Bikaner district General information

BIKANER- If ever beauty has bloomed in a desert, it has been at Bikaner. Founded in 1488 AD by Rao Bika Ji, it's located in north west part of Rajasthan state in INDIA.The imposing palaces, beautiful and richly sculptured temples of red and yellow sand stones display some of the finest creations of Rajput civilization. It's lust for "dessert"or affection for "desert" that tickles every heart to visit Bikaner.


Bikaner's history dates back to 1488 AD when a Rajput prince Rao Bika ji a descendent of the founder of Jodhpur (1459 AD)., Rao Jodha Ji established his kingdom here. Bika Ji chose a barren land called "Jungladesh" and shaped it into an impressive city, called Bikaner after the founder's name. Archeological surveys and excavations have established beyond doubt that civilization flourished here even before the Harappa period . Excavated statues, coins and carvings of stones and clay stands as testimony to this fact.
Ever since the foundation of Bikaner till its accession into Indian Union in 1947 A.D. and there after it's integration in Rajasthan state in 30-3-1949 A.D., Bikaner has played a notable role in the history of the country. Bikaner state has produced several able Generals and warriors and distinguished Rulers and just to name of few Raja Rai Singh Ji-One of Akbar's most distinguished Generals. Another famous name is Raja Anup Singh who ascended the throne in AD 1669 a scholar and warrior. His period has been described as "the golden time of Bikaner valor and fame".

In the modern period Bikaner produced the most outstanding Ruler, namely Maharaja Ganga Singh who ruled for 56 years. He was a strong and able ruler who renovated the traditional administration, modernized the army, separated the judiciary from the executive, constructed the famous "Gang Canal" and provided a number of welfare schemes, hospitals. His son and successor Maharaja Sardul Singh, who ascended the throne in A.D. 1943, played a conspicuous role in the merger of the princely states in the Indian Union. His Nationalistic outlook shall ever be remembered by the citizens of Bikaner. His son Dr. Karni Singh made a mark in Indian politics and in the field of sports. Ever since 1952 General Elections he had been elected as member of Parliament continuously for five terms. He attained international fame in shooting arena.

At present the city is developing fast into an industrial and tourism center.


Bikaner, heart of western Rajasthan, has been known as the "Tapo-Bhumi" of great sages and saints of yore since pre-historic times. The holy rivers Saraswati and Drishadwati used to flow in their glory in this area. Archeologist believe that the great Indian desert, the Thar, of which Bikaner is a part, was once an ocean, a belief which stands substantiated by the presence of sedimentary layers of various kinds of the precious clay, bajri etc. in the holy Kolayat area (55 km from Bikaner). Over the times major geographic and topographic changes took place when the sacred rivers dried up and the ocean receded .The region then gradually changed into ocean of deserts. Flora and fauna of the place typically reflects that of the desert .Trees are short with thin leaves to avoid water losses and have deep roots.
During the month of May-June thunderstorms are frequent post noon. Sometimes the wind may blow up to 120 kms per hour and may result in heavy disaster. Average no. of storm days is around 18 per year which is falling gradually due to increase in area under canal irrigation.


Longitude Between 71º54' and 74º12' east
Latitude Between 27°11' and 29º 3' north
Area 27244 sq. kms.
Altitude 238 mts. above sea level
Population 6,42,550 (1991 census)
Temperature Summer Max:-48ºC, Min : 28ºC.
Winter 22 4
Rainfall 25 cm approx. (annual.)
Languages Hindi, Rajasthani &
Mines and Minerals available in the region explain geography of the city. Gypsum, Lignite ( at Palana-deposits pertaining to tertiary era-approx. 20 million tones) ,Limestone, Red sandstone and multani mitti are the key deposits of the region.
ONGC explorations are in process for oil & gas deposits in the Khajuwala tehsil of the region.

Agriculture & Irrigation

Prior to the canal irrigation, agriculture in the region was highly relying on the elusive rain. But with the advent of INDIRA GANDHI CANAL (world's longest irrigation canal), the scenario is changing drastically. The key produces now are wheat, cotton, mustard, bazra, moth, groundnut etc.
Animal Husbandry: Despite the desert terrain Bikaner is still regarded as the key producer of milk in the country.
Camel breed of this region is the best riding camel in the world.


