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Tourist Places To Visit In Bikaner
Many centuries ago, Rao Bika of Jodhpur set out to establish a city for himself and he converted what was a wasteland to what is now the famous city of Bikaner in the state of Rajasthan. The monuments from centuries since have stood the test of time and are now major tourist attractions. From the forts and palaces to ancient temples, there are quite a few tourist places to visit in Bikaner. Here is a list of some of the top tourist sites, some of the most fascinating ones being Junagrah Fort, Lalgarh Palace, Old City, Bhandasar Jain Temple and Lakshminath Temple.
The massive fort is a testimony of Bikaner’s prosperity under its sixth ruler, Raja Rai Singh. The original architect was well versed in architecture and art, and designed the fort and its palaces to represent a mixture of cultures but heavily influenced by the Mughals. His successors added their own palaces, temples and art to the fort, creating a beautiful architectural collage out of the original fort. Today the fort is a museum and the tour is efficiently designed so that the history and its influences on the architecture and art of the palaces within the fort can be understood. Some of the outstanding features of the palace include the red sandstone walls that are typical of the region, the intricately designed windows, the Rajasthani art work that cover the walls and the extensive gardens within the complex.
Though all the palaces were constructed within the fort, Raja Ganga Singh designed a new palace outside the ancient fort. In the early 1900’s the royal family moved here and has been living here since. The fort was designed by the British architect Sir Swinton Jacob and was built using the same red sandstone as its predecessor. The architecture highlights British influences along with traditional Mughal styles. Some parts of the palace are now converted into a heritage hotel, bringing a whole new dimension to the experience.
A walled locality in Bikaner, this is the place to be in if you want to see some old havelis or if you want to roam around the local markets and buy some colourful Rajasthani articles. The narrow streets and the old buildings give the impression of a very ancient town and the roads can go on for a while. The best way to tour this gorgeous city would be to rent a bike and zip through the enchanting streets. If you don’t mind the heat too much then enter through one of the gates and start exploring. The Kothe Gate entrance is the main entrance to the old city and the markets are close by.
Bhandasar Jain temple
The 15th century Jain temple is one of the two Jain temples in Bikaner. The temple is made of red sandstone and is engraved with carvings of yellow stone. The contrast makes a delightful visual. Many of the temple's elaborate paintings also have the same effect as its energetic colours stand out against the red backdrop. The temple has some fascinating legends regarding its origin, some of which say that ghee was used instead of water during the initial construction.
Karni Matha Temple
Bikaner is a place filled with surprises but nothing can be as strangely surprising as the Karni Matha Temple. Home to over 20,000 rats, believe it or not, this temple is a very popular tourist attraction. Devotees often offer food to the inhabitants and they can be seen feeding in great numbers. The temple remains open to everyone from early in the morning till late at night, so if you plan a visit to Bikaner do give this unusual place a try.
The white marble complex of Sri Lakshminath temple stands out brilliantly against the arid backdrop, and the colourful deities watch serenely as devotees enter the beautifully sculpted gateway decorated with silver artwork. This ancient Hindu temple dates all the way back to the early 16th century and has been worked upon since then. The paintings and the sculptures within the temple are a sight to behold. If you plan a trip during festive seasons like Diwali or Ramnavami then do visit the temple. It would be a wonderful opportunity to experience the religious customs and traditions of the place.
This relatively new establishment was set up by the current royal family of Bikaner to highlight the influences of globalization even on a place as remote as Bikaner. The objects on display include fancy china, crockeries, western interior decorations, accessories and many more such items. The museum is an interesting place for those who want to catch a glimpse of the lives of the Royal Family of Bikaner.
Ganga Government Museum
Set up in the 18th century, this museum is home to a vast collection of ancient artefacts that date back to prehistoric times. The museum developed greatly under Maharaja Ganga Singh who also donated quite a few artefacts to the museum. There are galleries entirely dedicated to ancient sculptures, historic paintings, old coins, textiles, armours, other weaponry and much more.