Bikaner (Rajasthan)

Bikaner is a beautiful city located on the edge of Thar Desert, in the Northern Rajasthan. It is famous for the old Havelies and world’s largest Camel Research Farm. The city was founded by Bika in 1486 AD; he was the son of Rao Jodha. It is also know as camel country and famous for the best riding camels in the world. The exotic camel safaris, its gorgeous forts and the worship of thousands of holy rats at Karni Mata temple are some of the most interesting aspects of Bikaner. The camel festival at Bikaner held in the month of January is also an event worth witnessing if one wants to get the actual color of the place.

You can witness here a rare Hindu and Mughal art is safely preserved. The old city is walled and consists of many intricately carved palaces and temples. The fort is remarkably well preserved. It was attacked many times but never conquered. Bikaner is popularly known as the Camel Country and famous for the camel races that are held here. Continue reading

Folk Music and Dance of Bikaner

Fire Dance of Bikaner

Bikaner is also famous for its rich cultural heritage of folk-lore, folk music & dance packed with fun, frolic, excitement and rituals. A unique attraction is the fire dance performed by the members of natt sect. The dancers possessed of some holy spirit, jump on live coals, sit on them and take fistful of these live embers in their mouth. This religious ceremony is celebrated twice every year in the month of Chaitra and Migsar. In nutshell Bikaner is the city where blazing sun creates illusion of shimmering lakes on the arid expanse. Continue reading

Tourist Attraction in Bikaner

Laxmi Nath Temple: Lakshmi Nath Temple is one of the oldest temples of Bikaner. The foundation of Bikaner was laid here in the year 1488 A.D. by Rao Bikaji. It being a historical monument has special identity. This temple was erected during the reign of Rao Lunkaran and boasts of the superb archeological skills of artists and artisans . It was later developed by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji. Statues of deities- Vishnu and Laxmi – have all along received the unwavering devotion of countless people through the last four and half centuries.

Junagarh Fort: The fort was built by Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner who reigned from 1571 to 1612. Rai Singh had conquered part of Marwar and had been granted territory in Gujurat and Burhanpur by the Mughal emperor Akbar as a reward for his services as military commander. This, as well as funding from Jodhpur, enabled him to build the fort. Rai Singh held high rank in the imperial courts of both Akbar and his successor, Jehangir. During his imperial service he travelled extensively, giving him an appreciation of art and architecture. These ideas have been incorporated meticulously into the architectural style of Junagarh Fort.

Lalgarh Palace: The palace was built between 1902 and 1926 according to Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles. The building was commissioned by Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881 – 1942) in memory of his father Maharaja Lall Singh and was designed by the British architect, Sir Swinton Jacob. It is coated in red sandstone and has several grand halls, lounges, cupolas and pavilions. The building features magnificent pillars, elaborate fire places, Italian colonnades and intricate latticework and filigree work. The palace houses the Shri Sadul Museum as well as the fourth largest library in the world. Though the Bikaner Royal Family still lives in the palace, part of the building has been converted into a hotel operated by the WelcomHeritage Group.

Excursions

Camel Research Centre: The National Research Centre on Camel, Bikaner is located in the Jorbeer area at a distance of about 10 km from Bikaner city. It was established on 5th July 1984. Prior to that the Centre was known as camel breeding farm under the aegis of college of Veterinary and Animal Science, Rajasthan Agricultural University, Bikaner. The Centre has the responsibility to conduct basic and applied research for the improvement of camel. The Centre has been identified as one of the important tourist place of Bikaner and is included in the tourist map of Rajasthan. The Centre has developed a camel museum which attracts the attention of researchers and tourist. Every year thousands of Foreign and Indian tourists visit the Centre.

Kolyatji: Kolyat is located 50 kilometres from Bikaner. It is a temple complex of Kolyat and a holy place of pilgrimage for Hindus. The legend has it that Kapil Muni the advocate of Shankya yoga of the Hindu philosophy while journeying towards northwest was struck by the tranquility and peace of this place and chose to perform tapasya (penance) here for the redemption of the world. This place has since acquired great sanctity. The complex has several temples, pavilions and bathing ghats. A dip in the holy waters of the lake especially on Kartik Poornima (November) is considered very auspicious.

