The Junagarh Fort was built around 1590 AD by Rulers of Bikaner Estate. Its temples and palaces are preserved as museums and provide insight into the grandiose living style of the past Maharanas of Rajasthan.
Laxmi Niwas Palace
The Laxmi Niwas Palace is a former residential palace built by Maharajah Ganga Singh, the ruler of the former state of Bikaner. It was designed by the British architect, Samuel Swinton Jacob in the year 1902. The style of architecture is Indo-Saracenic. It is now a luxury Heritage hotel owned by the royal family of Bikaner.
Rao Bikaji’s Fort
Rao Bikaji’s first fort, built in 1478 is now in ruins. A hundred years later a new fort was built about 1.5 km from the city centre, named Junagarh Fort.
Karni Mata Temple
The Karni Mata (करणी माता) Temple or the Rat Temple of Rajasthan is situated around 30 km away from the Bikaner city and is dedicated to Karni Mata, a famous mystic of her times, believed to be an incarnation of goddess Durga. The locals will be quick to point out that the creatures running around in the temple are not rats, they are kaabe (plural, kaaba singular). Kaabe 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.
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.
Mukam Bishnoi Temple
The Mukam Temple can be found in nearby Nokha. The Mukam is a holy place of 29 rules of followers of Bishnois. Bishnoi sect was founded by Guru Jambeshwar. Bishnois are quite protective of nature. Mukam Temple is the place where the soul of guru Jambeshwar lies.
Built by Maharaja Rao Lunakaran, Shri Laxminath Temple is one of the oldest temples in Bikaner and just 4 kilometres away from the famous Junagarh Fort. Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi, grace the sacred sanctum of the temple. The most exquisite artwork inside the temple apart from the shrines is the doorway which is embellished in silver work. Festivals like Janmashtmi, Nirjala Ekadashi, Rama Navami, Diwali and Gita Jayanti are majorly celebrated at the temple.
Bhandasar Jain Temple
Bhandasar Jain Temple is known for its beautiful leaf paintings, frescoes and ornamented mirror work. This temple was constructed by Bhandasa Oswal in the 15th century. This temple is constructed using red sandstone with beautiful paintings on walls and pillars of the sanctum and mandapa. The temple is dedicated to the 5th Tirthankara sumatinatha. The temple consist of garbhagriha, antarala, mahamandapa and ardhamandapa.
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