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Introducing Bikaner

Best time to visit : October to March
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Located in the northern part of Rajasthan, Bikaner is an upcoming tourist destination in West India. Once ruled by Rajputs, this land of sand dunes still showcases the splendour and the magnificence of its rulers. Grand havelis and tall forts paint a picture of royal charm. It takes the traveller into the medieval times which is a welcome change for holidaying after the urban modern-age living. The city is known for its very famous Camel festival. The animal is an integral part of their living. Various heritage forts and palaces in the city have become popular tourist places. The adventure quotient is added by the jeep and camel desert safaris. The city is also an important place of worship due to the several famous temples in the vicinity. Bikaner lures families and honeymooners alike.

Facts

Bikaner was built by Rao Bikaji in 1486 from a barren, wild land. The city is situated on a high ground and is surrounded by an extensive wall with gates in between. It was a prominent centre of trade in medieval times and continues to be till today. The city boasts of being a hub for handicrafts, art forms, building stones, wool and carpets. Bikaner is also known for its know-how in dry irrigation system and breeding of camels. Republic day parade has camels from Bikaner participating in the ceremony.

Rajasthani and vegetarian cuisines are served at several popular eating joints like Laxmi Niwas, Angan Restaurant and Bhanwar Niwas. For lip-smacking street food, numerous stalls at Station road are a must. Chotu Motu Joshi is well known for kachoris, ras-malai and samosas. No trip to Bikaner is complete without a visit to Bikaner Bhujia Bhandar, Haldirams, Chappan Bhog and Agarwal Bhujiawale. Sankhla kulfi fulfils the sweet cravings by its famous kesar kulfi.

Bikaner is a shopping marvel for mojris (embroidered shoes), ivory and lacquer handicrafts, carpets, blankets and the famous camel hide products. Kote Gate gives you a local market experience with little shops in crowded streets. Bikaner paintings, lacquer bangles, kundan jewellery and tie-n-dye cloth can be bargained at Station Road and MG Road. Local handicrafts are sold at Junagarh fort by the Urmul Trust. Khadi Emporium is another place to buy local textiles.

Nearby Places:
  • National Research Centre on Camel is a unique centre for breeding and research on camels. It is at a distance of 10 km. from Bikaner. The centre is run by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • Karni Mata Temple is located at Deshnoke, 30 km. from Bikaner. The temple worships Goddess Karni. The temple is famous in a strange way. It is not only the local deity that is worshipped here, but also the rats that infest the temple. These rats are protected as they are considered to be the souls of followers of goddess.
  • Devi Kund Sagar is at a distance of 8 km. from Bikaner and presents the marvels of rajasthani architecture. The place is a memorial site of Bikaner rulers and is adorned by cenotaphs (chhatris).
  • Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary, at a distance of 32 km., is home to rare species of animals like black buck, nilgai, wild boar and chinkara. The sanctuary gets its name from the Gajner Palalce, which is also close-by.
  • Kolyat: Another pilgrimage place is Kolyat, 50 km. from the city. Kolyat has many temples in its complex. The place is famous for taking a dip in the lake on Karthik Poornima.

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