The fortified city of Bikaner was founded by Rao Bika, the second son of the founder of Jodhpur. Built in 1488, the city figured importantly on the great caravan trade route that linked North India with Central Asia. A city noteworthy for its red and yellow sandstone forts and palaces, Bikaner is enclosed in a long wall with 5 gates. Bikaner is now a trade centre for wool, hides, building stone, salt, and grain.
Tourist Attractions in Bikaner
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum Don`t miss the exhibits at this interesting museum. You can enjoy terracotta ware, traditional Rajasthani musical instruments, a miniature of the Royal Bikaner train, antique carpets and royal vestments. You can also see the royal decree of Prince Jehangir advising Rai Singh to immediately proceed to Delhi as Emperor Akbar is dying.
Junagarh Fort & Museum The late sixteenth century fort was constructed by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of Akbar, the Mughal emperor, subsequent Maharajas added luxurious suites. Diwan-i-khas (private audience hall), Anup Mahal, Badal Mahal (cloud palace), Gaj Mandir (Elephant temple) and Hawa Mahal (wind palace) are some of the places worth checking out. The fort is marked by some exquisite stone carvings. A major feature of the fort and palaces is the superb quality of stone carvings. Several rooms at the fort house an interesting collection of royal vestments, armoury (enormous bore guns used from the back of camels), Maharaja Ganga Singh’s 56 kilogram suit of armour, sword with ivory and crystal handles and a biplane presented to Ganga Singhji by the British during World War I. There are supposed to be only two models of this plane in the world.
Karni Mata Temple Millions throng the Karni Mata Temple at the village of Deshnok, 30 km south of Bikaner. At this place, holy rodents flourish all over and are fed milk by the devotees. The rats are known as kabas and it is considered extremely auspicious if they oblige by running over your feet.
Lalgarh Palace Constructed in memory of the father of Maharaja Ganga Singhji, the Lalgarh Palace, as per its name displays a reddish charm. The palaces today houses one of the most fascinating collection of artifacts from Bikaner's royal past. Also a great part of it has been converted into a heritage hotel which means that the royalty is open for more common people to experience and enjoy.
Bhandasar Jain Temple 5km. Beautiful 16th century jain temple, dedicated to the 5th teerthankar sumtinathji. it has beautiful pillars and paintings on the ceiling.
Camel Breeding Farm 8 km. This farm , perhaps the only one of its kind in the whole of Asia, is managed by the Central Government. Bikaner's Camel Corps(former Ganga Risala) was a famous fighting force and still maintains the importance in desert warefare.
How to Reach Bikaner
By Air The nearest airport to Bikaner is Jodhpur, 247 km away. Regular airlines ply between Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaipur, Mumbai and Delhi
By Rail Bikaner is on the metre gauge network of the western Railways. It has convenient connections from Delhi and Jodhpur. Air-conditioned coaches are attached on the Delhi trains.
By Road Bikaner is well connected by road to the rest of the country. The National Highway No 8 connects Agra to Bikaner via Jaipur while National Highway 11 runs from Pathankot to Kandla port, via Amritsar and Bhatinda. Regular bus service operates between Bikaner and major cities like Jaipur, Kota, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Ajmer. Rajasthan Roadways run daily deluxe coaches between Jaipur & Bikaner
Temperature Max 45 ºC, Min 30 ºC (summer); Max 23 ºC, Min 5 ºC (winter)
Languages Hindi, Rajasthani and Marwari
Ideal Time October to March is the ideal time to visit Bikaner