Bikaner Tourism - Bikaner Sightseeing - Places to Visit In Bikaner - Bikaner Tourist Places
Bikaner is the fourth largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan; it is located at a distance of 350 km from state capital city of Jaipur & 450 km from national capital city New Delhi. The foundation stone of Bikaner was laid by King Rao Bika of Rathore Rajput clan of Jodhpur on the auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya in 1486. Rao Bika was a son of King Rao Jodha (founder of Jodhpur city) but instead of claiming throne ambitious Rao Bika decided to establish his own dynasty & hence Bikaner was founded. Although Bikaner was founded in the harsh Thar Desert & it acted like an oasis in the desert for traders traveling to Central Asia; this revenue & footfall of traders made Bikaner a prosperous kingdom. The fortune star of Bikaner glittered during the regime of 6th King Rai Singh of Bikaner. There are many tourist places here in Bikaner; some of them are listed below:
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Junagarh Fort: Junagarh Fort is one of the very few forts in Rajasthan that are not built on the hilltop. Junagarh Fort was built in many stages but the foundation stone was laid by founder King Rao Bika of Bikaner; the first complex of existing building was built by another celebrated king in the royal lineage named as Raja Rai Singh (rule 1571 to 1611). Building such an outstanding architectural masterpiece in the middle of nowhere in the Thar Desert is still a matter of amazement. The structure was built using red stone, marble, gold, precious & semi-precious stones. The fort comprises beautiful palaces, courtyards, windows, skylights, temples & gardens. Apart from beauty special attention over the safety of fort was focused. To ensure the safety of this unique fort built on a plain, walls of 15 feet thickness were built for the fortification & a moat of depth 25-30 feet was surrounding the fort. Because of brave kings of Bikaner & secured fort princely state of Bikaner never tasted defeat behind the mighty walls of this fort. There are many palaces within the fort, some of them are as follows:
- Karan Mahal: Karan Mahal was the public audience hall, a place where kings of Bikaner used to communicate with the people of their kingdom. This most beautiful complex in the fort was built to celebrate the victory of King Karan Singh over Aurangzeb. This exquisite palace with gardens carved windows, skylights, courtyards were built using stained glasses, colored stones, wood, marble, Redstone & sense of royalty of Rajput kings. Junagarh Fort is standing proudly in the world of extraordinary craftsmanship because of this palace of breathtaking beauty.
- Ganga Mahal: Ganga Mahal was built by King Ganga Singh (rule 1887-1943), it is known as darbar hall. Today it has been converted into a museum which showcases the legendary weapons of fearless Rajput warriors, the main USP of this place is a biplane of World War II which is said to be functioning well till date.
- Anoop Mahal: Anoop Mahal was the administrative building of King of Bikaner; like other complexes of fort this is also constructed using Redstone, Italian marble, wood. It is considered as the most beautiful construction in the fort; the wooden ceiling with inlaid mirrors is a thing which is capable of stealing hearts at the first sight. The paintings installed here are painted using gold leaf & other precious stones & metals.
- Phool Mahal: Phool Mahal also is known as “Flower Palace”; this palace was built by Raja Rai Singh & considered as the oldest palace of the fort.
- Badal Mahal: Badal Mahal is also known as “Weather Palace” was built to show the love for clouds & rain which is a rare sight in the barren land of Bikaner. Frescos depicting Hindu gods Lord Krishna with his consort Radha romancing in rain are painted. Painting showing Jagirdars paying revenue & respect to the King of Bikaner indicates the respect &loyalty of Jagirdars for King.
- Chandra Mahal: Chandra Mahal was the private chamber of King including his personal living place, bedroom. Chandra Mahal is decorated using gold & other precious metals. The bedroom of the king is a fine example of architectural intelligence which enabled the king to observe any intruder in the palace in the first sight.
Lal Garh Palace: Lal Garh Palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner, it is located at a distance of 8 km from Junagarh Fort. Lal Garh palace was dedicated in the memory of Late King Lal Singh father of Maharaja Ganga Singh. It is serving as the private residence of the former royal family of Bikaner, however, two wings are operating as heritage hotel & museum respectively. Museum in Lala Garh palace is one of the important museums of Bikaner showcasing the weapons, paintings & other important pieces from the history of Bikaner.
Gajner Lake and Palace: Gajner Lake located at a distance of 32 km from Bikaner city center is a lake along the Gajner Palace which was used as a hunting lodge by the erstwhile royal family of Bikaner. Maharajas of Bikaner used to spend time here while on the hunt because of abundantly available kills like deer, wild buffalo, desert fox, black bug, wild boar, cheetah, tigers. The forest around this lake is proposed to be the area for the reintroduction of cheetah in India. With the majestic Gajner palace on the banks, this lake makes a perfect tourist destination in Bikaner. Today boat rides, ferry rides are operated by the tourism department of the state of Rajasthan.
Ganga Singh Museum: Ganga Singh Museum is a part of Junagarh Museum; it is locally also known as Ganga Singh Golden Jubilee Museum. A wide collection of weapons like swords, daggers, spears, baghnakha, shields, armors, rifles & pistols are kept for display in this museum. Also, a plane gifted to Maharaja is kept for display which is treated as the main attraction of this museum. Also, its central location in Bikaner is responsible for a large number of tourists landing here.
Parchina Museum: Unlike most of the royal museums Parchina Museum doesn’t mainly focus on the arms & armors of Rajput warriors but also an emphasis on the lifestyle of royals during that era. A complete range of textiles, perfumes, precious rugs, portraits of former rulers, European glassware & other distinguished objects used by royals is kept for display. This museum takes tourists visiting here on a ride to the golden era of royal lifestyle of mighty kings of the desert.
Things To Do In Bikaner
The best things to do in Bikaner include visits to sightseeing, cycling expedition, elephant safari, enjoy the cultural evening and gala dinner, Shopping, eat delicious Rajasthani cuisine, Light and sound show, movie and many more.
Fairs And Festivals Of Bikaner
Fair & Festival in Bikaner plays a vital role.
How To Reach Bikaner
Best Time To Visit In Bikaner
Rajasthan is a land known for its hot summers & Bikaner is relatively hotter than all other parts of Rajasthan, hence visiting Bikaner in summers is not a good idea, especially for people coming from colder areas of the world. Winters is the best time for holidaying in Bikaner. Winters stretches from the month of October to the month of March.