Bikaner Quick Information

Summarise the city : The Oasis town
Best time to visit (High & peak months) : November- February
Experiences : The rat temple, fort, camel Safaris,
City calling code : +91-0151
Recommended no. of days for a tourist : 1 full day
Best buys : Footwear, purses and cushions of USTA work, local carpets and woodwork.
Essentials to be carried along : Sun Block, Sun Glasses, Comfortable Cotton wear, woolens for winters (November-February).
All about the city :

The first impression of Bikaner is that of a town among scrub and sand dunes. The rocky outcrop in a barren landscape provides a dramatic setting for the Junagarh Fort, One of the finest in Western Rajasthan. The old walled city retains a medieval air and is home to over 300 Havelis, while outside the walls some stunning havelis survive. As scenic as Jaisalmer but far less commercial, further off, desert villages such as kakoo offer an accessible insight into rural desert life.

A little off the usual route, Bikaner is worth a visit and en route to Jaisalmer from Jaipur or Shekhawati.

Bikaner Tourist attractions

Name (Suggested Time Required To See The Place) Description Entrance Charges (If Any) For Foreigner Close Day (If Any) Open / Close Time
Junagarh Fort

One of the finest examples in Rajasthan of the paradox between medieval military architecture and beautiful interior decoration. This superbly preserved fort has an entrance by the yellow sandstone gate to the east, called the Sun gate. The lal Niwas have the oldest walls elaborately decorated in red and gold. Karan Mahal stands as the victory sign of karan Singh over Aurangzeb. Gaj Mandir with its mirrored Shish Mahal, the magnificent Coronation Hall adorned with plaster work, lacquer, mirror and glass is in Anup Mahal. Ganga Niwas, Chandra Mahal, Chetar Mahal, Chini Burj, har Mandir, Phul Mahal (Flower Palace) - are all various architecture geniuses which speak a story of their own.

INR 100

1000 hrs- 1630 hrs

Lalgarh palace

Designed by Sir Swinton Jacob in 1902, the palace complex has attractive courtyards overlooked by intricate Zenana (women) screen windows and Jharokha balconies. The banquet hall is full of hunting trophies and photographs. The bougainvillaea, parakeets and peacocks add to the attraction of the gardens in which the Bikaner State railway carriage is preserved. The palace complex now houses several hotels.

INR 40

Wednesday 1000hrs - 1630hrs

Rampuria Street and the Purana Bazaar

Some of the most exquisite havelis in Bikaner belong to the Rampuria, Kothari, Vaid and Daga merchant families. The sandstone carvings in traditional form have an influence of colonial architecture. Among these, the Bhanwar Niwas has been converted into a heritage hotel.

Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum

This Public Park has a fine small collection of pottery, massive paintings, stuffed tigers, carpets, costumes and weapons. There are also some excellent examples of Bikaner miniature paintings which are specially prized because of the very fine quality.

Rs. 3

Fridays 0930hrs-1700hrs

Bhand Sagar

5 kms southwest, Bhand Sagar has a group of Hindu and Jain temples, believed to be the oldest extant structures of Biakner…… when it was just a desert trading out-post of Jodhpur. It is said that its foundation contains 40,000 kg of ghee and its floor still becomes greasy in the summers.

Rs. 10 for camera caretakers

Important

In Bikaner, URMUL's showroom called ABHIVYAKTI is an NGO that works with the marginalized tribes people of the Thar desert. The droughts of 1980 made farming for these people no longer a viable option. URMUL, formed in 1991 aims to teach these people new skills which could bring them the income taken away by absent rains. The range of products here testifies the huge success of this project.

Getting There

Air Rail Road

No Air Connectivity. Nearest airport is Jodhpur (256 km).

Regular rail connection to Bikaner is available from Jaipur and jodhpur, Overnight train from Delhi (DSR Bikaner mail) gives very good sunrise views.

A very good network of roads connects Bikaner to other tourist attractions of Rajasthan. It is 256 km north of Jodhpur, 361 km north west of Jaipur, 278 km north west of Ajmer, 250 km west of Mandawa, 355 km north east of Bikaner, 450 km west of Delhi.

Bikaner Festivals

Name Of Festival Dates / Month / Year Festival Details With Link For More Information
Bikaner Camel Festival January

Kolayat Fair

Oct-Nov

Bikaner Excursions

Excursion (Distance In Kms) Description

Karni Mata Mandir at Deshnoke (33 km south of Bikaner / 45 minutes)

This 17th century temple is famously called as The rat temple. Massive silver gates and beautiful white marble carvings on the façade were added by Ganga Singh Ji who dedicated this temple to Karni Ji - believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga. Mice and rats are revered with sweets and milk in the belief that they are re-incarnated saints. They swarm over the temple around your feet. Spotting a white rat is supposed to bring good luck.

Kolayat (50 Km southwest via Gajner road / 1.25 hrs)

Kolayat is regarded as one of the 58 most important Hindu pilgrimage centres. Situated around a lake with 52 ghats and a group of 5 temples, this village comes alive in the month of November full moon when a 3 day festival draws thousands of pilgrims who take part in ritual bathing.

Gajner National Park (32 km along the road to Jaisalmer/45 minutes)

Once a private preserve of the Royal Bikaner family, this park is a birder's paradise which also harbours large colonies of Nilgai, Chinkaras, Blackbuck, Wild Boar and desert reptiles. Throughout the day, train of antelope, gazelle and pigs can be seen arriving at the lake to drink.

Kakoo (75 km south of Bikaner/ 2 hrs)

This picturesque village, with attractive huts surrounded by sand dunes is the starting point of desert camel safaris. A true picture of the practicalities of life in the desert, this perhaps is the most authentic desert settlement in this area that can be easily reached by road.

Suggested Holidays Including Bikaner

Holiday Name No. Of Days Destinations Covered & Highlights

Best of Rajasthan

13 days - 12 nights Jaipur - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Pushkar - Ranthambore - Jaipur
Culture and Family tour of Rajasthan 14 days - 13 nights Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Chittorgarh - Pushkar - Ranthambore - Jaipur
Rajasthan Desert Tour 07 days - 06 nights Delhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur
Rajasthan Forts and Palace Tour 11 days - 10 nights Jaipur - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Chittorgarh
Rajasthan with Taj Mahal 14 days - 13 nights Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Pushkar - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - Bikaner - Mandawa

Ranthambore National Park

Jaisalmer

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(141)-2296661 / 2296662

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