Bikaner is a dusty desert town that was founded in the 15th century by Rajput warrior Bika, the son of Rao Jodha, who founded Jodhpur. It was built as an act of defiance against his father as the young entitled son wanted his own kingdom. The town bloomed as fortunes flourished and Bikaner quickly became an oasis in the Thar Desert. A large fort of architectural splendor, Junagarh Fort, was built and remains as a vestige to its grand past. Despite its haphazard growth, there is a charming energy to Bikaner, and it comes with several quirks that are beckoning to be revealed.

Themes

  • Heritage
  • Landscape
  • Wildlife

Highlights

  • Jain Temples
  • Rat Temple
  • Junagarh Fort
  • Camel Breeding Farm

Places to Stay

Gajner Palace Hotel

Style: Heritage

Located just 35kms away on the outskirts of Bikaner, the Gajner Palace sits on the banks of the Gajner Lake, and is intricately carved in red sandstone.

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Laxmi Niwas Palace

Style: Heritage

Built in the Indo Saracenic style and refurbished to be contemporary, the Laxmi Niwas Palace is easily one of the most picturesque palaces in the region.

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Narendra Bhawan Bikaner

Style: Boutique

Narendra Bhawan Bikaner offers a blend of contemporary luxury and traditional Rajasthani architecture in the heart of the city.

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Activities in Bikaner

Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary

Visit to Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary. The lush foliage is heaven to many migratory birds such as the black buck. Spot wild boars that inhabits the sprawling forest in the winters.

GAJNER PALACE-Fire Dance

(Only if staying at Ganjer Palace) Fire Dance at Gajner Palace performed by dancers on a large bed of flaming coals on the beat of drums.

City Highlights of Bikaner

Visit the 15 century Bhandeswar and Sandheshwar Jain Temples; explore the Old town, havelis, Lalgarh Palace, Sadul Museum, Devikund, Ganga Government Museum; watch rodents being worshipped at the Karni Mata temple; see the Kolyat Temple, the Ratan Behari Temple; take a trip to the camel breeding farm, the Junagarh Fort and Museum. Experience a tonga ride through the narrow streets of Bikaner to see the old havelis.

30min-Boat Ride inside Gajner Palace

(Only if staying at Gajner Palace) Gajner Palace is a Grand Heritage Palace..part of the HRH Group of Hotels, sprawled over a 6000 acre property. It was was built on the banks of Gajner Lake by Sir Ganga Singhji..one of Bikaner’s greatest Maharajas, early in the 20th century. Enjoy a 30-min boat ride within the erstwhile hunting grounds of the royals inside Gajner Palace amidst nature; early morning is a bird-watchers haven; marvel scenic views of the lake and the mountains; catch glimpses of some historical monuments sprinkled along the lakeside or sunken within the lake.

2h-Tonga Ride

Explore old Bikaner with a veritable fun-filled 2hr ‘tonga’ ride – horse-pulled cart..see first hand some aspects of local life. The ‘Tongawallahs’..vivacious young coloful men, are as active as are the Tongas! Start from the dominating Junagarh Fort (Old Fort)..a unique illustration of composite culture, having narrow alleyways and interiors of exquisite mirror and glass inlays; ride via the colorful stacked mounds of spices bedecking the spice market stalls; see Havelis (residential houses)..marvel magnificent jharokhas (casements), entrances, latticed windows and Gumaharias (basements); end the ride at the 15th century Jain Temple..a combination of white marble pillars with colorful floral patterns and sandstone pillars with sculpted figures of lissom maidens.

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