Famously known as Rajasthan’s camel city, Bikaner is located 330 km in north-west of Jaipur. If anyone has ever found beauty in desert, it is surely at Bikaner founded by RaoBikaJi in 1488 AD. Bikaner is a real desert land and this place still gets the primeval caravan routes connected to North India and central / west Asia; and that’s why Bikaner once was the affluent trade center in medieval period. The city has many travel attractions for sightseers. It’s one of the most visited and favorite travel destinations in Rajasthan. The travel attractions in Bikaner include majestic palaces, forts, ancient temples and havelis built during medieval period. The ship of desert- camel is a vital part of Bikaner’s land.
The Major Attractions of Bikaner:
Junagarh Fort: The breathtaking architectural piece was created by Maharaja Rai Singh between 1588 and 1593 AD. The striking fort has nearly 986 long walls with two entrances and 37 bastions. The Suraj Pole is main entrance of the fort. Palaces within this fort are on southern side and they make a picturesque group of balconies, courtyards, windows and kiosks. A great feature of this fort is the outstanding quality of stone carving.
Lallgarh Palace: This is an architectural masterpiece made in red sandstones, built by Raja Ganga Singh between 1902 and 1926 in reminiscence of his father Raja Lall Singh. This splendid palace is an instance of real Rajput martial architecture. This palace designed by Swinton Jacob, has numerous grand halls, cupolas, pavilions and lounges. The striking palace has glorious pillars, luxuriantly carved fire mantles, motif of lotuses in full bloom and Italian colonnades, adding to magic of this amazingly colorful Palace.
Gajner Palace: It’s a summer resort for Bikaner Maharajas and often has been described as unrivaled jewel in Thar Desert. It stands on the bank of a lake. Its architecture is truly stupendous. Built in red sandstones with intricately carved screens, jharokhas and pillars, the craftsmanship is amazing.
Karni Mata Temple: Located on the way to Jodhpur, this temple is devoted to Karni Mata - incarnation of Durga. This temple has captivating marble carvings and silver gates donated by the Maharaja Ganga Singhji. This temple’s most attractive feature is the rodents that scamper freely within its premises and if anyone touches your feet, then it is considered auspicious.
Sandeshwar and Bhandeshwar Temples: Situated on outskirts of Bikaner, both these temples of 14th century are major tourist attractions in Bikaner. The temples are well-known for their astonishing wall paintings, impressive carvings, rich mirror work and commendable gold leaf paintings.
Shiv Bari Temple: Fortified by a very high wall, this temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. The temple has an extremely beautiful panting of the Nandi Bull facing Shiva Lingam.
Ganga Singh Museum: It’s popularly known as the finest museum in Bikaner, it displays rich range of archaeological discoveries ranging from early Gupta period and prehistoric Harrapan. You can find paintings, pottery, terracotta, carpets, Rajput weapons, and art and crafts on display.
Shri Sadul Museum: It’s located at the Lalgarh Palace, a red sandstone palace situated in Bikaner. It’s housed in Ganga Niwas, covering the whole first floor of this palace. This museum displays an exclusive collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, old photos and weaponry depicting the royal hunts. It houses personal possessions of earlier rulers of Bikaner, which includes camera, clothes, golf tees, earplugs and books.
Rajasthan State Archives: It’s one among the most significant visiting spots and it’s counted amongst the top Galleries and Museums in Rajasthan. Rajasthan State Archives holds some very precious administrative records of the Mughal Period like Persian Farmans, Akbarat, Vakil Report, Nishans, Manshurs, Khatoot and Arzdasht. It also contains exciting records created during administration of Princely states of whole Rajasthan like Bahiat, Parwanas, Rukkas, Chithiat, Pattas, and so on. Bikaner’s Rajasthan State Archives obviously is one among the very famed tourist spots for unmatched and truly precious collection of records. All records that it holds are very important to researchers all around the world. Moreover, this custodian of records also offers remarkable facilities like reference library, microfilming, and research room which help researchers greatly.
Katariasar Village: Located about 45 kilometers from Bikaner, on Jaipur road, is Katariasar village. This village offers a window into cultural and ethnic rural life of Rajasthan. This village has a very rich wildlife surrounding it, consisting of Desert fox, Chinkara, Rabbit, Peacock, Pat, Parrot, etc. The village is also known for fire dancers, performing well to the beats of drums on burning coals bed.
Devi Kund: As a Royal crematorium, it’s a top-notch example of architectural wonders of Historical India. It’s the site of regal cenotaphs (called Chattri) of Bikaji Rathores, great rulers of Bika dynasty. Reflecting Rajputana architectural style, Devi-kund chattris really steal the heart of tourists. Moreover, there are numerous chattris, each dedicated to memory of Bikaji dynasty rulers and is located on exact place they were cremated.
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary: Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary and forested hills are about 32 kilometers from Bikaner on Jaisalmer road. They are inhabited by hares wild boar, wildfowl, desert foxes and lots of deer as well as antelopes like bluebulls and blackbucks. The lake at this sanctuary attracts thousands of water birds. The Sanctuary houses the earlier Bikaner’s Hunting lodge and it has a stunning lake surrounded by dense forest. Here, there is no accommodation or infrastructure for Visitors apart from Gajner Palace Hotel. Also, there are no guides for the sanctuary. It is accessible only via vehicles of Gajner Palace Hotel.
Camel Breeding Farm: The Bikaner’s Camel Breeding Farm tends to be one among the most favorite tours from Bikaner. This farm was founded by Indian Council of the Agricultural Research in 1984. It’s one of the biggest camel farms in Asia.
Camel Breeding Farm, popularly known as the Government’s Camel Breeding Farm, is known to breed the finest camels in Bikaner. It also conducts experiments and researches on the camels. Results obtained from experiments are utilized to enhance camel breeding. It employs the 'Rebars' or 'Raikas', local camel breeders, as it aims towards making the camels economically beneficial for camel rearer in Bikaner.