Bikaner, a desert jewel in the heart of Rajasthan, exudes timeless beauty and charm. Its majestic forts, notably Junagarh Fort, stand as architectural marvels, showcasing intricate carvings and stunning facades that narrate a rich history. The city’s vibrant culture unfolds through its traditional music, dance, and sumptuous cuisine, featuring delectable snacks like bhujia and rasgulla.
Bikaner’s Thar Desert offers a unique allure, with its rolling sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. Sunset camel safaris paint the horizon with hues of orange and pink, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The city’s ornate havelis, such as Rampuria Haveli, are adorned with exquisite frescoes, transporting visitors to an era of opulence.
Let’s have a look at the best things to enjoy while in Bikaner
1. Visit the Junagarh Fort
Junagarh Fort, situated in the heart of Bikaner, Rajasthan, stands as a remarkable testament to the grandeur of Rajput architecture and history. This impregnable fortress, unconquered in its storied past, is a captivating blend of various architectural styles, including Rajput, Mughal, and Gujarati influences. Visitors step within its formidable walls and are transported into a world of intricate craftsmanship and regal opulence.
The fort’s palaces, such as Anup Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Phool Mahal, and Karan Mahal, boast ornate frescoes, mirrored embellishments, and delicate artwork reflecting the bygone era’s artistic prowess. The presence of exquisite temples, including the Jain Temples and Har Mandir, adorned with intricate marble carvings and detailing, further enriches the experience.
2. Go on a camel safari
Embarking on a camel safari in the heart of Rajasthan, India, is a journey through time and tradition. As you mount your trusty camel and venture into the arid landscape, the world transforms into a mesmerizing panorama of golden sand dunes that seem to stretch infinitely. The rhythmic sway of the camel’s gait lulls you into a timeless trance, allowing you to connect with the stark beauty of the desert.
The ever-shifting sands create an ever-changing canvas of patterns and shadows, offering a photographer’s dream. Along the way, you may encounter small desert villages, their humble homes painted in vivid colors, and their friendly inhabitants offering warm hospitality. A camel safari in Rajasthan is not just a ride; it’s a sensory journey that immerses you in the rich cultural tapestry of this captivating region, leaving you with lasting memories of the desert’s enchantment.
3. Explore the Karni Mata Temple
Exploring the Karni Mata Temple, also known as the “Rat Temple,” is a unique and intriguing experience in Deshnoke, Rajasthan, India. This remarkable Hindu temple is unlike any other, as it is home to thousands of rats that are revered and considered sacred. As you step inside the temple’s ornate entrance, you are greeted by the sight of these furry creatures scurrying about, their presence believed to bring good luck.
The temple itself is a stunning example of Rajput architecture, adorned with intricate marble and silver decorations. Inside, amidst the sea of rats, you’ll find the main deity, Karni Mata, the incarnation of the goddess Durga. Devotees come from far and wide to seek blessings and make offerings to the rats, which are seen as the reincarnated souls of Karni Mata’s devotees.
4. Visit the Lalgarh Palace
Lalgarh Palace, a magnificent architectural masterpiece located in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India, stands as a testament to the grandeur and opulence of the region’s royalty. Built-in the early 20th century, this exquisite palace is a captivating blend of Indo-Saracenic, Mughal, and European architectural styles, characterized by its red sandstone façade, ornate filigree work, and latticed windows.
As you approach the palace, its grandeur becomes apparent. The intricately designed façade and the imposing structure immediately command attention. Inside, the palace’s lavish interiors further impress with their exquisite artwork, delicate carvings, and impressive collection of artifacts. The palace also houses a museum that offers a glimpse into the regal history of the Bikaner royal family.
5. Visit the National Research Centre on Camel
The National Research Centre on Camel, situated in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India, is a unique and pioneering institution dedicated to the research and development of camel-related sciences and technologies. This center plays a crucial role in the preservation and advancement of camel husbandry, a vital aspect of Rajasthan’s cultural and economic heritage.
Upon entering the premises, visitors are greeted with a wealth of information and resources on camels and their various uses in the region. The center conducts research on camel breeding, nutrition, health, and management, contributing to the improvement of camel-based livelihoods in arid regions. Visitors have the opportunity to witness firsthand the care and research dedicated to these remarkable animals.
6. Explore Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled near the city of Bikaner in the arid state of Rajasthan, India, is a tranquil and captivating oasis amidst the desert landscape. Covering an area of approximately 32 square kilometers, this sanctuary is a haven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The sanctuary’s landscape is characterized by lush woodlands, rolling sand dunes, and a picturesque lake, Gajner Lake, which serves as the centerpiece of the sanctuary. This man-made lake, surrounded by dense foliage and an abundance of wildlife, is a striking contrast to the surrounding desert terrain.
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The woodland areas are populated with keekar trees, acacias, and other desert vegetation. The sanctuary’s avian population is particularly remarkable, with numerous migratory and resident bird species. Birdwatchers will delight in spotting species like the imperial sand grouse, blackbuck, and a variety of waterfowl, especially during the winter months when migratory birds flock to the lake.
7. Shop at Kote Gate
Kote Gate, located in the historic city of Bikaner in Rajasthan, India, is a bustling and vibrant market area that offers an authentic and immersive shopping experience. This bustling market is not just a place to shop; it’s a cultural and sensory adventure that reflects the essence of Rajasthan’s rich heritage and traditions.
Kote Gate is a treasure trove of traditional Rajasthani clothing. You can find exquisite bandhani sarees, vibrant lehengas, intricately embroidered dupattas, and turbans in a dazzling array of colors and patterns. The market is famous for its Rajasthani handicrafts, including intricately carved wooden furniture, colorful pottery, camel leather items, and Rajasthani puppets. These make for unique and culturally rich souvenirs.
8. Take cooking classes
Cooking classes in Bikaner offer not only a delightful culinary experience but also a cultural immersion into the heart of Rajasthan. They are suitable for both novice cooks and experienced food enthusiasts who wish to master the art of Rajasthani cooking and take home a flavorful piece of the region’s heritage.
Taking cooking classes in Bikaner, Rajasthan is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the region’s rich culinary heritage and learn the art of preparing traditional Rajasthani dishes. Rajasthani cuisine is known for its unique flavors, aromatic spices, and royal influences.
In the heart of Rajasthan, Bikaner beckons with a tapestry of cultural, historical, and culinary treasures waiting to be discovered. From exploring the grandeur of Junagarh Fort and the regal Lalgarh Palace to venturing into the tranquil oasis of Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary, Bikaner offers a unique blend of architectural marvels and natural beauty. The bustling Kote Gate market invites you to immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and flavors of Rajasthani culture, while cooking classes allow you to savor the region’s culinary heritage.