Bikaner Travel Guide
Bikaner Travel Guide: As the northern point of the triangle of desert cities, Bikaner neither has the lakes nor expansive gardens. a major trade centre as it stood on the ancient caravan route, it is the camel city where thousands bring their animals for the Camel Fair. Marvel at these marvelous ships of desert even as you are introduced to an entire lifestyle built around them. The startling monuments and temples may be present. But it is the camel that steals the and predominates in fairs, festivals, shopping and cuisines where the camel delicacies are the foremost.
Places to Visit in Bikaner
Built as an unassailable fortress in 1593 A.D. by Raja Rai Singh, it has never been conquered. Crossing the formidable structure’s moat leads to the main entrance the Karan Pol. Next to it is the Suraj Pol- the sun gate [gate] It opens to some wondrous palaces like Anup Mahal, Ganga Niwas and Rang Mahal or palace of pleasure. Constructed in red sandstone and marble, these are replete with a splendorous ensemble of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows. The Har Mandir the beauteous chapel was for worshipping by the royal family. There is also a museum with an array of objects inside.
The architectural masterpiece in red sandstone, is an empyrean fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European architecture and was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji in 1902. The western exteriors leads into the dramatic contrasts of the oriental interiors and amenities. It is redolent with beautiful latticework and filigree work, which are hallmarks of a great craftsmanship. Sprawling lawns with blooming bougainvillea and dancing peacocks make a visual delight even as the amazing collection of well-maintained paintings enchant the connoisseur.
The ancient mansions of the noble and wealthy are a reverberant peep into the languorous lifestyles. Often outrageously ostentatious, these reflect the opulent life style in their intricate carvings , craftsmanship and the sprawling courtyards. Bikaner is rich such havelis and the notables like the Kotharis, Rampurias, Vaids and Dagas should not be missed.
Temples: Bhandeswari Jain Temple
The fifteenth century temple and is the oldest and is resplendent with rich mirror work, frescoes and gold leaf paintings.
Shiv Bari Temple
Fortified by a high wall the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple has an enchanting wall panting of Nandi Bull facing the Shiva Lingam.
Museums: Ganga Singh Museum
Voted unanimously as the best museum in the state, it displays a rich array of archaeological discoveries from prehistoric Harrapan and early Gupta period. Paintings, arts and craft, terracotta, pottery, carpets, coins and ancient Rajput weaponry are categorized in different sections.
Located in the great Junagarh Fort it has a stunning collection of royal costumes, textiles and accessories. ‘Poshaks’ or the ladies ensemble displayed are perhaps the last remnants of the traditional designing styles and workmanship. changing cultural settings and the legacy can glimpsed in its collection of family portraits of the former rulers.
Bikaner is synonymous with exotic shopping and exquisite crafts can be unearthed in this rustic desert paradise.
Mojari (Bikaneri style), rangi dupatta, Kundan work, wooden antiques, Haldirams (Rasgulas, bhujia), Lacquer Bangles, carpet making are just a few of the items. Camel leather shoes, camel leather chairs, camel fur rugs, camel leather belts, bags, miniature paintings on camel hides, beaded and sequined gorbandhs, lac bangles etc. also are keepsakes of the glorious desert aura.
Shop for local goodies like the traditional Bikaneri bhujia and Bikaner sweetmeats made from delicious camel milk. Stop by at a local desert stall and sip camel milk before picking up lavishly embroidered quilts, ghagras, camel leather goods and bright paintings.It will give an insight into the glorious Bikaner culture as local artisans weave local traditions and artistic skill into local crafts.
Bikaner offers a wide varieties like peanut butters, pancakes with maple syrups as dishes for breakfast that cannot be f ound in any major metro city of India. Daal Baati Churma with desert grown herbs called “Kari Sangri” with Bajra Roti makes a perfect traditional Rajasthani meal .Wash it down with buttermilk or all flavored Lassis to complete the meal.Gram flour is a major ingredient and is used to make some of the delicacies like Khata, Gatta ki Sabzi and Pakodi. Powdered Lentils are used for Mangodi and Papad. Bajra and Corn are used all over the state for preparations of Rabdi, Kheechdi, and Rotis. Non-vegetarian food like “Laal Mass” or “Junglee Mass” (lamb cooked in red hot chilli peppers) is sumptuous Restaurants meeting all budget sizes can easily be discovered here.
How to Get Here :
Bikaner is very well connected via rail and road network with all major cities of the country. By Air ,the nearest airport is Jodhpur (252 km) and Bikaner is well connected with regular train services from Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur. Well connected with luxury AC and economical local state buses ply on the smooth National Highway11.
Do’s and Dont’s
- Don’t get fleeced by the locals while shopping or looking for an accommodation.
- Must get reservations before in hand as this city is packed from October-March.
- It is a safe city for travelers especially for women but just be aware.
- Camp safari is an experience so don’t miss it.
- Keep a check on the meter when hiring a cab.
- Try Masala Chai made of camel’s milk.