 km) of devotees is witnessed at this occasion before the temple. Punarasar temple is situated closer to highway leads to Jaipur that’s why this highway is known as Punarasar highway too!
  • Kodamdesar Mela :- Kodamdesar mela is celebrated in the village of Kodamdesar 20 km far from bikaner where the temple of lord bhairoon is situated. This temple have no roof for covering the statue of bhairoon nath. Chura and Surdashani purohit are the casts who have utmost faith upon kodamdesar bahiroon.
  • Kolayat Mela : Kolayat Mela is celebrated in the month of November every year. Kolayat is situated around 50KM away from Bikaner-Jaisalmer Highway.

Bikaner Sweets

One of the most prominent features of Indian culture and hospitality are Sweets. They are the favorite food of the gods. They spell the richness of tradition, joy, love, affection, festivity, celebration and happiness.

It has always been customary in India to welcome guests and celebrate occasions and arrival of new seasons serving and distributing sweets. On all important festivals in India , Sweets continue to be the most favorite gift to convey greetings.
These time-honoured traditions led to the development of a vast spectrum of Sweets from various regions of the country.

linkers bikaner misthan sweets

Today we have perfected and packed over 30 varietiesmost famous Rasgulla,Rasmallai,Gullab Jamun,Emritti,Kaju Katli etc which are immensely popular with Indians forgners as well , and are one of the hottest selling items on the ethnic shelf Some of famous brands are Bhikha Ram Chandmal,Chappan Bhog,Chotu Motu .

Bikaner Namkeen

Bikaner is engaged in manufacturing and supplying mouth watering delicacies. namkeens are famous in the entire Northern India for their delicious taste, quality, freshness and refinement.

The Word translates into with salt. But there is plenty that is lost in this translation. Only when the spices, salt and the entire gamut of ingredients come together to create a taste that can never be substituted, that a namkeeen is created in Bikaner first time .

Bikaner was the first to manufecture & pack Namkeens the international way. Today we have perfected and packed over 30 varieties, which are immensely popular with Indians forgners as well , and are one of the hottest selling items on the ethnic shelf  Some of famous brands are Bikaji, , Bhikha Ram Chandmal,Chappan Bhog,chotu motu.

Place to Visit Bikaner-Rajasthan
Karan mahal
In impregnable fort, It was Accated 5 time yet remain unconquered. Raja Rai Singh (1571 – 1611 AD), built this impressive fort. It houses one beautiful carving and lackar work moat and houses many outstanding palaces, pavilions, and temples made of red sandstone, marble with kiosks and balconies encircle it. Some places of interest inside the fort are Anup Mahal, Ganga Niwas, Durbar Hall, Har Mandir, Gaj Mandir, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal and Chandra Mahal.
Prachina Musuem
Situated Inside Junagarh fort, the museum houses antique displays of royal family and famous handicrafts of Bikaneri artisans. The souvenier shop at musuem also sells decorative items.

www.hotelshriram.com

Lal Garh & Laxmi Niwas Palace
On the outskirts of the city, this imposing red sandstone palace built by Maharaja Ganga Singh, in commemoration of his father Maharaja Lal Singh. This oriental fantasy designed by Sir Swinton Jacob is the purest forms A most palace, full of European luxury Rajput and European Architecture (Laxmi Niwas Palace). Srounded by
Lushgreen garden, trees and boganvalia where picock strole adding to natural beauti.

Ganga Govt. Museum
A rich collection of antiquities from Harappan civilisation, Gupta and Kushan era etc. A separate section of arts and crafts, and a beautiful collection of paintings, weaponry etc

King Edward Memorial (KEM) Road
A stroll down the King Edward Memorial road and inside Kote Gate will reveal the shopping pleasure in Bikaner. The purses, slippers made from the camel hide are worth a bargain. The camel skin also ends up as cushions and lacquered lampshades. The local carpets and the woodwork are very popular among the tourists. And who can forget the world famous Bikaneri Bhujias and sweets. .

Camel Research Farm
The only one of its kind in entire Asia.

Bhandeshwar Jain Temple
14th century temples, rich in mirror work, decor and frescoes.
3 story temple and older then Bikaner city foundation built with use of 40,000 liter of pure butter.

