Bikaner, the royal city of Rajasthan, is also referred as the ‘Camel City’. This beautiful city is situated in the heart of the golden desert of Rajasthan whose history is dated back to 15th century. This city is said to be situated on the route that used to link the ancient trade routes of Western, Central Asia and North India with the Gujarat seaports.
The kingdom of Bikaner was founded in 1488 A.D by the Prince of Rathore, Rao Bikaji who was the founder of Jodhpur. The early history of Bikaner is that the boundaries of Bikaner were ruled by the Jat dynasty.
Around 1465, Rao Bika, the junior son of Rao Jodha King of Marwar left Marwar due to a comment made by his father. His father challenged him to establish a city of own and he accepted the challenge. With 500 soldiers, 100 cavalrymen and accompanied with his uncle Rawat Kandhal this Rathor Rajput walked away to form his own kingdom and chose a wild country named as ‘ Jangladesh’ as his territory.
In 1485, he was able to set up his own territory “Bikaner” taking the advantages of the internal rivalries of Jat clans. In the same year, he built a small fort named as Rati Gati. Seeing the growing power of Rao Bika the neighboring territories became cautious. Bhati, the neighboring chief, was more watchful. These two kingdoms Bhati and Bika were in constant conflict.
Gradually, the rivalry between Bhati and Bika came to an end all because of Karni Mata whom Rao Bika met when he left Marwar. Karni Mata who later became the Kuldevi of Rao Bika influenced Rao Shekha, Bhati chief of Pugal to tie a knot between his daughter and Rao Bika. This matrimonial alliance made Bika a powerful king of the region.
Bikaner had a pleasant relation with the Mughals during the reign of Akbar. As Akbar came to power, Raja Rai Singh the sixth ruler of Bikaner was the first Rajput ruler who made a matrimonial alliance with the Mughals. He tied the knot of his daughter with Akbar.
In the 18th century, the history of Bikaner depicts that Bikaner was mainly in wars with Marwar which occurred now and then. In 1722, King of Marwar Abhai Singh invaded Bikaner. In 1739, Bikaner was saved after the interruption of Maharaja Sawai Singh of Jaipur. In 1746-87, a close alliance between the Bikaner and Jaipur led to peace with Marwar.