Katariasar Village: It is located 50 kilometres from Bikaner. It is a temple complex of Kolyat and a holy place of pilgrimage for Hindus. The legend has it that Kapil Muni the advocate of Shankya yoga of the Hindu philosophy while journeying towards northwest was struck by the tranquility and peace of this place and chose to perform tapasya (penance) here for the redemption of the world. This place has since acquired great sanctity. The complex has several temples, pavilions and bathing ghats. A dip in the holy waters of the lake especially on Kartik Poornima (November) is considered very auspicious.

Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary: It is situated 32kms from Bikaner on Jaisalmer road. It is considered as the prettiest place in the region, with a lake, a palace, wooded hills and gardens. The lake at Gajner attracts water birds in thousands.

Bhandeshwar and Sandeshwar Jain Temples: Located on the outskirts of Bikaner, these 14th century temples are major tourist attraction in Bikaner. Dedicated to 23rd Jain tirthankar, Parsvanath, these temples are famous for their mirror work and the gold leaf paintings.

Ganga Government Museum: Explore royal treasures at the Ganga Government Museum in Bikaner with Indian Horizons. Also known as the Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum, the Ganga Government Museum in Bikaner enraptures you with regal charm that takes you back in time.

Initially the museum was established in a red sandstone building near the Lalgarh Palace by Maharaja Ganga Singhji to celebrate his golden jubilee reign in Bikaner. Later Maharaja Karni Singhji constructed a larger building and the Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum was shifted to it in the year 1954.

Dignitaries from England attended the inaugural function that marked the establishment of the Ganga Government Museum in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. In fact the then Governor General of India, Lord Linlithgow did the honors.

See hunting trophies, archaeological evidences of civilization having flourished in Bikaner in between 320 A.D. to 1200 A.D. and other interesting exhibits.

The first floor of the Ganga Government Museum in Bikaner is adorned with life size portraits of the Maharajas of Bikaner and several English personages of significance. See artifacts and crafts made of wood, metal and glass on display on the second floor of the Ganga Government Museum in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India.

See attractive gilded golf leaf paintings on camel hides, crafts made by Usta craftsmen, enchanting glasswork and more, as you enjoy a fascinating rendezvous with royal Bikaner on your tours to the Ganga Government Museum.

Karni Mata Temple: is also one of the major tourist attractions of Bikaner. The unique thing about the temple is the thousand of rats that come here. The rats are considered holy and are worshipped by the devotees. You are considered lucky if you spot a white rat.

Famous for its Bikaneri Bhujia, Bikaner offers some of the best spicy snacks and namkeens in India for you to relish.

Besides, Bikaner is also famous for its craftwork and leather items which you must purchase on your Bikaner travel. You can also visit the Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum, which has a fine collection of pottery, paintings and weapons.

The Rajputana Getaway offers to give you online information on other tourist attractions in Bikaner in Rajasthan, India. For more information, please fill up the form below.

Prachina Museum: Situated in the Junagarh For, the Prachina Museum houses a rich collection of royal costumes, textiles and accessories. There are also Poshaks (the traditional ladies ensemble) in the museum. Also on display are family portraits of the former rulers of Bikaner.

Shiv Bari Temple: It is 6 kms. From Bikaner and was built in the 19th century by Maharaja Doongar Singhji. Beautiful paintings and a Nandi Bull facing the Shiva Lingam are the attractions of the temple. Popularly known as Laleswar Mahadeo, the temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. An embattlement wall surrounds the temple. It has four-faced black marble Shiva statue. There are two large reservoirs of water known as Bawaris. This red sandstone temple attracts thousands of visitors during Shravan (February) especially on Mondays.

Tourism in Bikaner

Bikaner is a historic city, which should be interesting to travel to while you are in Rajasthan. The history of Bikaner reveals that the fortified city of Bikaner dates back to the 15 th century.

The tourist attractions in Bikaner are the forts and palaces of this historic city. The must see places in Bikaner are Junagarh Fort, Lalgarh Palace and Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum. Excursions from Bikaner can take you to the Camel Breeding Farm, which is one of its kind in Asia managed by the Government of India, and the famous Deshnok’s Karni Mata Temple devoted to Karni Mata known for giving a spiritual status to rats that they roam around freely. Continue reading

A Brief insight in The Economy of Bikaner

Bikaner economy has a multi-faceted character that is dependent on several key external forces. Agriculture in Bikaner is a primary sector of the economy and contributes largely to the city’s net revenue. Agriculture also happens to be a means of subsistence of the majority of Bikaner’s populace. Water is a major area of concern in the dessicated terrains of northwest. The local canals account for the city’s irrigation. The principal crops that are cultivated in Bikaner include millets, barley and wheat that can survive under harsh and unfavorable physical conditions.

