Located in the northwestern region of the desert state of Rajasthan, the colorful city of Bikaner is almost 330 km away from Jaipur. The administrative headquarters of four districts and several towns/villages, this city was established by Rao Bika in 1486. It is the fifth largest city of Rajasthan and is famous for its sandy landscapes, sweets and delicious snacks.
Sprawling over a total area of 28,466 sq km, Bikaner represents the deserts, culture, history, languages and cuisines of Rajasthan-- in more ways than one.
The historic and famous city of Bikaner is basically a division and administers four districts: Churu, Bikaner, Hanumangarh and Sri Ganganagar. It is famous for the Indira Gandhi Canal which criss-crosses the Thar desert and passes through Bikaner district near Chhatargarh. This city is also known for the “temple of rats”, located near Deshnok.
Junagarh Fort was constructed under the orders of Raja Rai Singh, who reigned over Bikaner from 1571 to 1612. This fort provides a good peep into the historical facts connected with the royal family of Bikaner. It boasts of a museum which displays ornaments, weapons and other exhibits of the bygone era. Junagarh Fort is one of the oldest forts of India and definitely worth a visit.
Laxmi Niwas Palace
Laxmi Niwas Palace was the residential estate of Maharajah Ganga Singh and is designed by an architect of British origin--Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. It was completed in the year 1926 and now houses a luxury hotel.
Bikaner is also famous for Lalgarh Fort which is an important fort connected with the Rajputana family.
Karni Mata Temple
Located 32 km from Bikaner, The Temple of Karni Mata is also known for its rat infestation. These rats are considered auspicious and are taken care of by the authorities of the temple. Karni Devi was the family deity of Rajputana families.
The other places worth seeing in Bikaner are the Shivbari temple which houses an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the famous Gajner Palace which sprawls over 6000 acres.
Handicrafts of Bikaner
Bikaner is best known for its handicrafts industry and exquisite products made of lacquer and ivory. The city boasts of several yellow and red sandstone buildings which give it a beautiful yellowish red glow. The sweets and snacks of Bikaner are famous across the world and have given rise to various thriving small scale industries.
Bikaner is also known for its came breeding industry and is a major trade center for building stones, wool, blankets, carpets, grains, salt and other items. Located on the borders of Pakistan and India, Bikaner is also an important center from the defense point of view.
Camel Festival Of Bikaner
The Camel Festival is organized by the Department of Tourism, Art and Culture and takes places in January every year. The event hosts spectacular camel dances and performances and is visited by travelers from across the world.
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