Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum Bikaner : Recently, I thought of checking out Ganga golden jubilee museum in Bikaner with my friends. This museum was established in 1937 as a palace. However, later after independence it came under the administration of the Indian Government. This museum has a huge collection of Rajasthani artifacts such as coins paintings, sculpture etc.
The Jaisalmer fort was undoubtedly the major attraction of Rajasthan and we couldn’t afford to miss it at any cost. The Jaisalmer fort was considered to be one of the most famous forts across the globe and situated in the Jaisalmer city of Rajasthan. The fort was constructed in the year 1156 AD and the then Rajput ruler known as Rao Jaisal was given the credit for doing so. We discovered that the fort had got its name from the creator. The fort stood tall on the Trikuta Hill which was close to the Thar Desert.
The fort had been the witness to plenty of battles and its color was really amazing. During the day the color of the sandstone walls was similar to that of the lion and with sunset, the color changed to honey gold. And I was correct because I learnt that many people name the structure as the “Golden Fort” due to that reason. The fort was seriously one of the most overwhelming forts out of the remaining sites that we had visited till then.
The major attractions of the whole fort were the Royal palaces, locally known as the Raj Mahals. The four massive gateways were really amazing. The havelis were also quite famous and they depicted the true heritage of the place. The havelis were some hundreds of years old and we could see exclusive designs and structures inside them.
Many structures were decorated with ornaments and the havelis were equipped with a large number of rooms, doors and extended balconies. The constructors had taken care of all the requirements of the fort which also possessed a good drainage system. We learnt that during the rainy season the water could be drained off in four directions without creating any water lock within the fort. But with the rise of roads and other hazards in the recent years, the effectiveness of the drainage system had reduced a great deal.
Inside the Jaisalmer fort, we could find lots of eateries which included cuisines belonging to Italian, French and Indian styles. The local residents informed us that the fort was also used for shooting various local as well as Bollywood movies.
Camel Research Farm Bikaner : It is rare to find a camel farm. However, we got a chance to visit an amazing camel research farm during our Bikaner trip. A unique research center concentrates on camel breeding. At this centre, one can indulge in unique activities such as tasting ice cream made of camel milk. A visit to camel farm was a memorable experience.
After having a great time at the fort of Jaisalmer, we headed towards the Desert National Park, which was situated in the outskirts of Jaisalmer. The park was one of the largest national parks in India and covered an area of 3162 square kilometres. The national park was the perfect replica of the varied ecosystem present in India. The famous Thar Desert was close and we could feel the heat easily. We learnt that sand dunes from the desert surrounded the park nearly 20 percent of the time. The main landforms consisted of rocks, salt bottoms and few fixed dunes which were good enough. Though the surroundings were hot, the wide range of birds mesmerized us.
The region was full of different kinds of birds like eagles, harriers, kestrels and vultures. There were also some sand grouses that were spotted in the ponds and lakes which were near the park. This place was one of the favourite picnic spots for the local people and capable of drawing plenty of tourists every year.
The national park was rich in flora and fauna. Some commonly found plants included palm trees, dhok and ronj. Some of the animals that could be spotted inside the park inlcuded desert cat, chinkara, fox and black buck. The reptiles found were Russel viper, lizards which were accompanied by few other species which were unknown to us. I captured the images of all the interesting animals and birds that could be viewed by us.
We were so mesmerized in the charm of the place that we didn’t realize we had forgotten to take our lunch. All of us were extremely hungry and we went to a restaurant for consuming the traditional Rajasthani dishes. We knew that the traditional meals were prepared using different kinds of spices and all of them impressed me as I was a big lover of tasty dishes.
We knew that we could visit a few more attractive places around the national park which constituted the famous Gadsisar Lake and the sand dunes which were the trademark of Rajasthan. We left the place with a great impression about the rare animals which we saw in the Desert national park.
After spending unforgettable time in the sanctuary, we reached the famous Deshnok temple, Bikaner which was also known as the Karni Mata Temple. We knew that the temple was famous for black rats of different sizes that had filled each and every corner in the temple compound.
The temple was named after the place and built between the 15th and 20th century by the then ruler of Rajasthan, Maharaja Ganga Singh. The basic design of the temple followed the style of the Mughals and the Rajputs.
The temple was situated at a distance of 30 kilometres from Bikaner and was famous for black rats of various types. It was believed that around 20,000 odd rats had made it their home. We thanked the local people that they did not dare to push the rats out of the temple. The rats were considered to be holy and were known as the kabbas. We learnt that many people had travelled long distances to pay their respect to these rats. The local people informed that many people from different parts of the world visited the temple sometimes in order to see such a huge number of rats living together at a single place.
The designs inscribed on the walls of the temple were superb and were one of the major attractions of the place. The marble facade and silver doors, which were built by Maharaja Ganga Singh, depicted the high quality of the architecture that was used at the time of construction. We learnt that it was only a few years back that the government had taken the initiative and renovated the temple as they realized that it was the centre of attraction for many nationals as well as international tourists. Some white rats, which were believed to be the sons of Karni Mata, were also present inside the temple. We saw many people offering food to those holy rats.
The Deshnok temple, Bikaner held an important position in the hearts of the Indians, especially those living in the west. We saw a large number of followers who had visited the temple that day in order to show their respect to the goddess and the rats.
Nathmalji Ki Haveli Jaisalmer : Nathmalji ki haveli is amongst the most visited places in Jaisalmer. This palace was built for Diwan Mohata Nathmal. The fort is a perfect example of Rajasthani architecture. The designs engraved in the forts are depicts the story and culture of Rajasthan. Hence, it is the must visit destination in jaisalmer.
