Welcome To Bikaner

Bikaner is a city in the northwest of the state of Rajasthan in northern India. It is located 330 kilometres (205 mi) northwest of the state capital, Jaipur. Bikaner city is the administrative headquarters of Bikaner District and Bikaner division. It was formerly the capital of the princely state of Bikaner. The city was founded by Rao Bika.in 1486 and from its small origins it has developed into the fifth largest city in Rajasthan. The Ganges Canal, completed in 1928, and the Indira Gandhi Canal, completed in 1987, facilitated its development.

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Demographics

geography

History

Tourist Attractions

Demographics

According to the 2011 census Bikaner district has a population of 2,367,745, roughly equal to the nation of Latvia or the US state of New Mexico. This gives it a ranking of 190th in India (out of a total of 640).Area of district is 30247.90sq.km.The district has a population density of 78 inhabitants per square kilometre (200/sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 41.42%. Bikaner has a sex ratio of 903 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 65.92%.

geography

Bikaner, heart of western Rajasthan, has been known as the "Tapo-Bhumi" of great sages and saints of yore since pre-historic times. The holy rivers Saraswati and Drishadwati used to flow in their glory in this area. Archeologist believe that the great Indian desert, the Thar, of which Bikaner is a part, was once an ocean, a belief which stands substantiated by the presence of sedimentary layers of various kinds of the precious clay, bajri etc. in the holy Kolayat area (55 km from Bikaner). Over the times major geographic and topographic changes took place when the sacred rivers dried up and the ocean receded .The region then gradually changed into ocean of deserts. Flora and fauna of the place typically reflects that of the desert .Trees are short with thin leaves to avoid water losses and have deep roots. During the month of May-June thunderstorms are frequent post noon. Sometimes the wind may blow up to 120 kms per hour and may result in heavy disaster. Average no. of storm days is around 18 per year which is falling gradually due to increase in area under canal irrigation.

History

Bikaner's history dates back to 1488 AD when a Rajput prince Rao Bika ji a descendent of the founder of Jodhpur (1459 AD)., Rao Jodha Ji established his kingdom here. Bika Ji chose a barren land called "Jungladesh" and shaped it into an impressive city, called Bikaner after the founder's name. Archeological surveys and excavations have established beyond doubt that civilization flourished here even before the Harappa period . Excavated statues, coins and carvings of stones and clay stands as testimony to this fact. Ever since the foundation of Bikaner till its accession into Indian Union in 1947 A.D. and there after it's integration in Rajasthan state in 30-3-1949 A.D., Bikaner has played a notable role in the history of the country. Bikaner state has produced several able Generals and warriors and distinguished Rulers and just to name of few Raja Rai Singh Ji-One of Akbar's most distinguished Generals. Another famous name is Raja Anup Singh who ascended the throne in AD 1669 a scholar and warrior. His period has been described as "the golden time of Bikaner valor and fame".In the modern period Bikaner produced the most outstanding Ruler, namely Maharaja Ganga Singh who ruled for 56 years. He was a strong and able ruler who renovated the traditional administration, modernized the army, separated the judiciary from the executive, constructed the famous "Gang Canal" and provided a number of welfare schemes, hospitals. His son and successor Maharaja Sardul Singh, who ascended the throne in A.D. 1943, played a conspicuous role in the merger of the princely states in the Indian Union. His Nationalistic outlook shall ever be remembered by the citizens of Bikaner. His son Dr. Karni Singh made a mark in Indian politics and in the field of sports. Ever since 1952 General Elections he had been elected as member of Parliament continuously for five terms. He attained international fame in shooting arena. At present the city is developing fast into an industrial and tourism center.

Tourist Attractions

Junagarh Fort
The fascinating piece of architecture was built between 1588 -1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh (1571 - 1611 AD) , a general in army of Mughal emperor, Akbar. The imposing fort has 986 long wall with 37 bastions and two entrances. The Suraj Pole (Sun Gate) is main entrance to the fort. The palaces within the fort are on the southern side and make a picturesque ensemble of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows. A measure feature of Junagarhfort is the superb quality of the stone carving-it rivals the best anywhere in the world. Among the places of interest are the Chandra Mahal, or Moon Palace, with paintings, mirrors and carved marble panels. The Phool Mahal or Flower Palace is decorated with glass and mirrors. The Karan Mahal was built to commemorate a notable victory over the Mughal Aurangzeb. The Anoop Mahal is famous for it's gold leaf painting. Other palaces worth visiting are the Dungar Niwas, Ganga Nivas, Gaj Mandir, Rang Mahal, Bijai Mahal. Gigantic columns, imposing arches and graceful scenes, minarets and pavilions, in fact, make it worth a repeat visit.

Timings: 10: 00 AM to 4:30 PM on all weekdays except Sunday.

Entry Fee: Rs. 10 for Indians and 30 for foreigners. Rs 30 for still camera & Rs 50 for video camera.

Lallgarh Palace
The architectural masterpiece in red sandstone, built by Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881 AD-1942 AD) in memory of his father Maharaja Lall Singh between 1902 -1926.This magnificent palace is an example of pure Rajput martial architecture. Designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, this palace has several grand halls, lounges, cupolas and pavilions. The exotic palace has magnificent pillars, richly carved fire mantles , Italian colonnades and motif of lotus in full bloom , adding to the magic of this jewel of the desert. Walls of palaces are reminiscent of the past vintage etchings, hunting trophies and old portraits. The treasure trove where the guests can spend hours 'walking in the past'. The palace has it's own museum and library (the fourth largest in the world), clay pigeon trap and skeet shooting traps facilities at adjoining ranges. Palace has wild peacocks spreading their feathers at almost every step flowering rows of bougainvillea.
Bikaner royal family still lives in part of the palace. A portion of palace is now a hotel.
Timings: 10:00AM to 5:00PM on all weekdays except on Sunday
Entry Fee: 10 Rs

Gajner Palace

Gajner Palace -a summer resort of Bikaner Maharajas -has often been described as ' an incomparable jewel in the Thar desert'. Built by Maharaja Ganga Singh ji of Bikaner, palace stands on the embankment of a lake .The palace was used by Maharaja for grand shoots and lavish entertainment. Royalty, both Indian as well as international, Viceroys and other dignitaries have been entertained at this grand palace.
The architecture of Gajner palace is truly outstanding. Built in red sandstone with intricately carved pillars, jharokhas and screens , the craftsmanship here is amazing.Palace is surrounded by beautiful wooded area, now a preserved sanctuary which provides shelter to chinkaras , blackbucks, blue bull (neel gai) and flocks of imperial sand grouse. A part of palace has been transformed into hotel.

Shiv Bari Mandir

Built by Dungar Singhji in the late 19th century. The temple is surrounded by an embattlement wall. It has four-faced black marble Shiva statue and a bronze Nandi facing the Shiva-Lingam. There are two large reservoirs of water known as bawaris. This red sandstone temple attracts thousands of visitors during Shravan (Feb) especially on mondays.

Bhandeshwar Jain Temple

This temple is oldest existing structure in Bikaner. The beautiful temple was erected near Laxminath temple in 1514A.D. by two brothers Bhandeshwar and Sandheswar and named after them. This marvel piece of architecture is dedicated to 23rd teerthankar "PARSVANATH JI".The seth was very particular about every penny in his personal life but when it came to religious point he ordered hundreds of maunds of Ghee (Clarified Butter) and coconuts to be freely used in the foundation. This temple is Carved in red sand stone and white marble - its famous for carvings ,wall paintings , structural beauty and artisticly designed statues. The rich mirror work, decor and frescoes of Bhandashah: and their gold leaf paintings are noteworthy.