ikaner, A centre of great
civilization in the past when the sacred river Saraswati watered the territory
now comprising Bikaner and the most interesting centres of later Indian Art
lies deep in the Thar Desert behind endless sand dunes. After the disintegrattion
of the Gupta Empire, the territory successively changed hands with the Gurjar
Prathiharis, the Chauhans,the Bhatli Rajputs and finally by the Rathores. The
former Bikaner state was founded by Rao Bikaji, the sixth son of Rao Jodhaji
of Jodhpur, a Rajput of the Rathor clan, in 1465 A.D. The city, the fourth largest
in Rajasthan, is surrounded by an embattled stonewall, about 7 kms in circuit
pierced by five gateways builtby Maharaj Gaj Singh ( 1746 - 87 A.D. ), A magnificient
fort dominates the city, which has many other elegant buildings in red and yellow
: Built by Raja Rai Singh ( 1571-1611 A.D.) during the period
of 1588-1593 A.D. one of emperor Akbar's distinguished generals. Bikaner fort
is an impressive stronghold. Numerous additions were subsequently made by rulers
during the next three centuries. The fort forms a quadrangle with a perimeter
of 986 metre. It has thirty seven bastions, a strong wall and a 30 feet wide
moat. There are two entrances, the one on the west is protected by a double
gate. There are several buildings inside the fort Chandra Mahal, Phool Mahal,
Sheesh Mahal, Chhattar Mahal, Surya Niwas, Karan Mahal - the palace of Raja
Rai Singh with the Suraj Parol, Harmandir,etc. The palace of Raja Rai Singh
is the oldest in the fort .
: Stands outside the city. It is an imposing edifice of carved
red sandstone which contains a remarkable collection of paintings.
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum
: This museum
houses some very interesting and rare art pieces. It has one of the finest collections
of terracottas belonging to the Gupta period. The many Mughal firmans issued
to rulers of Bikaner, paintings representing various schools of Rajasthan art,excellent
specimens of lacquer work on camel hide and wood and stone carvings are among
the other exihibits in the museum.
: At Devi Kund, 8 km to the east of Bikaner, are the chhatries (cenotaphs )
of rulers of Bikaner. The oldest of these, built of brick and Jaisalmer stone,
is that of Rao Kalyan Mal ( 1539 - 1571 A.D.). The 16 pillared chhatries of
Raja Karan Singh and Maharaj Anup Singh are the finest and biggest in the group.
: Located at a distance of 31 km to the south-west of Lalgarh
Palace Gajner Palace on the banks of a lake is renowned as a place for imperial
sand grouse shooting.
: The Bhandar temple, with
its shikha and gilded flagstaff towering above the town is most attractive Built
by Oswald Bhand, a rich Jain merchant, in honour of Parasnath, it was completed
in early 16th century.