Devi Kund
Its the royal crematorium, with several exquisite cenotaphs. The Maharaja Surat Singh’s Chattri is beautifully made of white marble. One cannot miss the spectacular Rajput paintings on the ceilings. 8 kms from Bikaner

Deshnok Karni Mata Temple
(30kms)14th century temple shrine of Goddess Karni Mata, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, she blessed Rao Bika, and has been the titular deity of the Bikaner dynasty. The temple is unique as the rats are venerated over here and called Kabas the shrine is a sanctuary for them. It has a richly carved entrance and superb silver doors with images of Gods embossed over it.

 Laxminath Temple
14th century temples, rich in mirror work, decor and frescoes.

Gajner
(32 kms) the wildlife sanctuary & palace situated here, amidst lush green surrounding on the road to Jaisalmer. A haven for Chinkara,wild boar, Black Buck, Nilgai and imperial sand grouse. The palace is on the bank of lack is converted into a hotel it is place where prince of wales stayed and remark happiest day of my life were spent at lack place of bikaner.

Kolayatji
(50 kms) Ancient pilgrimage, with temple of Kapil Muni. It has many magnificent marble temples with sandstone pavilions and ghats (bathing places) are located around an artificial lake.

Kali & Pili Banga
(200 kms) An archaeologists delight, remains of thr indusvalley civilization. It is almost as large as Harappa and Mohenjodaro.

Other places to visit – L.P. Tessitori Memorial, Ratanbihari ji Temple, wood fossil museum, soor sagar lake, public park, shivbari temple, sagar lake and cenatophs, camel farm, Archives, Haveli’s, Rajasthani Turban museum, Sunset point (sand dunes), camel safari, Lalgarh, excursion, to Deshnok, khinchan for migrating Crain, Ramdevra temple, Shekhawati and Taal Chapar (Black buck century).

Taal Chhapar Sanctuary
Situated close to Chhapar town in Churu District on Sujangarh- Nokha state Highway, Tal Chhapar Sanctuary is 719 hectares in area. The sanctuary is divided into two by Sujangarh-Chhapar State Highway. The Sanctuary is a typical grassland of Indian Desert System. interspersed with Acacia trees. It is an ideal habitat for antelopes, most commonly known as Black Buck. Most of the desert mammals and reptiles species are also here. Western Rajasthan known as ‘Beeds’ have been either converted or. Some ‘beds’ have converted into woodlands for growth juliflora trees. About 122 species of migratory and resident birds are found in the Sanctuary. Prominent being the winter migrants from Europe & Central Asia that include Demoiselle Cranes, Harriers, Rosy Starlings, Wagtails, etc. 

Ramdevra
God Ramdevji He is worshiped by both Hindus and Muslims. and Muslims calls him Ramsapeer. The diety has very larg following in western Rajasthan, Gurajrat and Punjab

Bikaner Namkeen
Bikaner Namkeen Bhandar is engaged in manufacturing and supplying mouth watering delicacies. We have the experience of serving people with the best and delicious sweets. Our sweets and namkeens are famous in the entire Northern India for their delicious taste, quality, freshness and refinement. We prepare our sweets with the most modern state of the art technology keeping in mind the changing taste of people. The raw material for preparing the Sweets is very carefully selected right from the Milk to Nuts so that our customers get the delicious and quality sweets.

Bikaner Sweets
One of the most prominent features of Indian culture and hospitality are Sweets. They are the favorite food of the gods. They spell the richness of tradition, joy, love, affection, festivity, celebration and happiness.

It has always been customary in India to welcome guests and celebrate occasions and arrival of new seasons serving and distributing sweets. On all important festivals in India , Sweets continue to be the most favorite gift to convey greetings.

These time-honoured traditions led to the development of a vast spectrum of Sweets from various regions of the country.

Connectivity – Bikaner 
By Air
 The nearest airport is Jodhpur 240 kms.

By Rail 
With all mejer cities North and South IndiaThe gorgeous ‘Palace on wheels’ also covers Bikaner in its eight-day tour of Rajasthan.

By 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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