Facts at a Glance
Location: North-West Rajasthan
Altitude: 242 m
Known for: Forts, mining of Gypsum and Sweets and Snacks
Nearby Cities: Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur & Ajmer
Located in the western part of Rajasthan, Bikaner is the administrative headquarters of Bikaner Division. Founded by Rao Bika in the year 1486, it was the capital of princely state of Bikaner. Though, it is located in the Thar Desert region of Rajasthan but in the last century, the development of Ganges Canal (completed in the year 1928) and Indira Gandhi Canal (completed in the year 1987) facilitated the local farming in the region; resultantly, cotton, groundnuts, mustard, wheat and vegetable are being cultivated.
Geographically, the region is largely located in Thar Desert with arid climate. Bikaner receives very little rainfalls, during the summer season, temperature rises up to 500 C. The region has beautiful and fascinating art and culture such as wool production, PATA culture and local traditional dresses. The city is also popular for Bikaneri Bhujia and sweets. It has Asias largest camel farm.
The architect of the city is also interesting; it has intricate carved Jharokas, red sandstone jails (screen) designed at fort and temples. Above all, the Usta art of Bikaner is countrywide popular. Usta art is a generic term used to illustrate an embossed and unembossed floral and geometric patterned items layered beautifully with gold.
Bikaner is one of the most preferred tourists attractions in the state; it has various points that fascinate tourists; significant of them are:
Laxmi Niwas Palace: Designed in Indo-Saracenic style by British architect Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob in the year 1902, it was the royal palace where Maharaja Ganga Sigh lived; however, at present, it is a magnificent luxury hotel.
Junagarh Fort: One of the splendid forts of Rajasthan, Junagarh Fort was built by sixth ruler of Bikaner, Raja Rai Singh.
Lalgarh Palace: Constructed in European architectural style, it was the palace built during the period of 1902 to 1929. The attractions of the palace are splendid pillars, Italian colonnades, elaborate fireplaces and magnificent latticework. Though, some of the royal family still live in the palace but major part of the palace is converted into a luxurious heritage hotel.
Shri RAjRAjeswari Shri Bala Tripur Sundari Maa Temple: It is one of the most important and popular temples in Bikaner and also one of the must visit palaces. Interestingly, the temple has beautiful landscapes adorned with gardens.
Maru Nayak Ji: Built in the year 1486, it was the first Vaishnav Temple in the city Bikaner.
Camel Festival: Organized by the Department of Tourism, Art and Culture of Bikaner, Government of Rajasthan, it is one of the major attractions of the city. During this festival, you will get opportunity to see spectacular and rare camel performance such as camel dance, camel race, neck shaking etc.
Astrology: Astrology of Bikaner is very popular and it has various aspects blessed with prominent astrologers of India.
Other Attractions of Bikaner
Laxmi Nath Temple
Bhandasar Jain Temple
Karni Mata Temple
Shiv Bari Temple
Nagnechi Ji Temple
Nisar House, Kotegate
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum
Camel Research Farm
Horse Research Farm
Rajasthan State Archives
How to Reach??
By Road: The city Bikaner is well connected by road; you can take public transport or even hire private vehicle to reach the city. Buses and car rental services are available from Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Ajmer and from many other cities.
By Rail: Bikaner itself is a Railway station and hence you can take direct train from various cities of India including Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer etc.
By Air: Though, Bikaner has airport but it is not regular functional; if you want to go by air then you can take flight up to Jaipur and from Jaipur you need to catch train or bus or even you can take car rental services.