Bikaner: The Unblemished Jewel in The Crown of Rajasthan

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Photo of Bikaner: The Unblemished Jewel in The Crown of Rajasthan 1/1 by Biplab Poddar

JUNAGARH FORT: - The Junagarh Fort, built by Rai Singh in 1593, has a 986 mts extended wall with 37 bastions, a moat and two entrances. Situated at 700 feet above sea level, it can be seen from a distance towering over the city. The fort and its palaces are profusely ornamented with magnificent stone carvings. The major structures within the fort include the Anup Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas, Badal Mahal, Phool Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Dungar Mahal, Rang Mahal, and Ganga Mahal. The Chandra Mahal has remarkable frescoes; Phool Mahal has glass work on its walls; and Amnup Mahal is decorated with golden pen works.

LALGARH PALACE: - Built in memory of his father by Maharaja Ganga Singh, the Lalgarh Palace is at 3 km from Bikaner city. Designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, is building is quite imposing with its overhanging balconies and delicate latticework. Blooming bougainvillea and Peacocks welcome the visitor. Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation has transformed a portion of this palace into a hotel.

CAMEL RESEARCH AND BREEDING FARM: - 8 kms from Bikaner, the governments Camel Research and Breeding Farm is the only one of its kinds in Asia. The farm breeds and trains camels.

DESHNOKE TEMPLE: - 30 kms south of Bikaner, the village of Deshnoke has Mata Karni Temple. This 600-year-old temple is devoted to Karni Mata who is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple has intricately carved silver gates donated by Maharaja Ganga Singh. The temple consider rats as sacred and worship them. One has to be very watchful while entering the inner sanctum, if you accidentally step on a rat, a gold replica can only compensate for the lost life.

GANGA GOLDEN JUBILEE MUSEUM: - The Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum, among the very best in Rajasthan, has on diplay one of the richest collections of terracotta ware, miniature paintings of Bikaner school, weapons, and coins dating back to Harappan civilization.

SHRI SADUL MUSEUM: - A part of the Lalgarh Palace has a museum called the Sadul Museum.It covers the first floor of the palace. Some well-preserved old photographs and wildlife trophies have been housed here

FORT MUSEUM: - The Ganga Mahal, Maharaja Ganga Singh’s contribution to Junagarh Fort, houses a Museum today. Built in the early 20th century this pink sandstone hall has walls carved with subtle tracery and scrollwork. From ivory-inlaid muskets to, jade-handled daggers an exotic collection of antique Rajput weaponry is displayed here.

GETTING THERE: You can plan your trip to Bikaner from cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Ahmedabad, Alsisar.