The city was founded in 1486 as a link in the overland trading route, by Bika , one of fourteen sons of Rao Jodha, the Rathore king who established Jodhpur as the centre of the state of Marwar. Two emissaries he had sent in search of a site for his new capital had met a shepherd called Ner (whence the town's name) who claimed to have watched one of his sheep fend off seven wolves under a khair bush; the spot was selected in the belief it would inspire courage in the people who lived there. Under Rai Singh, who came to the throne in 1573, Junagarh Fort was built and closer ties were forged with the Moghuls; Rai Singh gave his daughter in marriage to one of Akbar's sons. Later, during the fifty-six-year reign of Ganga Singh in the early 1900s, new agricultural schemes, irrigation work, town planning and the construction of a rail link with Delhi helped Bikaner's economic advance; it has long since outgrown the confines of the city wall, and the population has tripled in size since 1947 to almost half a million.It was, however, a major trade centre as it stood on the ancient caravan route which linked central Asia and North India with the Gujarat seaports. While other cities of Rajasthan are rich in lakes and pleasure pavilions, Bikaner seems quite bare in that respect. This desert town in the north of the state was founded on 1488 by Rao bika, a descendant of Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur. Bikaner has a superb fort, camel safaris and 30 kms to the south is the extraordinary Karni Mata temple where thousands of holy rats are worshipped.
It has got extreme desert type of climate with high temperature difference and low rainfall. The best season to visit Bikaner between October and March. Also during any festival period its a real pleasure to visit this city