LETS EXPLORE BIKANER, RAJASTHAN.
Bikaner is a best-kept secret of Rajasthan. Not very popular with the tourist’s yet, but it will be just a matter of time before this will change. The town is different from the rest of desert state of Rajasthan; it is known as Camel Country because it produces the best riding camels in the world. Camels are a big part of Bikaner lifestyle. Bikaner is also known for the products of Usta art. The miniature paintings and gold embossing are on ceilings, pillars, walls, marble, wood, glass wares and ivory.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN BIKANER
(1) JUNAGARH PALACE
This Fort was built between 1589 to 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, ruler of Bikaner as his principal place of residence.The fort was initially called Chintamani. The royal family lived here till 1902. After the royal family moved, this palace was renamed Junagarh meaning OLD FORT. Walking in through huge gates all standing tall and are a testament to a test of time, I felt like a princess. The magnificent stairways, the high ceilings, the artwork on the walls and elegance in the air. This would have been something in the day. Allow yourself a good couple of hours to enjoy your visit.
(2) PRACHINA MUSEUM
You will find this museum in the Junagarh Fort. It was an adventure walking through the history of all that Bikaner is; this museum hosts royal costumes, textiles, accessories of Rajasthani royalty. The ‘Poshaks’ (garments worn by ladies) is a reminder of the now lost craft of traditional designs, styles, and artistry. Spend time noticing the changes in culture, power, and the form of the former rulers by observing the family portraits.
(3) BHANDASAR JAIN TEMPLE
Beautiful temple with yellow stone carving and vibrant paintings. Admire the pillars embroidered with floral arabesques, intricate mirror work, murals and gold leaf paintings. The inside is stunning. Dress appropriate, cover your shoulders and legs. Enjoy the architecture, and the stories.
(4) GAJNER PALACE AND LAKE
Gajner is undoubtedly the jewel of the Thar, sitting on the banks of the lake. It was a retreat for hunting and relaxing for the royal family and their visitors back in the day. Now it is converted into a hotel.
(5) DESHNOK KARNI MATA TEMPLE
Famous for thousands of Rats which are the permanent residents of the temple, this temple attracts tourist because it is different and unique in its own right. Tourists describe their visit to this temple, as the most unusual, freakish and yet uplifting experience. The legend goes a little like this, during your visit to this temple if you see a white rat, it is good luck. Be sure to make a wish if you spot a white rat.
HOW TO GET TO BIKANER
There are no airports in Bikaner. The nearest airport, Jodhpur Airport, is located 250 km from Bikaner.
Regular trains run between Bikaner and other major cities. Lalgarh Junction (2.6 km from Bikaner) and Jodhpur Junction (1.4 km from Bikaner) are the nearest railway stations.
Regular buses run between Bikaner Bus Stand and other major cities.
By Private car
It is common for four people traveling together to hire a car and a driver to get around India. Make sure you hire a reliable company or from the airport.
Distance from Jodhpur: 250 km (4 hours 45 minutes)
Distance from Jaipur: 334 km (5 hours)
Distance from Delhi: 446 km (8 hours)
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Oh my gosh! I can’t do rats, I freak out when I see them! But everything else about Bikaner sounds like it will get very popular! The camel looks beautiful!
Bikaner is really brimming with temples and rich heritage. I would love to visit the Rat Temple, as it sounds like a unique experience unparalleled in other temples. However, the city sounds quite isolated and difficult to get to 🙁
Cool recommendations, Yogita! The Junagarh Palace and the Bhandasar Jain Temple sounds pretty interesting. I’d love to see the paintings and their architecture. I have mixed feeling about the Deshnok Karni Mata Temple though. I have this slight aversion to rats but spotting a white rat and being able to wish.. now that sounds pretty intriguing!
Thanks for sharing – it’s an area I’m not familiar with and looks very interesting.
I love to explore this kind of non-touristy places. The palace looks spectacular, but I’d be totally freaked out if I saw all those rats in the temple 😀
I have been to Bikaner but could visit the Rat temple, am adding all the others in my bucket list, hopefully soon! Thanks for sharing, Yogita!
That’s a concise guide to Bikaner. Certainly, it is getting popular day by day!
I would love to visit here one day, though I’m not sure I could stomach the rat temple. Im from chicago where we have wayyyy too many rats, so I prefer staying away from them LOL. http://www.aniatravels.com