The second largest state in Rajputana, Bikaner (Bikanir) was earlier known as Jangladesh. Founded in the 15th century, it became a part of British Raj in 1818 and persisted until India’s Independence in 1947.
Bikaner (Bikanir) State was founded by Bika, the sixth son of Rao Jodha who was the chief of Marwar. He was born in 1439 and at the age of twenty six accompanied his uncle Kandhal and his brother Bida to conquer Bikanir. The territory at that time was occupied partly by Rajput clans (Bhatis, Chahans, Mohils, Johiyas) partly by Muslims (Bhati Rajputs who converted to Islam) and partly by Jats. Bika was first opposed by Bhatis in the west, but by marrying the daughter of Rao of Pugal, he allied gained the support of one of the most powerful family in that region. He next came in contact with the Jats who were constantly quarreling with each other. The most powerful clan was of Godaras who were determined to conciliate the invader. Hence they voluntarily acknowledged the sovereignty of Bika. In 1485, Bika founded a small fort at the capital called Rati Ghati which still bears his name. In 1488 he began the building of the city itself.
Rao Bika died in 1504 and his successor gradually extended and consolidated their possessions. In 1541, Maldeo, the chief of Marwar and invaded the country. He slew the successor Rao Jait Singh and captured the fort. The fort was however retaken by the Bikaner troops in 1544. In this same year Kalyan Singh, son and successor of Jait Singh joined Sher Shah Suri who expelled the Mughal ruler Humayun in 1540. With Sher Shah Suri's support Kalyan Singh was able to recover his lost territories from Rao Maldev.