Built in 1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh, Junagarh is a fort in Bikaner. It was previously known as Chintamani Durg, but was named Junagarh fort in the beginning of the 20th century. It is one of the rare forts which are not built on a hill-top. The city of Bikaner is built around Junagarh Fort. There were repeated attacks on this fort in history but nobody could manage to bring the fort under their rule.
The architecture of the fort belongs to the Gujarati and Mughal style. Rajput style of architecture can also be seen in some parts of the fort. Junagarh fort also houses Chandra Mahal, Anup Mahal, Dungar Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Ganga Mahal and Deewan-e-Khaas. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the district.
Maharaja Ganga Singh built the Lalgarh palace in 1902 AD in memory of his late father Maharaja Lal Singh. The palace was designed by Sir Samuel Jacob and was made using red sandstone. The architecture of the palace includes European, Mughal and Rajput styles. The palace has a vastly spread lawn which has peacocks residing there. There is also a card room, a billiards room and a library housed in the palace.
The fort contributes a lot to the tourism of the State.
A lakeside palace built by Maharaja Ganga Singh, Gajner palace was used as a place of retreat after hunting by the royal family. The palace is made of red sandstone and houses a marvellous style of architecture. It is now converted into a heritage hotel with all modern facilities. It is located in the middle of a dense forest and visitors can enjoy the picturesque view of a lot of migratory birds from this place.
Bikaner Camel Safari
Another attraction in Bikaner is the famous Camel Safari which is organised by the Tourism Department of the State. The Safari comprises of taking the tourists to a ride on the camel back to visit the vast Thar desert. It also includes taking the tourists to the sunset point which is very famous in Bikaner.
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary
Located at a distance of around 32 km from Bikaner city, Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary was previously a hunting ground for the royal family. The sanctuary houses a beautiful lake as well. The lake also draws various avian species. The species which can be found in the sanctuary are deer, nilgai, black buck, wild boar, desert fox, antelope and wildfowl.
Ganga Singh Museum
Ganga Singh Museum was constructed by Maharaja Ganga Singh in 1937 AD. The museum is a famous tourist place and houses historical articles which prove that the civilisation existed even before the existence of Harappan times. The historic articles include weapons of the Rajput rulers, paintings, pottery etc.
Sadul Singh Museum
Sadul Singh Museum is another place of tourist attraction and is located on the second floor of Lalgarh palace.
Sadul Singh museum came into existence in 1972 AD and presently, houses a number of hunting trophies, Georgian paintings and rare artefacts. The museum also houses historical articles of the times of Maharaja Ganga Singh, Sadul Singh and Karni Singh.
The famous Jain temple of Bikaner was initiated by Bhandasa Oswal in 1468 AD. Based on Rajputana style of architecture, the construction of the temple was completed in 1514 AD. It is a marvellously built temple with sculpted pillars and gold leaf work. It is a three-storeyed building made of red sandstone and white marble.
In Bikaner district, near Nokha, there is a small town called Deshnok which is located at a distance of around 32 km from Bikaner city. The place is a pilgrimage centre of Karni Mata, who used to live here in the 14th century and dedicated her life for the upliftment of the poor of all communities. Deshnok temple is housed in this region.
Deshnok temple is also known by the name of Karni Mata Temple.
Is located 50 kilometres from Bikaner. It is a temple complex of Kolyat and a holy place of pilgrimage for Hindus. The legend has it that Kapil Muni, the advocate of Shankya yoga of the Hindu philosophy, while journeying towards northwest was struck by the tranquility and peace of this place and chose to perform tapasya (penance) here for the redemption of the world. This place has since acquired great sanctity. The complex has several temples, pavilions and bathing ghats. A dip in the holy waters of the lake especially on Kartik Poornima (November) is considered very auspicious.
Bikaner is situated in the north-west of Rajasthan and it can legitimately boast of some unique architectural marvels of India. It has an ancient fort unparallel in its splendour. It can boast of many attractions for anyone interested in culture or art or architecture. Apart from Junagarh fort, Jain temples like Bhandasar temple, Neminath temple, Adeshwar temple are simply adorable. Lallgarh Palace is built in Victorian style but its stone and wood carvings are typical combinations of Mughal and Rajput art developing a typical bikaneri flavor of architecture. Carvings find best expression in Bikaneri havelies. Havelies are marvels in home architecture. Such havelies or residential houses do not exist anywhere in the world. They are the pride of Bikaner, says great author and philosopher, Aldous Huxley. They are situated in narrow lanes in the old city. Splendid abodes can be seen in the midst of streets that look serpent like and peaceful. They are marvelous mansions made of red stone and stand magnificently.