Bikaner Travel will take you to the 'camel country' of Rajasthan India. Bikaner guide offers exclusive sightseeing options of best riding camels in India and the largest camel research and breeding farm in the world to visitors coming to travel to Bikaner. If you thrill to the implacable forces of nature do not miss Bikaner. Travel to Bikaner, rendezvous with the ship of the desert of India and the medieval grandeur that pervades the Bikaner's lifestyle.

India - Rajasthan - Bikaner Town

Bikaner Town

Bikaner Lalgarh Palace

Population : 493,000
STD : 0151
Distance : 354 km from Jaipur

"O Patriarchs of the Desert
Ye Have Heard of Jodha
and The Kingdom He Hath Won
Strength of The Lion
Swiftness of The Bird
Hath Bika The Rathore
Brave Jodha’s Son"
– The Founding of Bikaner, 1488AD
Rhymes of Rajputana

¤ History

Bikaner lies north of Jodhpur, its reddish-pink stone rising out of miles of barren thorn and scrub. Rao Jodha’s sixth son, Bika (after whom the city of Bikaner is named), must have found nothing more than this wilderness when he rode out here in search of greener pastures to conquer, but he was obviously undeterred. The Rathore clansmen set out from Mandore the same year that his father shifted his capital to Jodhpur. Taking with him three hundred zealous retainers, they massacred the first opposing clan they encountered. Next they came in touch with a branch of the Bhattis of Jaisalmer who had settled in the region, and Bika married one of the daughters of the chief. Using this settlement as a base he was able to extend his sway over the entire region. Having secured the submission of the Bhattis, and later of the Jats in the region, he founded his capital Bikaner here.

Although Bikaner was intrinsically linked by blood to the rest of Rajputana, historically it charted a different course. The Rathore-Mughal friendship really flourished especially during Akbar’s reign. After the Maharaja of Jaipur and his son, Raja Rai Singh of Bikaner was the ‘highest ranked Hindu’ in Akbar’s court. Relations worsened later thanks to Aurangzeb’s bigotry, but Bikaner holds the distinction of maintaining its independence for the best part of 500 years. In a sense if Jaipur is called the pink city, Bikaner is no less with the colour a few shades deeper here, and a great deal more pervasive. Situated on elevated ground, the medieval city of Bikaner has all the romance of the Arabian nights. As you approach it, you half expect a few Rajput princes to come riding at you on their steeds, brandishing their weapons, challenging you to a duel.The fortifications of Junagarh include a 5-6 km long crenellated stone wall in rich pink sandstone.There are five gates and three sally ports, the walls varying in height from 15 feet to 30 feet.

¤ Music & Dance

Bikaner Travel Guide of IndiaBikaner is primarily an agrarian economy, dependent on farming. Cereal crops such as wheat, barley and millet are mainly cultivated, while the Rajasthan Canal provides irrigation to the arid town of Bikaner. Bikaner’s folk traditions, interlinked with Rajasthan’s have developed over the centuries. Itinerant balladeers like the Bhopas, Bhatts, Charans and Bandis developed their distinctive styles. In fact Karni Mata, the Kuldevi (family deity) of the Rathore clan of Bikaner was a daughter of a Charan (bard). Also, while in Bikaner don’t miss the fire dancers who keep their audiences enthralled as they tap-dance over red hot burning coal.

¤ Embellished with colorful Cloths

Given the monotony of Bikaner’s barren landscape, it is natural that the people show a marked preference for bright costumes. They battle the desolation of the desert through the vibrancy of their clothes, while the women gather on festive occasions, in radiant colours and beautiful jewellery.

¤ Arts & Crafts

From the 18th century onwards, the tie and dye textiles called bandhani has become an important craft of Bikaner. Tie and dye odhnis (long scarves worn around the neck or head by women) are very popular in Bikaner. If you tour the city, you’d come across dyers dipping fabrics in huge vats to make exquisite tie and dye odhnis, while in the shadow of ruined fortresses, the dyers dry hand-block printed fabrics.

Sculpture Work
Bikaner’s contribution to sculpture can be seen in the very fine examples of jali or stone tracery, worked on screens and panels on the palaces of the city. Jali screens sculpted from both sandstone and marble in intricate geometric patterns are found in the windows of the zenanas, or women’s quarters, enabling them to watch events unfolding in the court while remaining camouflaged themselves.

