Bikaner, the walled city on the Rajasthan border is famous for its forts, palaces,
temples, fairs and festivals, arts and crafts, folk music and wildlife. A large
number of tourists visit this impressive and captivating city to explore its beauty
and timeless charm as evident in various monuments.
Bikaner dating back to 1488 AD was established by the Rajput prince Rao Bika ji,
a descendent of the founder of Jodhpur, Rao Jodha ji. Bika ji selected this barren
land called "Jungladesh" and shaped it into an impressive city, called Bikaner.
As per archaeological records civilizations flourished in this region much before
the Harappan period. The city wraps layers of history and interesting anecdotes
within its narrow streets lines with havelis and palaces.
- Arts & Crafts: Gesso work – camel hide products, leather handicrafts,
lacquer and wooden artifacts, metal ware, blue pottery
- Handloom- Durries or carpets, tie-dye fabrics
- Jewellery-Tribal silverware, Kundan jewellery and artefacts.
- Special marts – of jewellery, handicraft and handlooms – can be
organised at Dungar Niwas courtyard for the convenience of large groups who wish
to purchase authentic products and witness artists at work
English, Hindi, Rajasthani
Ancient temples & sites:
- Bhandasar Jain Temple: 5 km from Bikaner: The 16th century temple
is dedicated to the 5th Tirthankar of the Jain Religion. It is decorated with exquisite
mirror work, frescoes and gold leaf paintings. It is carved in red sand stone and
- Shiv Bari Temple: 6 km from Bikaner: Built by Dungar Singhji in
the late 19th century, this temple is surrounded by an embattlement wall. It has
four-faced black marble Shiva statue and a bronze Nandi facing the Shiva-Lingam.
This red sandstone temple attracts thousands of visitors during Shravan (Feb) especially
- Devi Kund: 8 km from Bikaner: As the site for the royal cenotaphs,
Devi Kund has several exquisite cenotaphs built in memory of the deceased members
of the royal family of Bikaner. While most chhatris are hand carved in red sandstone,
Maharaja Suraj Singh's Chhatri is the most impressive of all created entirely in
white marble with paintings on the ceiling.
Karni Mata Temple: 30 km from Bikaner: Located in Deshnok, the famous shrine
of Karni Mata is one of the most visited pilgrim places in the region. She is worshiped
as the tutelary deity of the erstwhile Bikaner dynasty. The temple is unique as
the rats called Kabas, are venerated here and the shrine is a sanctuary for them.
It is believed that these Kabas carry souls of future Charans/bards (children of
the goddess) who inhabit the town of Deshnok. These Kabas are held sacred and they
move freely in the temple precincts. It is considered highly auspicious to sight
a white Kaba. The temple has fascinating huge silver gates and marble carvings that
were donated by Maharaja Ganga Singhji.
- Kolayatji Temple: 51 km from Bikaner on highway leading to Jaisalmer:
Kolayat is an old pilgrimage centre where Kapil Muni of Vedic fame is believed to
have shed his body under a banyan tree. Kolayat has a series of charming marble
temples, sandstone pavilions and 32 ghats (bathing places) built around a huge artificial
lake which never goes dry. Here one can see sadhus and pilgrms taking a holy dip,
surrounded by the vast emptiness of a timeless atmosphere and the golden desert.
On Karthik Purnima day a grand fair is held in which devotees from all over the
country come for a holy dip in the lake.
- Kalibangan: 205 km from Bikaner: Located in Hanumangarh district,
this is an interesting archaeological site with remnants of the pre-Harappan and
Harappan settlements. Archaeology at Kalibangan reveals that Rajasthan had been
an important centre of the ceramic industry. The paintings on the ancient pottery
from Kalibangan bear close affinity and resemblance with the Harappan designs. The
Harappan remains include a cemetery and a fortified citadel.
Gajner: 30 km from Bikaner:
Spread over 6000 acres, the forest reserve of Gajner transformed into a famous shooting
reserve for sandgrouse with the building of the Palace next to the Gajner Lake by
Ganga Singh of Bikaner. The royalty identified the surrounding forest and the lake
as hunting grounds and this hunting resort was soon transformed into a Palace Complex.
Besides its panoramic landscape and architectural beauty, the Palace Complex also
has remains of a historic railway station. This hunting resort of the Bikaner royalty
was connected to their Palace in Bikaner by a Railway line in 1922 and also marked
the beginning of the Bikaner – Sutlej canal project showing regional development
initiatives of the Maharaja of Bikaner.