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. The Camel Research Farm is just 8 Kms from the city and is a place to visit and a good place to go to if you still have a few hours to kill. The city covers only an area of just 38.10 Sq. Kms and has more interesting sights to offer, for example, the Har Mandir, Lalgarh Palace and the nearby Gajner Wild Life Sanctuary.
HOW TO REACH
By Air: –
Jodhpur is the nearest airport i.e. 256 Kms. There are daily fights to Jaipur, Delhi & Mumbai from Jodhpur.
By Rail: –
Bikaner Railway Station is well connected to the other major cities with regular & express trains like Jaipur-Bikaner Express, Intercity Express, Ranakpur Express and Sarai Rohilla Express.
Bikaner is well connected to the major cities of Rajasthan by roads. You can try the Rajasthan State Transport buses or private luxury coaches.
WHAT TO SEE
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum:-
It was established in 1937 on the eve of the Golden jubilee celebrations of Maharaja Ganga Singh, this Museum now run by the Government of Rajasthan. It was located near the Lalgarh Palace in Bikaner & was shifted to a new building in the Civil lines in 1954. This museum is displays an excellent collection of Terracotta ware, weapons, maniature paintings of Bikaner school and coins. The exhibits are splendid master pieces of Harappan civilisation, Gupta and Kushan era and sculptures of the late classical time.
Bhandasar Jain Temple:-
The 15 century Temple,is the oldest and distinct monument of bikaner dedicated to Sumati Nath Ji,the 5th Tirthankar of the Jain Religion.The temple is decorated with rich mirror work, frescoes and gold leaf paintings..The beautiful temple was erected near Laxminath temple in 1540A.D.Pure ghee (butter oil) and coconuts were reported to have been used in laying the foundation. Carved in red sand stone and white marble – its famous for carvings ,wall paintings , structural beauty and artistically designed statues.
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.
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 develpoed 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.
Lallgarh Palace and Sadul Museum:-
The architectural masterpiece in red sandstone, the palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881-1942 A.D.) in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singhji in 1902 AD. The palace has beautiful latticework and filigree work. Sprawling lawns with blooming bougainvillea and dancing peacocks make it to be a not -to-be missed visual treat. This oriental fantasy Designed by Col. Sir Swinton Jacob, is entirely a hybrid architecture -a mixture of different elements of Rajput, Muslim and European styles and can be categorized as Indo-Seresanic style.
Shiv Bari Temple:-
Built by Dungar Singhji in the late 19th century. The temple is surrounded by an embattlement wall. It has four-faced black marble Shiva statue and a bronze Nandi facing the Shiva-Lingam. There are two large reservoirs of water known as bawaris. This red sandstone temple attracts thousands of visitors during Shravan (Feb) especially on mondays.
Shopping in Bikaner is a joy. You can buy varieties of items here. Bikaner is well known for its variety of ornaments including silver ornaments. Different articles made out of the hide of camel is quiet popular among the tourists. Shoes, bags, belts and chairs made out of the leather of camel are very popular in the markets of Bikaner. Besides these Phad paintings, the Mojri and the Kundan jewelry, gorbandhs and Nokha Quilts are some of the items that should not be missed out while shopping across Bikaner.
There few good restaurants which serves Rajasthani, Indian and Continental dishes. You can try the multi cuisine restaurants at the luxury hotels.