Beautiful Bikaner, a beacon of rich culture and heritage amidst harsh desert surroundings was founded in1488, by the rather prince Bika. He was the son of Rao Jodha of Marwar. The magnificient city was set directly on the anicient caravan routes, which linked west central Asia and north India with the seaports of Gujrat(a state of India).
The impregnable fort was built by Raja Rai Singh in 1593. It has the distinction of remaining unconquered. The impressive fort encircle by a moat has many outstanding palaces, pavilions and temples made of red sandstone and marbles with kiosks and balconies. Gigantic columns, arches and graceful screens grace the palaces of the fort. The Suraj Pole or ‘Sun Gate’ is the main entrance to the formidable fort. Some of the interesting monuments within ramparts are – Anup Mahal, Ganga Nivas, Rang Mahal or ‘Palace of Pleasure’, Chandra Mahal or ‘Moon Palace’, and Phool Mahal or ‘Flower Palace’ (decorated with inset mirror work).
The fort also has a museum with a rich collection of the artifacts of the region and several centuries old antiques.
The Lallgarh palace is an imposing red- sand stone palace and was built by Maharaja Ganga Singhji in the memory of his father, Maharaj Lall Singhj in 1902 A.D. This oriental fantasy designed by Col. Sir Swinton Jacob, is entirely a hybrid architecture and mixture of different elements of Rajput, Muslim and European styles and can be categorized as Indo- Saracenic style. The Rajput exterior of Lallgarh Palace contrasts dramatically with the occidental décor within. The intricately dexterous carving on red stone is hall mark of great local craftsman.A part of the palace has now been converted into a luxary hotel and one part houses a museum called Sri Sadul Museum.
Karni Mata Temple
Karni Mata (2 October 1387 – 23 March 1538) was a female Hindu sage born in the Charan caste and is worshiped as the incarnation of the goddess Durga by her followers. She is an official deity of the royal family of Jodhpur and Bikaner during her lifetime; she laid the foundation stone of two of the important forts in Rajputana. She lived an ascetic life, and most of the temples dedicated to her were dedicated during her lifetime. A temple dedicated to her during her lifetime differs from others in that it does not contain an image or idol of her but rather contains a foot-print to symbolize her visit to that place. The most famous of her temples is the temple of Deshnoke, which was created following her mysterious disappearance from her home. The temple is famous for its rats, which are treated as sacred and given protection in the temple. This temple is near to Bikaner and Nokha. The second name of Karni mata is (Nari bai). Contrary to some reports, the temple is of the Hindu sect and is not affiliated with the Jainism.
Gajner Palace and Wildlife Sanc.
A summer retreat for the monarchs of Bikaner, the Palace, which was converted into a luxury hotel in 1976, has played host to a number of lavish parties and hunting expeditions. The duck and Imperial Grouse shoots, exclusively arranged by Ganga Singh and other Maharajas for various dignitaries, which included British Viceroys and Royalty, both Indian and foreign were among the most sought after invitations of the time.
Nestled amidst a verdant forest cover, the Palace now has a private wildlife sanctuary where antelopes, black bucks, blue bull, chinkara, etc. roam around freely. Migratory birds, such as the Imperial Sand Grouse, Bar-headed goose, Pintails, Teals, among others are also a common sight as are peacock, partridge, quail, doves and pigeons.