Bikaner is popularly
referred to as the 'Camel City of Rajasthan'. Bikaner lies on the
ancient caravan routes that linked Western/Central Asia and North
India with the seaports of Gujarat. Bikaner thus flourished as a major
trade center during the medieval period. The kingdom of Bikaner was
established by a Rathore Prince, Rao Bikaji, son of the founder of
Jodhpur, Rao Jodhaji in 1488 A.D. He was able to carve out a state
named after him after hardship of 30 years.
Tour to Bikaner comprises of
visit to some of the major attractions of the city. Lal Garh Fort is 3
km from the city. It houses the Shri Sadul Museum in the first floor
established in 1076 AD. The rich treasure house of the artifacts and
personal possessions of the Maharajas of Bikaner will impress you.
Most remarkable artifact in the museum is the brass vessel known as a
tokna, which was used to collect revenue and then transported to the
Bikaner State Treasury by camel. The Royal Train of the Maharaja looks
elegant in the front of the palace.
Junagarh Museum cannot be
missed while on tour to Bikaner. Raja Jai Singh, a General in the
Mughal Army of the Emperor Akbar constructed the Junagarh Fort. It was
started in 1588 AD and was completed by 1593 AD. The huge fort has a
986 m-long wall with 37 ramparts, a moat and two entrances of which
the Surajpol or the Sun Gate is the main entrance.
Shiva Bari Temple is at a
distance of 6 km from Bikaner. You must visit the beautiful temple
with carvings and perfect finishing while on tour of the city. The
bronze statue of Nandi and a Shiva lingam are noteworthy. Gaitor is
also not far from the city and is located just 8 km away from Bikaner.
You will find the chattris of the rulers of Bikaner made of marble and
sandstone. Jai Singh II built these chattris amidst the well-kept
gardens. Sisodia Rani ka Bagh is 8 km from Bikaner on the Bikaner-Agra
road. It is a garden palace constructed for the second wife of Jai
Singh. The pyramidal gardens looks beautiful over the small hillock
with watercourses. There are pavilions also in the garden ornamented
with wall paintings.
Camel Research Farm is a
government-run camel station nearly 8 km from Bikaner. It is probably
one of its kind of a farm in whole of Asia. There are about 230 camels
at the research farm and three different breeds are reared here. Enjoy
the camel ride, look at the baby camels and explore the small museum.
Tour to Bikaner is more
enjoyable at the time of the much-famed Camel Festival. The Department
of Tourism, Art and Culture of the Government of Rajasthan organize
the festival every year in the month of January. It is an exclusive
camel festival where sale and purchase of camels takes place. The
festival is made entertaining by the song and dance festivals and