Bikaner in northern Indian state of Rajasthan , 330 kms from Jaipur was the capital of former princely state of Bikaner. Founded by Rathore ruler Rao Bika in 1488 was in the Thar Desert and was considered an oasis on the trade route between Central Asia and the Gujrat Coast as it had adequate spring water. Rao Bika was the first son of Maharaja Rao Jodha , the founder ofo Jodhpur and conquered the largely arid country in the north of Rajasthan. As the first son of Jodha he wanted to have his own kingdom, not inheriting Jodhpur from his father or the title of Maharaja. He therefore decided to build his own kingdom in what is now the state of Bikaner.
Junagarh Fort in Bikaner is one of the forts in Rajasthan which is not built on hilltop. The fort was constructed in parts during the rules of different rulers. However, the present grand structure of the fort was established in 1589. The fort houses number of palaces , temples , balconies are constructed in different architectural style influenced by the cultural differences of the different rulers and also foreign inspirations. Junagarh Fort stands with all its regal glory as an epitome of architectural brilliance. The exquisite fort attract thousands of tourists from all over every year.
Karni Mata Temple or Rat Temple is around 30 kms from the Bikaner city and is dedicated to Karni Mata, a famous mystic of her times, believed to be an incarnation of goddess Durga. Thousands of rats inside the temple are believed to be are believed to be reincarnations of humans who had been devotees of Karni Mata, and the brevity of human life did not sufficiently satisfy their devotion.
Laxmi Vilas Palace is a former residential palace built by Maharajah Ganga Singh, the ruler of the former state of Bikaner. It was designed in style of Ind0-Saracenic architecture by the British architect in 1902. It is now a luxury Heritage hotel owned by the royal family of Bikaner.