Bikaner

Bikaner, located north-central in Rajasthan state in northwestern India, lies in the Thar Desert. Bikaner is characterized by its vibrant deserts, significant forts, which makes it a blooming beauty in Thar Desert. The city’s forts and palaces reflect the magnificence of its rulers, giving it a unique sense of beauty. The forts are identified to be strong throughout the years.

 

Bikaner has a strong impact on Rajasthan’s history. The prince Rao Bika ji who was the descendant of Rao Jodha Ji, the founder of Jodhpur, founded his kingdom in Bikaner in 1459. He shaped the city of Bikaner by choosing an infertiled land called “Jungladesh,” and shaped it into an imposing city.

Bikaner is a major interesting site of Rajasthan’s traditional attractions. The city has a plenty of fascinating buildings, built of reddish pink sandstone. A 15 to 30 feet stone wall with five gates surrounds the old part of Bikaner city. The city’s architecture features a lot of building built with bright red and yellow sandstone. As for the city’s sites, the main tourist attractions are Lal Gadh Palace and Junagarh Fort. Junagarh Fort was constructed of marble and red sandstone with balconies decorating the structure.

 

There is also Lalgarh Palace with its beautiful lattice and filigree works in sandstone. The palace was built based on Mughal, Rajput and European architectural styles and features fireplaces, Italian colonnades and wonderful pillars. It is imposed and has overhanging balconies. The palace’s beautiful gardens greet visitors to the palace. The Royal family still reside in a suite in the palace, despite that they turned the palace into a heritage hotel. Other attractions of Bikaner include Karni Mata Temple, Maru Nayak Ji Temple, Shiv Bari Temple, Gajner Palace. Additionally, the city is known for its exotic camel safaris.

Bikaner is an important trade centre for building stone, wool, and grain. Bikaner’s woolen shawls, carpets, blankets, and candy are famous. The city is located in an arid region of undulating sand hills, where camels, horses, and sheep breedings is the principal occupation. Although there are no rivers,  rainwater harvesting has become common.

 

Bikaner is a city rich in culture in every aspect: arts, crafts, festivals and dances. One of the most famous celebrated festivals in the city is Bikaner Camel Festival and Fair. The festival includes a procession of decorated camels, followed by camel dances, camel dances. The folks display their talents in dancing and music. There is a dance called “Fire-Dance,” performed by a community called “Jasnathis.” The folks dance with fire accompanied by beat of drums. In addition to the Fire Dance, there are a set of other dances such as Ghumar, Saluda, Bhav, and Mataki dance for women. As for men dances, there are Ger, Patta, Tandava, where men perform wearing colourful attires with finesse. The music is also an interdependent part of the city’s culture.

 

The culture of the city is not limited to festivals, dancing and music, but also in arts like carpet weaving, miniature painting, ornamental stone work. What makes it fascinating is the usage of hues of colours and their creative touch in painting, making their products must-buy souvenirs for travellers.  

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