Hin: बीकानेर bikānēr

‘Bika’s Grove’  [Bikanagar]  City/District,  Rajasthan

From Bika and Skt: nagar(a)ner, ‘town, ‘settlement’.

Rao Bika, one of Rao Jodha’s sons, the founder of Jodhpur, built Bikaner in the 15thC in an arid wilderness called Jangladesh [ Hin: jangala, ‘desert’, ‘wilderness’; deśa, ‘country’] Failing to inherit land or title from his father he established his own kingdom here.

Bikaner is an oasis in the middle of the Thar Desert on the trade route from Central Asia. Bika’s fort in 1478 is now in ruins. Another fort, Junagarh [ Hin: juna/jūrṇa, ‘old’; and gaṛḥ, ‘(hill) fort’], was built in the 16thC and the modern city developed around it.

In 1902 General Maharaja Ganga Singh moved his main residence to Lalgarh Palace [Hin: lāl, ‘red’; Hin: gaṛḥ, ‘fort’].

Bikaner is now the fourth largest city in Rajasthan, irrigated and watered by the Ganges and Indira Gandhi canals.

For related place names see Indian Place names and Rajasthan place names.


Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner    Madelon van de Water Noledam