(Last Updated on : 27/11/2014)
Temples of Bikaner
represent the ancient glory of this Indian city
located in the north-western portion of Rajasthan
, which involve Vaishnavite
and Hindu temples
. Bikaner is dotted with numerable temples, which make it an ideal tourist destination including the concept of pilgrimage tourism. Versatile architectural styles and popular motifs enhance the aesthetic value of these religious centres, which are existent since centuries. Laxmi Nath Temple, Bhandasar Jain Temple
, Karni Mata Temple
, Shiv Bari Temple and Maru Nayak ji Temple are some of the renowned temples present in the city of Bikaner.
Laxmi Nath Temple
Believed to be amongst the oldest temples of Bikaner, Laxmi Nath Temple had been established by Rao Bikaji in the year 1488, during the regime of Rao Lunkaran. Maharaja Ganga Singh
had added further modifications to this temple whose presiding deities are Lord Vishnu
and Goddess Lakshmi
. One would be amazed by the magnificent architectural grandeur of this temple.
Karni Mata Temple
The globally acclaimed Karni Mata Temple is situated at a distance of nearly 30 kms away from the southern portion of Deshnoke town which is based on the road which leads to Jodhpur
. Devotees worship Karni Mata as a divine avatar of Goddess Durga
. One of the interesting aspect of this temple is the presence of about 20, 000 rats in the temple premises, as well as white rats or 'kabba' which are considered more sacred, and revered as manifestations of Karni Mata and her four sons. It was built by king Ganga Singh of Bikaner during the 20th century.
Shiv Bari Temple
Shiv Bari Temple is a beautiful temple fortified with walls, built during the latter part of the 19th century with the aide of red sandstone, by Dungar Singh
. The chief attractions are the bronze statue of Nandi
and also the four-faced marble statue belonging to Lord Shiva
. The Nandi statue is placed in a manner such that it faces towards the Shiva Lingam
. 'Bawaris' or two giant reservoirs exist in the temple which attract the maximum pilgrims in the month of 'Shravana
' or August, particularly during Mondays.
Nagnechiji Temple is a royal family temple of the Rajputs
belonging to the Rathore
Dynasty, and is historically significant. The presiding deity of Nagnechiji Temple is a Goddess
equipped with 18 arms, each holding weapons, and the idol is believed to have been introduced in the temple by Rao Bikaji from Jodhpur, following his victory over the then ruler of the area.
Maru Nayak Ji Temple
Erected during 1486, Maru Nayak Ji Temple was the oldest Vaishnava temple
of Bikaner and is believed to have been the principal seat of the Vaishnavas. The idol of Lord Moolnayak Krishna
is present in the temple grounds. It was in Maru Nayak Ji Temple that the ideals of Bhagavad Gita
had been preached to the Maharaja of Bikaner by Bhagvad Katha Vachakas belonging to the clan of Shri Rattoji Vyas.
Shri Kolayatji Temple
Shri Kolayatji Temple is located in a famous holy spot called 'Kolayat
' dedicated to Goddess Kapila
who is said to have been engaged in meditation
near the lake
. The temple draws a vast quantity of devotees one week prior to the Pushkar Festival
, who continues to assemble at the temple grounds even till a week later. Some 'sadhus
' or Indian saints
can be observed wandering around the temple during this time.
Bhandasar Jain Temple
Amongst the 27 Jain temple of Bikaner, the Bhandasar Jain Temple is dedicated to Sumatinath
, the fifth Jain Tirthankara
and is believed to be one of the most spectacular temples of the region. A merchant known as Bhanda Shah had constructed the temple with red sandstone and dry coconut
s and pure ghee
laid the foundations of Bhandasar Jain Temple. 'Usta
' art and beautiful wall paintings
embellish the interiors of this pilgrimage spot. The temple consists of three floors and the distant horizons of Bikaner can be admired if one climbs onto the highest floor of the temple. It was built during 1540 AD.
Mukti Dham Mukam is a revered sacred place for the Bishnois
who are respected for their benevolence towards Mother Nature and wildlife. Bishnois are concentrated in a large quantity in the city of Bikaner and Mukam Temple is situated in Mukam village
which falls under the jurisdiction of Nokha tehsil, Bikaner District which is about 80 km away from Bikaner city. Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity of Mukam Temple who is said to be the founder of the sect of Bishnois.