Karan Singh, who ruled from 1631 to 1639, under the suzerainty of the Mughals, built the Karan Mahal palace. Later rulers added more floors and decorations to this Mahal. Anup Singh, who ruled from 1669 to 1698, made substantial additions to the fort complex, with new palaces and the Zenana quarter, a royal dwelling for women and children. He refurbished the Karan Mahal with a Diwan-i-Am (public audience hall) and called it the Anup Mahal. Gaj Singh, who ruled from 1746 to 1787 refurbished the Chandra Mahal (the Moon palace). During the 18th century, there was internecine war between the rulers of Bikaner and Jodhpur and also amongst other thakurs, which was put down by British troops. Following Gaj Singh, Surat Singh ruled from 1787 to 1828 and lavishly decorated the audience hall (see illustration) with glass and lively paintwork.
Under a treaty of paramountcy signed in 1818, during Surat Singh's reign, Bikaner came under the suzerainty of the British, after which the Maharajas of Bikaner invested heavily in refurbishing Junagarh fort. Left: Lalgarh Palace, built (Indo-Saracenic style) for Maharaja Ganga Singh and named after his father, presently a heritage hotel and also a residence of the Bikaner Royal Family. Right: Ganga Singh as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet at No. 10 Downing Street, 1917. Dungar Singh, who reigned from 1872 to 1887, built the Badal Mahal, the 'weather palace', so named in view of a painting of clouds and falling rain, a rare event in arid Bikaner.
Ganga Singh's son, Lieutenant-General Sir Sadul Singh, the Yuvaraja of Bikaner, succeeded his father as Maharaja in 1943, but acceded his state to the Union of India in 1949. Maharaja Sadul Singh died in 1950, being succeeded in the title by his son, Karni Singh (1924-1988). The Royal Family still lives in a suite in Lalgarh Palace, which they have converted into a heritage hotel.
Karni Matafair, Deshnoke, Bikaner
Kapil Muni fairKapil Muni Fair is also known as Kolayat Mela.
Punarasar FairThis fair is held at punarasar village of Bikaner. The village is named after lord Hanuman who is considered the god of power, knowledge, health and wealth. Hindus of Bikaner and its adjoining cities head towards this holy village twice (Sarad purnima & Bhaadava) in a year and celebrate this pious occasion with lot of offerings to Punarasar baba. Devotees who approach this holy occasion (following the path between hamlets) are served with food and refreshment by the gathering of another devotees. This fair is considered must visit among local public of Bikaner hence a very long queue (more than 5 km) of devotees is witnessed at this occasion before the temple. Punarasar temple is situated closer to highway leads to Jaipur that's why this highway is known as Punarasar highway too!
Kodamdesar MelaKodamdesar mela is celebrated in the village of Kodamdesar 20 km far from bikaner where the temple of lord bhairoon is situated. This temple have no roof for covering the statue of bhairoon nath. Chura and Surdashani purohit are the casts who have utmost faith upon kodamdesar bahiroon.
Kolayat MelaKolayat Mela is celebrated in the month of November every year. Kolayat is situated around 50KM away from Bikaner-Jaisalmer Highway.
- Siyana Bhairoon mela : This fair is known for the utmost celebration by Hindu casts Ojha, Bhadani, chhangani and derasri. Devotees from this community along with others reach siyana village of bikaner by cart, buses, car, bike and on feet. Siyana village is known for the temple of lord bhiroon who is believed to bless all amenities to his devotees they prayed for.
Camel festivaleach January the state government organises a camel festival with camel races, various cultural events and a fire dance performed by the Sidh people.
Aksaye Tritya or "AKKHA TEEJ"the foundation day of Bikaner. This was the day when Rao Bika laid the foundation of the new empire. Every year on this day people from across the social spectrum enjoy themselves by flying kites or "CHANDA". They also enjoy a special meal, such as "Khichra and Imlani".
ParyushanThe biggest festival of Jain community is celebrated with utmost fervour and dedication in the city in the Bhadrapad month of Hindu calendar. The temples are lavishly decorated. Spiritual ceremonies and fasting are seen everywhere in the city.
Kartik PoornimaThe Jain community takes out a huge procession on this day consisting of paintings, palki of tirthankar and musical bands. It traverses all the areas inhabited by Jains. Local bhajan mandalis or Spiritual Bands perform with great excitement on this occasion. This festivity is unparalleled in India.
RammatRammat is a marwadi word which stands for "PLAY". Rammat is performed in adjoining days of Holi at Bhattron ka chowk, Barah Guwar, Bisso ka chowk etc. local actors portray the role of ancient legends like Dhola Marwaani, Amarsingh Rathod . Rammat starts in midnight and get finished in the dawn with the pray of goddess . Localite take delight to participate in the chorus and spread different color over the crowd present there . Rammat of Harsh & Vyas attract huge crowd owing to its distinctive nature of water play. Both community member of harsh & Vyas get themselves loaded there area with water tank and they hit each other with water with help of leather made jug . The one who loose water early face the defeat ! However it is a fixed game since inception of this game vyas are declared the winner that too cordially, then also huge crowd turn up at the site and cheer their favorite team with full of passion .
PataPata is a wooden made giant sized square shaped couch on which people sit and chat. Pata was formed with intention to bring people together and discuss different issues on the daily basis. Nowadays Patas have become spot of pure entertainment and gossip