History of Bikaner

The history of Bikaner dates back to the late 15th century when enraged and provoked by his father, Rao Bikaji quit the palace in Marwar and established the kingdom of Bikaner in the midst of the desert surroundings. The prince fortified his kingdom in the year 1488. Since then, the city and the region has grown to be one of the reputed and richest kingdoms in the state of Rajasthan.

It was the prophecy of Karni Mata who is believed to have foretold a lot about Bikaner. The Goddess prophesied the establishment of the kingdom founded by Rao Bikaji. The forthcoming kingdom was destined to be greater than that of his father Rao Jodhaji who was the founder of the kingdom of Jodhpur. Rao Bikaji, who was the descendant of the Rathore clan of the Rajputs, left his father's kingdom with a small contingent of 100 cavalrymen and 500 soldiers. The strategic location of the kingdom on the routes of the caravans brought great prosperity to the trading community of the kingdom.

In the first few years of the kingdom, the Rajput king was in constant conflict with the powerful Bhati clan. The conflicts were resolved when Rao Bika married the daughter of the Bhati chief, Rao Shekha. The kingdom of Bikaner maintained cordial relations with the Mughals. In the 19th century, the kingdom provided Bikaner camels to the British army who got involved in the war with the Afghans.

Bikaner was also the first kingdom in the desert state of Rajasthan to introduce electricity. The economy of the kingdom facilitated with the presence of the Ganga Canal that was established by Maharaja Ganga Singh. The camel corps of Bikaner are well reputed and participate in the Republic Day parade in the capital city, Delhi.

British Rule in Bikaner

With the decline of he Mughal rule, began the British Rule in Bikaner. The rule of the British in Bikaner is an important part of the history of Bikaner as it is the witness to the growth of the city in infrastructure and economy.

The British rule in the city of Bikaner ended with the downfall of the British empire in the country. Bikaner was one of the first princely states of the country to accede to the Union of India. Bikaner was made a part of the state of Rajasthan with the end of the British rule.

The rulers of Bikaner severed cordial alliances with the Mughal dynasty that ruled from the capital city of Delhi. With the death of Aurangazeb began the slow downfall of the Mughal dynasty. The pomp and glory that the city of Bikaner enjoyed during the rule of the Mughals declined in the interim period till the arrival of the British. The Maratha rulers were not able to traverse the difficult terrain of the desert in which the city of Bikaner was located.

It was the British who approached the kingdom of Bikaner, which signed a treaty of perpetual friendship with the British company in the year 1818. The exertions of the British colonial rule turned the princely kingdom of Bikaner into a mere colony of the British. The economy of the city of Bikaner profited during the Afghan Wars when the king of Bikaner provided the British troops with a regular supply of camels who could conveniently traverse the deserts and carry loads for the British.

As a result of the growth of the economy with the Afghan War, the city of Bikaner became the first to introduce electricity in the year 1866. The economic prosperity of Bikaner also allowed it to build a strong police force. The glorious rule of the valiant princes in the city of Bikaner came to an end when the princely state acceded to become a part of the Union of India.

Last Updated on 08/1/2013



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