Bikaner is one of the most important tourist destinations and major cities in Rajasthan, India. The city was founded by Rao Bikaji- a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur, Rao Jodha Ji. It is a royal fortified city with a timeless appeal. It draws a large gathering of tourists from all over the world to the state. The city is also known as the “Camel City” or the “Camel Country”. The city is known for best riding camels in the world. Every year Camel Festival is also organized in this desert city of Rajasthan. During this festival, the city becomes alive with music and dance.
Like other cities of Rajasthan, Bikaner is also known for magnificent forts, palaces, temples, and Havelis. There are many places and attractions of tourist interest in this city. The city is also a popular destination for starting an exciting camel safari on the vast Thar Desert. Junagarh Fort and Camel Breeding Farm are very popular among tourists coming to Bikaner.
Major attractions in Bikaner
Junagarh Fort: It is one of the must-visit attractions in Bikaner. Architecturally beautiful this fortress invincible fortress was built by Raja Rai Singh – the sixth ruler of Bikaner. Suraj Pol, Karan Pol, Moon Palace, Phool Mahal, Karan Mahal, Anup Mahal, etc are attractions inside the fort complex. All are known for their architectural excellence.
Lalgarh Palace: This terrific palace was built during the period of 1902 to 1926. This elegant building was built by the order of Maharaja Ganga Singh in the dedication of his father Maharaja Lal Singh. It is an excellent example of Rajput, Mughal, and European architectural styles. The royal family of Bikaner still lives in this palace and part of the building now has been converted into a grand heritage hotel.
Camel Breeding Farm & Research Centre: It is also one of the must-visit attractions of Bikaner appealing tourists from all over the world. It is probably unique in Asia. There are about 250 camels on this farm. Here three different breeds of camels are reared.
Other attractions in and around Bikaner:-
- Prachina Museum – Situated near the Junagarh Fort.
- Laxmi Niwas Palace – now a luxury heritage hotel
- Laxmi Nath Temple – one of the oldest temples in Bikaner
- Karni Mata Temple – also known as Deshnoke Rat Temple
- Shiv Bari Temple – dedicated to Lord Shiva
- Moolnayakji Temple – the first Vaishnav Temple built in Bikaner
- Raj Ratan Bihariand Rasik Siromani Temple
- Bhandasar Jain Temple – Bikaner’s oldest monument
- Ganga Singh Golden Jubilee Museum – exhibits an array of archaeological discoveries
- Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary – 32 km from Bikaner
- Camel Safari in the Desert
Important Fairs & Festivals in Bikaner:
- Camel Festival – Camel Races, Cultural Events, Fire Dance Performance, etc.
- Karni Mata Fair – Celebrated two times a year.
- Kapil Muni Fair – one of the largest fairs in Bikaner.
- Gangaur Festival.
- Akasye Tritya or Akkha Teej
How to Reach Bikaner
By Air: To reach Camel Country Bikaner, the nearest airport is Jodhpur at a distance of 235km.
By Rail: Bikaner is well connected by rail network with Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhatinda, Kalka, and Howrah (Kolkata).
By Road: Bikaner is well connected by road with the major cities of India like Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, etc.