Rao Bikaji was the one who was taking initiative amongst the sons of Rao Jodhaji, the ruler of Mewar. The prince was determined in his own destiny besides the struggle for his paternal inheritance was not likely to bear fruit. Rao Bikaji assembled a force of young warriors who were willing to take on the hazards of the desert. At Deshnok, he took the blessings from the goddesses of the mystic Karniji. Karniji blessed him and also prophesied his victory. Moving to the desert tract of Junglu he took possession of villages abandoned by the Sankhlas and started expanding his domain.
The foundation of this city of Bikaner was laid in 1488 AD and was encircled by imposing breathtaking battlements and stands at a slight eminence.
The regal fortified city of Bikaner possesses a timeless appeal. The charm is still retained in the integral part of the Desert Triangle. It is said that Rao Bika use to have walk out of durbar of Jodhpur with his father advising him. Then he proceeds to take a look on 100 horsemen, 500 foot soldiers and then finally reaches the desert tract of Janglu where he started extending his empire and around 84 villages abandoned by Sankhlas is come under his empire. He died in 1504 AD and his kingdom was extended over 3000 villages.
During the rule of Emperor Akbar in the 16th century, the ruler of Bikaner became a close to the Mughals. In 1818 AD, Maharaja Surat Singh negotiated a treaty with the British and Bikaner became a protectorate of the empire. Bikaner underwent a drastic change under its famous ruler- Maharaja Ganga singh (1880 -1943 AD). He also promoted the Ganga Canal Project which converted to large tracts of desert-land into rich farmland and helped many people. His contribution was also for the railway lines in the state for easy accessibility. Bikaner is famed for its school of Miniature paintings and crafts. The Paintings are a furnished blend of the Rajput and Mughal styles.
PLACES TO VISIT:
JUNAGARH: The general of Mughal emperor Raja Rai Singh (1517-1611 AD) have done tremendously well during his duty and built this imposing fort. It is contains palaces made of red sandstone and marble. It was encircled by moat and it became a very famous tourist attraction later.
Suraj pol also popularly known as the Sun Gate, which is the main entrance to the fort and its quite high craved. Har Mandir is the place where the royal weddings were held also births were celebrated.
The palaces are full of history and with proper planning by the rulers so it attracts the explorers to visit places like this which are Dungar Niwas, Ganga Niwas, Anup Mahal, Karan Mahal and Rang Mahal or Palace of Pleasure. Some of the huge splendid palaces are Chandra Mahal or the Mood Palace is more detailed and decorated with inset mirror work. These palaces were built by Maharaja Gaj Singh between periods of his rule from 1746 to 1787. The Palaces glows up with gigantic columns, arches and graceful screens. The front door or view of these monuments visible high above ground gives most attractive view of gates, pavilions protruding out, arrow of balconies, kiosks and towers at intervals.
LAL GARH PALACE: This palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh to honor his father Maharaja Lal Singh. This palace was also built by red sandstone which was very famous in medieval period also cravings on the walls and gates which made it look more spectacular.
You can also come across some very splendid collection of old photographs, paintings and trophies of wildlife which is well preserved and exhibited in the old banquet hall. The beautiful weather here glows up this palace and also the breathtaking dance of peacocks which cheers everything up.
GANGA GLODEN JUBILEE MUSEUM: People here consider this as the best museum in Rajasthan which have a amazing collection. There are very excellent examples of Harappan civilization, the Gupta & Kushan era and sculptures of the past classical time. It houses a great collection of wall paintings, terracotta, pottery, carpets, sceneries, armory and coins. There is another distinct section for arts and craft of this region.
GARDENS AND PARKS: The nature here is good all because of these beautiful parks in city Ratn bihari Temple Park, Laxmi Park, Ganga Mahal Public Park, Nathji Park and also you can visit zoo in the Ganga Niwas Public Park. All these places deserve inclusion in the itinerary.
BHANDASAR JAIN TEMPLES: This temple is 5 Km far from the city which was built in 16th century and was dedicated to the 23rd Tvithankara Parsvanathji.
CAMEL BREEDING FARM: A visit to camel breeding farm will be amazing and is 8 km away from this city. It is one of its kinds in India because all over India it is only in Rajasthan. It is take care of and managed by the Central Government. Bikaner Camal Corps (Former Ganga Risala) was a famous fighting force which still plays an important role for any war in desert or defence through the Border security Force ( B. S .F).
DEVI KUND: It is 9 kms from Bikaner. It is also well known area where royal crematorium with several cenotaphs. Different styles are used for distinct rulers like some made of decorated chhatris. It is mostly to keep memory of the rulers of the Bika dynasty. Maharaja Suraj Singh’s Chhatri is built completely with white marble and with some spectacular Rajput paintings on its ceiling.
GAJNER WILDIFE SANCTURAY: This wildlife sanctuary is 32 Km from Bikaner and is on Jaisalmer road. This sanctuary is famous for a number of nilgai or the blue bull, Chinkara, black buck, wild boar and flocks of imperial sand. The Gajner Palace inside it is a summer resort of the kings which is on the banks of a lake. It is now been converted into a hotel for tourists.
DESHNOK KARNI MATA TEMPLE: This temple is very famous all over India. It is 30 Kms from Bikaner. This amazing temple is devoted to Karni Mata, an incarnation to Durga Mata.
The Temple is heaven as it has rats; they are believed to be incarnated as future bards. Thus the rats considered to be holy and allowed to roam freely in the temples precincts. The white rats inside it glows the beauty of this temple.
Maharaja Ganga Singh donated this temple intricately carved and poised designed massive silver doors.