Placed in the north-western part of the Royal state of Rajasthan and close to the Thar Desert, Bikaner is a quaint desert town that will surely impress you with its grand history and Maharaja-like lifestyle. The city was founded by Rao Bikaji, a Rathore prince in the year 1488 AD. The present Bikaner got prospered under the reign of Maharaja Ganga Singh. Whether it is the grand forts, the dark but uneven lanes of Old Bikaner, the incredible fusion of red sandstone and marble buildings, the museum walls, the historical references adorning or the flawless architecture of the Jain temples that would take you for a historical surprise every time. If you wonder how is the nightlife in Bikaner? Then, the answer would be that there is not any nightlife in Bikaner. The day can be enjoyed with various activities such as city tours, forts, temples, museums visit and shopping, but in night, there's nothing much to do. Bikaner has a very special place for Camels. Thus, there is no wonder that it is home to the famous Bikaner Camel Festival where exceptional preparations start with huge fanfare and travellers from every corner of the world come to witness the humble animal in action, every year during the month of January. If you are food-lovers then Bikaner has a lot of options for you to choose and taste from of Rajasthani delicacies. It is the land where Bhujia was born (a crispy Indian snack) and camel milk sweets are prepared. Don’t miss tasting out the different varieties in Bikaner. Apart from the forts and palaces, many travellers also come here to visit the famous Rat Temple (also known as “Karni Mata Temple”) in Deshnok where rats are considered holy and pilgrims offer prasad to please them.
March - July, Extreme & dry heat
July-September, Little or no rainfall
Annual rainfall -26 - 44 cms
November-February, Pleasant, Nights are especially chilly
Temperature:5.0°C - 20.2°C
Top Places to Visit in Bikaner
Read on to the following page and get to know about the best Bikaner tourist attractions, tourist spots and places to visit near Bikaner.
Junagarh Fort is the most majestic attraction of the Bikaner city. The fort is very famous due to never been captured by the enemies. The fort was built in 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The fort is surrounded by a moat and features a number of gates. One can come across various other buildings inside the fort, including Ganga Niwas, Anup Mahal and Rang Mahal. All of these palaces of the fort are constructed using red sandstone and marble and features patios, cubicles, balconies and windows.
This museum is located in the Junagarh Fort and houses a fine collection of royal costumes, accessories and textiles. One can also see here the traditional attires of royal ladies in the museum. Along with that, family portraits of the previous rulers of Bikaner are kept on display.
This grand place was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh ji in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh Ji in the year 1902. The majestic palace is an architectural marvel and is constructed using red sandstone. The architecture of this palace is a combination of Rajput, Mughal and European architecture. It is also decorated with amazing filigree work and latticework. The palace features an exclusive collection hunting trophies and paintings. It is now converted into a heritage hotel.
Rajasthan State Archives
It is a perfect place to explore some of the very important administrative records of Mughal era, including Khatoot, Persian Farmans, Akbarat, Vakil Report, Manshurs, Nishans and Arzdasht, etc. It also has those records, which were created during the rule of the various princely states of Rajasthan. This place also has several galleries displaying different aspects of our history.
Ganga Singh Museum
Ganga Singh Museum is the right place to explore various archaeological findings dating back to the prehistoric era of Harappa and early Gupta. The major things that can be explored at this museum are art-crafts, paintings, terracotta, stoneware, coins, carpets and antique weapons of Rajput period.
Bhandeswari Jain Temple
Built in the 15th century, it is one of the oldest temples of Bikaner. The temple was constructed by a Jain merchant named Bhanda Shah. The temple is adorned with wonderful mirror work, gold leaf paintings and decorative frescoes.
Shri Laxminath Temple
Located at a distance of 4 km from Junagarh Fort, Shri Laxminath Temple is built by Maharaja Rao Lunakaran. It is one of the oldest temples in city. The main deities of the temple are Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. The gateway of the temple is decorated in silver work, which makes it more attractive.
Placed on the banks of a lake, Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji constructed the palace. The royal family used the palace to relax after hunting. The red sandstone building is a brilliant representation of architectural excellence of that era. The palace is located in the dense forest, where you can watch the migratory birds gathering in huge numbers. It is a perfect place to spend a relaxed evening as you can enjoy the perfect sunset.
Shiv Bari Temple
Shiv Bari is a famous tourist attraction in Bikaner. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is constructed with high walls by Maharaja Doongar Singh in the 9th century. Several religious traditions and customs are followed by this temple.
Kote Gate is one of the attractive places to visit in Bikaner. It is commonly the main entrance gate of Bikaner, which gives the glimpse of the old city together with enthralling architectural work.
The dignified people of the old times used to live in majestic mansions called as “Haveli”. These mansions feature extensive patios and exquisite carvings. The Jain Havelis are possessions of those affluent and rich merchants of Rajasthan who went far to earn their livelihood and returned here for spending a relaxing time.
Tourist attractions to visit near Bikaner
National Research Centre on Camel, Kolayatji Temple, Kodamdeshwar Temple, Karni Mata Temple and few more are some of the popular places to visit near Bikaner.