Work of Miniaturised Paintings.
The most significant contribution of Bikaner in the field of art has been its miniaturised paintings. An illustration of the art can be found on the walls and ceilings of Junagarh fort, and inside the cenotaphs of the erstwhile rulers of Bikaner. Its rich craftsmanship was greatly influenced by the Mughals and many Mughal painters were encouraged to attend the court at Bikaner. In fact the Mughal influence on the Rajputs, led to a new style of painting: the royal portrait. Bikaner because of its intimate relations with the Mughals was one of the first schools to adopt this style. Also under the influence of the Mughals, the art of carpet weaving flourished in Bikaner. In fact, some of the most beautiful durries, or flat cotton carpets were produced by prisoners of the Bikaner jail, well known for their skills in carpet weaving.

Woodcarving Work
Bikaner is also an important centre for woodcarving, for its ornately carved doors and lintels, and particularly for latticed screen windows. Pidas, or low folding chairs featuring decorative carving is its speciality.

¤ Other Traditional Arts

BikanerUnfortunately some of the traditional arts and crafts of Bikaner such as doll making, wherein artisans used to paint wooden figures with brightly coloured paints are now dying because of lack of official patronage. However the city is still reputed for its artists. While in Bikaner do not miss the Usta’s or painter’s paint, complicated designs on the walls of the palaces. Also well known are the goldsmiths who do minakari (coloured inlay work in gold or silver), metal and wood crafters. Bikaneri stone carvers, and craftsmen making traditional Rajasthani jooties (shoes decorated with beautiful embroidery). Bikaner is especially famous for its minakari on camel hide, and golden minakari in the palaces of Bikaner. This art form came to India from Iran via the Mughals, and later assimilated itself into Indian culture. It was Raja Rai Singh, then ruler of Bikaner, who brought minakari to the city and accorded it royal patronage. The city is also reputed for its textile printing, camel hide kupis (containers) and lamps, and you will even find table lamps shaped in the form of an ostrich egg. Bikaneri lois (woolen shawls) and namdas (heavy rugs) do credit to the artisans who construct them. The Urmul Trust, a voluntary organisation is trying to revive some of these traditional arts. Ikarer's delicacies and Bikaner is also a city well known for its culinary delights. The tastiest is a savoury called bhujia, sold in the Bhujia Bazaar. Bikaneri sev (biscuits made of flour), papad, rasgulla (cottage cheese balls cooked in syrup), supari (areca nuts), and misri (sugary substance) are also much sought after throughout northern India.

¤ Fairs & Festivals

Bikaner’s cultural heritage is essentially indigenous as the harsh topography and climate makes frequent cultural intercourse with neighbouring regions difficult. But, despite the hardship, the people have developed a spontaneous capacity to happily observe festive occasions. The festivals celebrated in Bikaner are Shitla Ashthmi, Gangaur, Navratri, Ram Navmi, Akshya Tritya, Sawni Teej, Bhadva Teej, Deepawali, Makar Sankranti and Holi. Kolayat fair, Shivbari fair, Jetha Bhutta fair, Ramdeoji Fair, Dusshera fair are the main melas. Most of them are celebrated all over the country, and we shall restrict ourselves to discussing those events which are exclusive to Bikaner.

¤ Main Festivals

The two main fairs which are exclusive to the the city of Bikaner are the Akshya Tritya Fair and the Camel Fair which is renowned all over Rajasthan

Akshya Tritya
Travel guide to Camel Fair in Bikane, IndiaThe fair is the foundation day of Bikaner, it naturally has special significance in the erstwhile state. On both the days of Dwitia and Tritia, (literally meaning second and third) a pudding of wheat, moth and bajra (millet) is cooked in the households of Bikaner. A syrup of tartaric and jaggery is made. Ghee (clarified butter) is served with the food. Being an auspicious day, students are made to worship their slates (writing boards) and take earthern vessels filled with potable water for going to school. and while all over India kites are flown on MakarSankranti, in Bikaner they crowd the skies on Akshya Tritya day.

Camel Fair
Bikaner is really camel country, with the city famous for its bestriding humped creatures all over the world. The camel fair is a dazzling spectacle of camel perfomances held every year in January. Should not be missed if you are in the area, it is an experience to remember. Camel races, camel acrobatics, camel dances and even a camel milking competition are part of the festivities. The next fair will be around 20-21 January 2000.

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