The most flourishing industries in Bikaner are:
Woolen Industry:
Bikaner has been the biggest Woolen mandi (Mart) not only in India but also in Asia. The city has been a center of wool trade for over 185 years. The wool from Bikaner is being used at Badhohi, Uttar Pradesh for making of quality carpets. It has been famous for carpet making for centuries. Bikaner Jail is still famous for its carpet weaving.
Ceramic Industry:
Bikaner has some good deposit of Gypsum at Jamsar, Kolayat 40km from Bikaner. Industries based on white clay, fullers-earth, and yellow ocher are working in Bikaner. Maharaja Ganga Singh had sent silica-sand to Belgium and quality glass articles using this raw material had been specially manufactured and can be seen in the museum in Bikaner even today.
Bikaner has emerged as main center for ceramic industry with 30 ceramic units development is continuing more and more entrepreneurs are coming forward to set up ceramic industries.
Bhujiya and Namkeen Industry:
Bikaner is famous worldwide for its Papad and Bhujia. Bhujia has always been identified with Bikaner. The tasty Rajasthani food can never be completed without Bhujia , which is actually a Namkeen prepared with the strength of arm. There are hundreds of big and small units making Papad and Bhujia which provide employment to thousands of people. At present there are about 425 units producing Bhujia in Bikaner district and nearby areas of Shri Dungargarh, Churu, Nagaur and Sri-Gaganagar. Out of these only a few have a proper plant and well planned production system, the rest are small and cottage type industries.
The future of industrial development of Bikaner is bright with two essential ingredients, water from the Rajasthan canal and power from the Suratgarh Thermal Power Plant. Development in Bikaner is likely to get a major boost plus the ever hard working population of Bikaner which has evolved itself from the hard terrain life with very less resources and now after Rajasthan canal it is definitely going to be an emerging city.

Places of interest

Attractions in Bikaner and nearby
Junagarh Fort, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India

 Junagarh Fort

The fort was built by Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner who reigned from 1571 to 1612. Rai Singh had conquered part of Marwar and had been granted territory in Gujurat and Burhanpur by the Mughal emperor Akbar as a reward for his services as military commander. This, as well as funding from Jodhpur, enabled him to build the fort. Rai Singh held high rank in the imperial courts of both Akbar and his successor, Jehangir. During his imperial service he travelled extensively, giving him an appreciation of art and architecture. These ideas have been incorporated meticulously into the architectural style of Junagarh Fort.

Laxmi Niwas Palace

The Laxmi Niwas Palace is a former residential palace of the king of the former Bikaner state, Maharajah Ganga Singh in Bikaner in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was designed by the British architect, Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob in the year 1902. The style of architecture is Indo-Saracenic. It is now a luxury hotel owned by Golden Triangle Fort & Palace P. Ltd. The magnificent structure in red sandstone is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Bikaner.[2]

Lalgarh Palace

Lalgarh Palace was built between 1902 and 1926 according to Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles. The building was commissioned by Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881 - 1942) in memory of his father Maharaja Lall Singh and was designed by the British architect, Sir Swinton Jacob. It is coated in red sandstone and has several grand halls, lounges, cupolas and pavilions. The building features magnificent pillars, elaborate fireplaces, Italian colonnades and intricate latticework and filigree work. The palace houses the Shri Sadul Museum as well as the fourth largest library in the world. Though the Bikaner Royal Family still live in the palace, part of the building has been converted into a hotel operated by the WelcomHeritage Group.


Constructed in 1486, Moolnayakji was the first Vaishnav Temple built in Bikaner. It was the principal seat of the Vaishanv sect. The first of the Bhagavad Katha Vachaks of the Rattani Vyas clan of Bikaner Shri Rattoji Vyas gave the Bhagavad Updesh to the king, Rao Bika and his aide Salloji Rathi. This practice is still carried on today. The presiding deity is Lord Moolnayak Krishna.

 Laxmi Nath Temple

Laxmi Nath Temple is one of the oldest temples in Bikaner. The foundation of the city was laid here in 1488 by Rao Bikaji. The temple was erected during the reign of Rao Lunkaran and was added to by Maharaja Ganga Singh.


Kolayat is a famous pilgrimage spot with a temple dedicated to Kapil Muni who, according to his devotees, sat in meditation near the lake.

 Karni Mata Temple

The shrine of Karni Mata can be found in the town of Deshnoke 30 km south from Bikaner on the road to Jodhpur. Karni Mata is worshiped as an incarnation of Goddess Durga.

 Shiv Bari Temple

Built from red sandstone by Dungar Singh in the late 19th century, the temple is surrounded by a wall with battlements. It has a four faced black marble statue of Shiva and a bronze Nandi facing the Shiva Lingam. There are also two large reservoirs of water known as bawaris. The temple attracts thousands of visitors during Shravan (August) especially on Mondays.

Was this information helpful? Yes No
Comments (0)