From the Junagarh Fort we reached the Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner, which was built by Sir Ganga Singh Maharaja. The palace was built in the period between the years 1902 and 1926 and the building was a masterpiece in terms of architecture. The sculptures and designs inside the building impressed us a lot. The main attraction of the structure was that it was built in the Indo- Saracenic style which made it extremely amazing innovative. The architecture was quite similar to a style which belonged to that of the Europeans, Mughals and the Rajputs. Though the main Palace was in Junagarh, the then Maharaja decided to build a palace in memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh. That had resulted in the establishment of the Lalgarh Palace. Presently a portion of the palace was a hotel and run by a trust which was under Rajyashree Kumari, the princess at that time.
The entire plan of the building was made by a British designer named Samuel Swinton Jacob. Initially the palace was planned to be built within 1 million rupees in the Indian currency but later on, all the cost cutting measures were removed out of the plan. Approximately 1 million rupees was spent for the establishment of the first wing only. The building was designed with finely carved stones and all the finest materials in the world.
It was due to these factors that led to the high cost of the building. The three storey building was covered with red sandstone which was specially extracted from the Thar Desert. The palace had a sufficient number of complexes which consisted of drawing rooms, massive halls, dining rooms, smoking rooms and many more. The Darbar Hall had an interior swimming pool and each and every building was carefully maintained. Some of them were specially hired for wedding functions and other parties.
The Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner was the perfect example of extremely well-designed buildings for which India was famous. The amazingly constructed building stood tall on a massive base. The palace was open for visitors and we were accompanied by many foreign travellers as well.
After visiting all the famous places in Bikaner we headed towards the hotel Vrindavan regency, Bikaner at which we had booked three rooms before beginning our journey. This was because we found out that it was one of the best hotels available in Rajasthan after reading reviews and ratings related to the same from the internet. After having a great time at some of the most amazing destinations across Bikaner, we were dying to relax at the hotel. We were welcomed warmly by the manager of the hotel and he had guided us to the respective rooms after we had filled in some details in the register. The hotel had a beautifully decorated lawn and resembled the traditional Rajasthani havelis and forts. It was equipped with many other facilities like massage centres, gyms, spa centres, etc. After the extremely tiresome day, I, along with some of my friends, preferred to go for massage. I remember that I had thanked the workers at the massage centres for their service since it had enabled me to boost my energy again.
The interior of the hotel depicted the designs which were a replica of those that we had seen in the famous forts and palaces. The manager informed us that they served some of the most unique and tastiest dishes in the world and invited us to the restaurant. After a bath, all of us went to the restaurant where we found waiter serving various dishes after being dressed up in the traditional Rajasthani style. After having dinner, we went to our respective beds and had a chat regarding our entire experience about the trip. Though some of my friends went to sleep early, I decided to jot down my experience on my personal diary. I woke up at 7am the next morning and the manager greeted all of us with tea. Before leaving the hotel, I had thanked the manager of hotel Vrindavan regency, Bikaner for the immense hospitality shown by him and his employers. We went to the station in a car and boarded the train which was headed for our homes back in Kolkata.
Excellent Art Work In Bhandasar Jain Temple Bikaner : When it comes to Rajasthani art, no district can beat the potential of lies within the people of Bikaner. The city consist of various temples, forts, handicraft markets that could symbols the art of Rajasthan. ONe such example of Excellent Rajasthani artwork is the Bhandasar jain temple in Bikaner.
After leaving the famous Lalgarh Palace, we headed towards the Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary, Bikaner, which was situated at a distance of around 30 kilometres away from the city. The place was famous for its greeneries in the surrounding areas. The local people had a belief that the Maharajas of Bikaner used to visit the place for hunting in ancient times. The rulers and Maharajas of ancient times loved hunting different kinds of animals and kept their skin, head, horns, teeth or other body parts as a symbol of their prize. During their leisure hours, they used to visit this place which was once a dense forest and hunted wild animals. There was a lake inside the sanctuary and we saw different kinds of animals which came there to drink water, especially during the summer season. Now the area was under the control of the forest department who were planning on a project for the reintroduction of cheetahs after getting the required permissions from the state government.
The sanctuary enabled us to experience flora and fauna in different forms and we collected valuable information about different kinds of plants and animals. The forest officials informed us that animals like wild boar, nilgai, antelope, deer, chinkara, wild fowl, black buck and fox were still present inside the Gajner wildlife sanctuary, Bikaner. However, we got to see only some of them.
We also went near the lake which had a unique appeal of its own. After spending some quality time in the sanctuary, it was time to move on to our next destination which was the Deshnok temple. I, along with my friends, was extremely excited to catch a glimpse of some of the most unique animals and birds in the world. Some of my friends had captured pictures of the dangerous animals and colourful birds that were visible. We had decided to leave the sanctuary early instead of waiting for the forest officials to help us in watching some of the animals as we had to cover many famous sites that day. Our next destination was situated in the outskirts of the city as well.
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A big hello to everyone here... I am 'the' Geeta Sharma, a young, vibrant, and fun-loving girl from Agra. As a kid, tall buildings always inspired me and now as I type, I myself have attained a master’s degree in Architecture and am working on several projects in and around my city. Whenever I feel taxed of my job, I find a way out in the nature, my second habitat for obvious reasons! Meditation, camping, and photography are activities for which Mother Nature inspires me! On my way back, I also make it a point to get my mind and body relaxed at nearby spa centres. That is about me and you will find much more in detail with regular blogs and updates from me. So stay tuned and sit tight for new experiences every day!