Bikaner (bĭkənērˈ) [key], former native state, NW India. The state is now part of Rajasthan state. The region, almost entirely in the Thar desert, raises sheep and camels, spins and weaves wool, and mines coal. The city of Bikaner (1991 pop. 416,289), the capital of the former state, was founded in 1488. Manufactures include glass, pottery, shoes, chemicals, and electrical products. There are several beautiful 16th-century Rajput palaces and five colleges affiliated with the Univ. of Rajasthan.