Tourism forms the nucleus of the Bikaner economy. The ancient city is peppered with innumerable tourist attractions and boasts of an assorted platter of cultural potpourri. Be it the majestic palaces, grand havelis and crenelated forts and the museums that are a repository of the past or even a camel safari across the endless stretches of the golden desert dotted with dunes and oases, Bikaner tourism offers an irresistible package of inimitable tourist delights. Continue reading

Bikaner Cuisine

This fortified city is a tourist heaven with so much to offer to tourists of all tastes. Speaking of tastes, Bikaner is exhaustively popular for its’ unique sweets and “Bikaji Bhujia”. Bikaner cooking style has a special flavor and is influenced by the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants. The food hence evolved through generations only on the basis of its not getting spoilt sooner and easy to eat without heating. Scarcity of water meant use of mote milk or buttermilk and absence of green leafy vegetables made use of dried lentils popular, which made a unique ambience for the evolution of food processing styles here. This type of food processing has made these dishes so popular through the time.

Festivals in Bikaner

Celebrate radiant Rajasthan with festivals in Bikaner. Multi-hued customs and enchanting ritualistic practices enamor you into a pleasurable state as you tour the festivals in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India.

A brilliant mosaic of ancient traditions, festivals in Bikaner bring to fore the enchanting past and heartwarming legends associated with religious occasions. See locals performing religious rites and observing traditional customs with devotion and fervor on your tours to festivals in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India.

Though the people of Bikaner celebrate several festivals, the ones that warrant a special mention are Gangaur, Camel festival and the Kolayat celebrations. Bikaner, the sleepy desert country comes alive with color, gaiety, music, dance, folk performances and joy during festival festivities that enliven the craggy and rustic desertscape.

So come and be a part of chromatic Bikaner that sports bright glittering hues on an ochre sand base as you let yourself go with gay abandon at the festivals in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. The Camel festival is of course the most important among all the festivals celebrated in Bikaner. Be wonderstruck at the enthusiasm of Ghair Ghoomar performers, snake charmers, brightly caparisoned camels and more at the Camel festival that brightens the Bikaner winter.

The Kapil Muni fair and Navratra festivals are two other important festivals that are observed with unmatched vigor in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India.

Know more about the festivals in Bikaner by visiting the web links mentioned below: Continue reading

Shopping in Bikaner

Shopping in Bikaner is synonymous with shopping for exquisite crafts in a rustic desert paradise.

A flourishing world of camel leather shoes, camel leather chairs, camel fur rugs, camel leather belts, bags, miniature paintings on camel hides, beaded and sequined gorbandhs, lac bangles etc. envelops you in a glorious desert aura.

A grand way to enjoy shopping in Bikaner would be to reach this camel country during the annual Camel Festival, perch yourself on a camel and ride to brilliant desert stalls aglitter with local crafts. Continue reading

Where to Stay

Bikaner has a fairly wide selection of hotel accommodation to choose from – deluxe, standard, budget and paying guest. The most luxurious and well appointed is the heritage hotel, a converted palace belonging to the erstwhile maharaja. The RTDC also has its own tourist hotels and bungalows for the middle segment and the budget traveller. Private budget accommodation is also available in and around the Railway Station at modest prices, with fairly tolerable rooms and clean bathrooms. The tourist office can arrange paying guest accommodation in the city or outlying villages for those interested in home stays.

Climate of Bikaner

Bikaner has an extreme desert type climate with a big variation in day and night temperatures. In the summers, high day temperatures that can soar upwards of 46°C are tempered by cool evenings and nights when temperatures drop to 36°C. Summer months are made worse by hot winds and dust storms that seem to carry a fair measure of the desert sand with them. The reverse applies to winter months with the night temperatures extremely cold at 1°/-1° C and warm day temperatures around 22°/24°C. Rainfall is scanty with the only precipitation of 26-44 cm falling in the months from July to September.