BIKANER TRAVEL GUIDE
Historical & Heritage
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
Base Station: Bikaner
Nearest City to Bikaner: Jodhpur (245 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Bikaner: October to March
Peak Season: December to February
State: Rajasthan | District: Bikaner
Bikaner Weather: Summer: Maximum - 44°C and Minimum - 21°C
Winter: Maximum - 23°C and Minimum - 5°C
At a distance of 245 km from Jodhpur, 262 km from Ajmer, 329 km from Jaisalmer, 333 km from Jaipur, 435 km from Delhi, 502 km from Udaipur, 539 km from Chandigarh and 577 km from Agra, Bikaner is a vibrant desert town in the middle of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India. Bikaner city is the administrative headquarters of Bikaner district and also one of the top places to visit in Rajasthan.
Formerly the capital of the princely state of Bikaner, the city was founded by Rao Bika in 1486 CE when his father Rao Jodha, the illustrious founder of Jodhpur challenged him to establish his own kingdom. Rao Bika travelled far and when he came upon the wilderness called Jangladesh, he decided to set up his own kingdom and transformed it into an impressive city. Modern Bikaner is the result of the foresight of its most eminent ruler, Maharaja Ganga Singh (1887-1943), whose reformative zeal set the pace for Bikaner's transformation from a principality to a premier princely state. The strategic location of Bikaner on the ancient caravan routes headed to Central Asia made it a prime trade center in medieval times. Bikaner is one of the most frequented desert cities of the state of Rajasthan along with Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.
Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a seven km long embattled wall with five gates. The town is known for its rich Rajput culture and has some of the most beautiful forts, and palaces. The Junagarh Fort, built during the reign of Raja Rai Singh, is the most famous fort in Bikaner and is a tribute to the Rajput style of architecture. The Laxmi Niwas Palace, Lalgarh Palace, Gajner Palace are some of the other palaces in Bikaner which add to the beauty of the town and gives it a feel of the Rajput heritage. Karni Mata Temple, Bhandasar Jain Temple, Ganga Singh Museum, Rampuria Haveli, National Research Centre on Camel, Shri Laxminath Temple, Prachina Museum, Kodamdesar Temple and Shiv Bari Temple are the other popular tourist attractions in Bikaner.
Bikaner is famous for its savory Bikaneri Bhujia. It is also known for its handicrafts, leather articles and for having the biggest camel farm of Asia. Bikaner is also a center for usta art. Usta art is characterized by miniature paintings and gold embossing done on ceilings, pillars, walls, marble, wooden and glass wares and ivory. Also known as camel country as Bikaner is extremely popular for its camel rides. Many of the holiday resorts and luxury hotels in Bikaner organise camel safaris, jeep safaris, night safaris and desert camps which allows tourists to get a taste of life in the desert.
There are many fairs and festivals are celebrated in Bikaner. One of the most famous festivals of Bikaner is the Camel Festival held in January which is organised by Rajasthan Department of Tourism, Art and Culture. During this festival, hordes of camels are brought out and are decorated in the most colourful way possible. Thousands of people throng this place to be a part of the festivities which include camel racing, dances by camels and bumpy camel rides.
Jodhpur Airport is the nearest airport which is about 248 km from Bikaner. The airport is served by flights from Delhi and Mumbai. Bikaner Junction is well connected by rail with Ahmedabad, Jammu Tawi, Jaipur, New Delhi, Mumbai, Jodhpur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Trichy, Guwahati, Bangalore, Haridwar, Coimbatore, Sri Ganganagar, Chennai, Jaisalmer, and Puri. There are also a number of bus services from Bikaner to major cities like Jodhpur, Udaipur, Delhi, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, and Kota.
Being a desert town, the city experiences extreme weather with very hot summers and chilly winters. October to March is the best time while December to February is the peak season to visit Bikaner.