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Bikaner
General Information about Bikaner

The royal fortified city with a timeless appeal . Lying in the north of the desert state , the city is dotted with many sand dunes . Bikaner retains the medieval splendour that  pervades the city’s lifestyle . More popularly called the camel  country , the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world . The ship of the desert is an inseparable part of life here . Be it pulling heavy carts transporting grains or working on wells , camels are the prime helpers . The wells of Bikaner – an  important source of water are other attractions of the city . These are built on high plinths with slender minareted towers on each of the four corners and can be noticed even from a distance.

Bikaner’s history dates back to 1488 A.D. when a Rathore Prince , Rao Bikaji a desendent his kingdom  here .Rao Jodhaji had five sons but Rao Bikaji was the  most enterprising of them . Bikaji chose a barren  wilderness called , “Jangladesh” and transformed it to an impressive city , called bikaner after the founder’s name.

The  Stratigic location of Bikaner on the ancient caravan routes that came from West /Central Asia . Made it a prime trade center in the times of the Yore . Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a seven km long embattled wall with five gates . The magnificent forts and palaces , created with delicacy in reddish –pink sandstone , bear testimony to its rich historical and architectural legacy . Undulating lanes, colourful bazzars and bright and cheerful folks make Bikaner and interesting experience.


Place of Tourist Interest
Junagarh :- Built in 1593 A.D by  Raja Rai Singh , a general in the army of Emperor Akbar , the fort is a formidable  structure encircled by a moat and has some beautiful palaces , made in red sandstone and marble , make a picturesque ensemble of  courtyards , balconies , kiosks and windows dotted all over the structure.
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The Suraj Pol or Sun Gate :- It is the main entrance to the fort . Among the notable of these palaces are the exquisitely beautiful Chandra Mahal or the Moon Palace with marvelous  paintings , mirrors and carved marble  panels and the Phool Mahal or Flower Palace ornate with glass and Mirror work. Other palaces worth visiting the anup Mahal , Karan Mahal , Dungar Niwas , Ganga Niwas , Gaj Mandir and Rang Mahal , Gigantic columns , arches and graceful screens adorn the palaces  from with in . the Har Mandir is the majestic  chapel for the royal family for wordhipping their  gods and goddesses.

Lal Garh Palace :- The Architectural  masterpiece in red sandstone , the palace was built  by maharaja Ganga Sinh in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh , The Palace has beautiful latticework  and filigree work , Sprawling lawns with blooming bougainvillea and dancing peacocks make it a not-to-be missed visual treat . Part of the Palace has been converted into a luxury hotel and a museum known as Shri Sadul Museum . The  museum covers  the entire first floor of the palace and houses well preserved old photographs and trophies of wildlife .

EXCURSIONS
Bhandasar Jain Temple: [5 km]  Beautiful 16th Century A.D Jain Temple  dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara , Parsavnathji .

Camel Research Farm: [8 km]  Spend a day with the indispensable ship of the desert at their camel research and breeding center – one of its kind in Asia . The Farm extends over 2000 acres of semi arid land and is managed by the central Government . The Camel crops of Bikaner were  a famous fighting force during the “ Raj” and are still an important part of the desert warefare and defence through the border Security Force [BSF]

Devi Kund: [8 km]  A royal crematorium with several ornamented cenotaphs or ‘chhatris ‘ built in the memory of the Bika  dynasty rulers . Maharaja Suraj Singh’s chattri is the most  impressive of all , created  entirely  in white  marble with spectacular  Rajput Paintings on the ceiling.

Gajner Wild Life Sanctuary: [32 km] The Kush foliage of woods on the Jaisalmer road are a haven to nilgai , chinkara black bick , wild boar and flocks of imperial sad grouse . The Gajner Palace , a summer retreat of the kings , stands on the bank of the lake and has been converted into a hotel.

Shiv Bari Temple: [06 km] Built by Doongar Singh ji in the late 19th century ,The temple in surrounded by an embattlement wall . it has beautiful paintings and bronze Nandi facing the  Shiva  Lingam.

Deshnok’s Karni Mata Temple: [30 km] The famous 600 year old temple on the Jodhpur road deicated to Karni Mata , an incarnation of Godess Durga , The temple has huge intricately carved silver gates which were donated by Maharaja Ganga Singh .

The Most interesting thing about the temple are the rats who scamper freely with in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple . They are regarded as sacred and are fed by priests and devotees owing to the belief that they will be reincarnated as holy men.

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