Bikaner also known as ‘camel country’ was founded by a Rajput prince Rao Bika Ji in 1488 AD. Camels of this city are known for their exceptional quality. National Research Centre on Camel here, is involved in research and breeding of various camel species. The city still has characteristics of rich Rajput culture evident in its architecture. Junagarh Fort built by Raja Rai Singh is a formidable structure surrounded by a water moat. Legend holds that crocodiles were bred in the moat during the olden days. Anup Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Ganga Maha and the fort museum are a few other attractions located inside the fort. Made from rustic red sandstone is the Lalgarh palace which is also surrounded by lush lawns with beautiful peacocks. The palace also houses the world’s fourth largest private library.
One of the oldest temples in Bikaner is Shri Lakshminath Temple known for its paintings and sculptures. Jain Temple is another exemplar of intricate Rajputana craft incorporating a fine blend of red sandstone and marble. Deshnok Karni Mata Mandir is a unique temple due to the presence of hundreds of rats in its compounds. The rats are considered sacred as they are believed to be the incarnation of Karni Mata and her children. Ganga Government museum is one of the best in the country. It showcases ancient coins, clay pottery and artwork.