The desert town Bikaner is situated in the heart of the Thar Desert in the northern part of Rajasthan, India.
Bikaner was founded in 1488 by a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur named Rao Bhikaji. The city is encircled by high fortifications comprising a 7 km long wall which bounds the old city and has 5 entrances. All these were established in the 18th century. Bikaner, the sprawling desert city of Rajasthan is an interesting site of traditional Rajasthani attractions, well-fed camels and citadels. This camel country is also famous for its exotic camel safaris, its gorgeous forts and the worship of thousands of holy rats at Mata Kali temple.
It was was founded by Rao Bhikaji in 1488 A.D.. Bikaner is famous for its historical background, forts & palaces, wild life sanctuary and above all Bikaner has the world's largest Camel research and breeding farm.
The main shopping area lies around Kote Gate (King Edward Memorial Road) and Junagarh Fort which has interesting bazaars.
Bikaner has attained popularity for items stitched out of camel hide which includes belts, wallets, bags, and jutties (footwear) etc. Also check out the Khadi Emporium at Mahatma Gandhi Road for local blankets, rugs, carpets, wood carvings and lacquer work. Camel and sheep wool woven carpets and woolen items can also be purchased from here.
Leather products, handicraft items, miniature paintings, bangles, jewellery and traditional Bikanari Bhujia and sweets are some of the major shopping items. Government Khadi Emporium, Rani Bazzar, Station Road and bazzars near the Kote Gate and Junagarh Fort are some of the main shopping places.
The climate of Bikaner is extreme with high temperature difference and low rainfall. The ideal time to visit the city is during the winter months from October to March.
Bikaner has got an extreme desert type of climate with high temperatures during the day and cool to chilly nights. The best season to visit Bikaner is between October and March/April when it's at its coolest.
Bikaner situated in the midst of thar desert with very little rainfall and extreme temperatures. In summer temprature exceeds 45 °C and during winter it dips to freezing point. The coordinates for Bikaner, India are 28°3'N, 73°12'E, and its altitude is 750 ft.
Lallgarh Palace : This palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh. It is a beautifully designed & made up of red sandstone and has has a perfect blend of Rajput, Mughal and the European style architecture. The palace also houses wonderful paintings & hunting trophies. It has some exqusite latticework and filigree work. it is must visit spot.
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum : This museum house the collection of best teracottaware, weapons, miniature paintings & coins.
Junagarh Fort : This fort was built by Raja Raj Singh. It have beautiful palaces & temples.
Prachina Museum : Located in the wonderful Junagarh Fort, the museum houses regal costumes and antiques. Its a must visit spot to vitness the royal lifestyle of the royal family of Bikaner.
Bhandeswari Jain Temple : It is the most oldest temple of Bikaner, it has wonderful rich mirror work, frescoes and gold leaf paintings.
Camel Research Farm : The farm is just 8 kms away from Bikaner. It covers an area of 2000 acres & is the world's largest Camel research & Breeding center.
Gajner Palace : The lovely palace is located in the banks of a beautiful lake. Once it was the hunting lodge for the Royal Family of Bikaner. Now the beautiful palace is converted into a Grand heritage hotel, you can stay there like a king by paying a decent amount.
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Bikaner Fort - Bikaner
Lalgarh Palace - Bikaner
Hotel Gajner Palace - Bikaner
Hotel Laxmi Niwas Palace - Bikaner
Desert City - Bikaner
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary : The sanctuary is just 32 kms away from Bikaner. Its the perfect place for adventure lovers to spot the Nilgai, Chinkara, Black buck, Wild boar , flocks of imperial sand grouse and many more migratory birds. Jeep Safari with a guide is the best option to visit this wonderful sanctuary.
Kolyat : It is just 50 kilometres from Bikaner. It is a temple complex of Kolyat and a holy place of pilgrimage for Hindus. The complex has few temples, pavilions and ghats. A bath in the holy lake especially on Kartik Poornima (November) is considered incredibly fortunate.
Katariasar Village : It is just 45 kms away from Bikaner. This village is a must visit plaace if you want to experience the ethnic rural and cultural life of Rajasthan. Herds of chinkaras, desert fox, rabbits, peacocks, parrots and partridges are found in large quantity in this area.
Karni Mata temple, Deshnok : The Deshnok village is located 32 kms away in the south of Bikaner. The place is famous for the Karni Mata temple. Karni Mata, considered as living form of Goddess Durga lived here in the fourteenth century and performed many miracles. You will spot hundreds of rats there, it is said that
Attractions and Places to Visit in Bikaner
Raised by Rai Singh during the period of 1588 to 1593, the Junagarh Fort has a 986 m long wall with 37 bastions, a moat and two entrances. It massive structure is very prominent in the city and can be seen from a distance. Its most unusual feature is that it was built at ground level and not on high ground. The fort and its palaces are elaborately defined with magnificent stone carvings. The major attractions within the fort contains the Anup Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas, Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Phool Mahal, Rang Mahal, Dungar Mahal, and Ganga Mahal.
The Lalgarh Palace built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the memory of his father is an architectural splendour in red sandstone. It is situated 3 kms north of Bikaner city. Designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, it has beautiful latticework and filigree work in sandstone. The palace is quite entirely imposing with overhanging balconies and delicate latticework. The gardens with wandering peacocks and blooming bougainvillea welcome the visitors to the palace.
The temple of Karni Devi is the most significant one as it is dedicated to the family deity of the royal house of Bikaner. The Bhandeshwar and Sandeshwar Jain Temples are dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Parsavnathji. Built in the 16th century by two brothers whose names they bear, these temples are distinct for their colourful murals and the abundant use of gold leaf and mirrors
How to Reach Bikaner
By Road : There are so many express buses to/from Udaipur, Jaipur, Ajmer, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Agra & Delhi.
By Rail : There are few express trains to major destinations. The Jaipur-Bikaner Express leaves at 8:30 PM, it takes about 10 hours to reach Jaipur. The Intercity Express departs at 5 AM & reaches Jaipur at 11:55 PM. The Ranakpur Express leaves for Jodhpur at 9:35 AM, it takes about 5 1/2 hours. The Sarai Rohilla Express leaves at 7:45 PM & reaches Delhi at 6:40 AM.
By Air : Nearest airport :: Jodhpur Airport i.e. 256 Kms. There are daily fights to Delhi & Mumbai from Jodhpur.