Things to do in Bikaner for a Full-Fledged Desert Vacation


Top things to do in Bikaner

Bikaner is known worldwide for its culture, traditions and its lovely desert setting. The place also offers a number of activities to its guests; from camel safaris, to festivals, market browsing and food joints, there is no dearth of things to do in Bikaner. The place also boasts of several heritage havelis and forts, that are synonymous to the vibe of the place. The city also hosts an annual Camel Festival that is a grand event. In addition to that you can visit the museums, temples and binge eat the delicious local food items. Given below is a long list of things to do in Bikaner. Have a look!

Here is the list of 19 Things to do in Bikaner for a Full-Fledged Desert Vacation

1. Marvel at the Architecture of Junagarh Fort

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The Junagarh Fort of Bikaner is a magnificent structure around which the city of Bikaner grew up. The foundations of the Junagarh fort was built in 1478 by Rao Bika. However, it existed just as a stone fort then. The present grand structure was inaugurated on 17th February 1589. Besides having a rich history, the Junagarh Fort is a feat of architecture. The palaces inside the fort, the gardens, balconies, kiosks, etc. depict a composite architectural style which is influenced by the cultural differences of the different rulers and also foreign inspirations. The impressive Junagarh Fort stands with all its regal glory as an epitome of architectural brilliance. Visiting the Junagarh Fort is one of the best things to do in Bikaner.

2. Visit the Unique Karni Mata Temple

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The Karni Mata Temple, also popularly known as the Nari Mata Temple, is a highly popular tourist spot amongst devotees that is dedicated to Karni Mata, who is believed to be an incarnation of Maa Durga. What is unique about this temple, however, is not its architecture or location, rather the fact that 25,000 black rats live, and are worshipped, in the temple. In fact, the food that is eaten by them is considered to be holy and is later served as 'prasad'. So visiting here is one of the topmost things to do in Bikaner, for both the tourists and the locals.

3. Scale the Desert at Desert Safari

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The ships of desert, Camels, enable us to discover some of the beautiful and relatively unexplored regions of Bikaner. You can witness the vibrancy of colors, jubilant music, men with colorful turbans and massive moustaches and an evening full of dance and music. However, one will need a group to do the camel safari. Camel Safari options are limited in Bikaner and one needs to plan in advance. Also, it takes minimum of 2-3 days to venture out on a camel safari tour from Bikaner.

4. Witness the Opulence of Laxmi Niwas Palace

Once a royal palace of Maharaja Ganga Singh, Laxmi Niwas Palace is a stunning attraction which is now open to the public as a heritage hotel. The architectural beauty of the palace and its rich historic and heritage value draw guests in large numbers. The grand palace also has a museum that can be explored to get a glimpse into the royalty of Bikaner.

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5. Visit the Magnificent Lalgarh Palace

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Lalgarh Palace, a breathtaking Rajasthani Palace, is located in the beautiful city of Bikaner, Rajasthan in India. It was constructed for the Maharaja of Bikaner, Maharaja Ganga Singh, between 1902 and 1926. The marvellous palace is a treat to the sore eye in the dry and arid regions of Rajasthan. The palace has now been opened up for tourists as a Heritage Hotel and the entire estate comes under the National Heritage Trust. So whether it's the traditional Rajasthani culture or cuisine or the majestic history calling you, this heritage monument has to be on your list of must see this year.

6. Be a Part of the Annual Camel Festival

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Camel Festival in Bikaner is a two-day event organized annually in January in the land of camels, Bikaner which is situated in the north-west Indian state of Rajasthan. The Festival is a grand celebration of the rich culture of Bikaner that draws tourists from all over the world to this land of camels. The event has camel safaris, camel rides, processions, folk dance and various other cultural activities and competitions. On the occasion of the festival, the camels are dresses in bright and colourful ornaments and bridles. The burst of vibrant colours in the golden dunes is a sight that cannot match any other celebration in the world. 

7. Relish the Local Cuisines

Bikaner is often almost identified by its popular bhujjias, Namkeens, Papads and Baris . Make sure you try these while in Bikaner and take some home too. Along with this you can enjoy the other staple Rajasthani snacks such as Samosa, Kachori and many more. Bikaner also offers most of the typical Rajasthani preparations such as Dal Bati Choorma, Gatte ki Sabzi, Khata, Pakodi as well as deserts such as Ghevar, Fini, Rabri and more.

8. Make a Visit to the Splendid Rampuriya Haveli

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Rampuriya Haveli is known for is majestic, grandeur and opulence. The haveli is constructed in red sandstone with each intricate detail focused on and made with great detail. It was constructed in the 15th century by Baluji Chalva and is popularly known as the " pride of Bikaner". The haveli experience a large influx of tourists all through the year.

9. Enjoy a Camel Ride at National Research Centre On Camel

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Identified as one of the important tourist place of Bikaner, National Research Centre On Camel is open for tourists during afternoon. Tourists can see the camel of different breeds and their behavior. A camel museum is available to apprise them of the developmental and research aspects of the camel in the desert ecosystem. Facilities of camel riding, safari and video/photography are also available. Special attraction of the centre is Camel milk parlour and you can have unique value added camel milk products like ice-cream, hot and cold beverages. This is one of the most unique things to do in Bikaner.

10. Take a Tour of the Regal Gajner Palace

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If you're looking for a place that is the perfect combination of culture and tradition, Gajner Palace is the place for you. It is located in the city of Bikaner on the banks of Gajner Lake. This regal palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh as a hunting lodge for him and his family but was converted to a hotel in 1976. Gajner Palace offers you a variety of leisure activities from boat rides to desert safaris. Built as a traditional Rajasthani Palace, it is an architectural beauty which now is modernised to host guests. The entire vicinity is filled with lush green trees while the glorious palace itself offers recreational activities like billiards, lawn tennis, cycling, bird watching and wildlife safaris.

11. Offer Prayers at Laxmi Nath Temple

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Built in 1488 by Rao Bikaji, this is the oldest temple in Bikaner. The temple contains statues of Hindu deities Vishnu and Laxmi and it boasts of the superb archeological skills of artists and artisans. The temple attracts both tourists and pilgrims who visit to admire the architecture and carvings at the temple.

12. Shop for Local Handicrafts at Kote Gate

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If you are a shopaholic then Kote Gate is full of surprises for you. You can shop for buffed camel hide articles, miniature paintings, Khadi industry articles, as well as wood carvings apart form mouth watering Bhujia and Rosogollahs here. You can also find locally made handicrafts here and traditional apparels and goods unique to the region.

13. Shop for Traditional Jutis at Station Road

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The Station Road market is replete with numerous shops and small time vendors. This market is a fabulous place to acquire embroidered footwear (jootis), local fabrics, leather goods and wood as well as traditional artifacts. You can even get a customized Jooti within 24 hours and meanwhile you can try out the local miniature paintings and gold worked wood and leather crafts. For the foodies, the famous Haldiram Bhujiawala original shop is a place to be.

14. Take a Peek into Jain Culture at Bhandasar Jain Temple

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Bhandasar Jain Temple is one of the 27 beautiful Jain temples located in Bikaner. This temple is dedicated to the fifth Tirthankara, Sumatinath and it is also considered to be the most beautiful and the highest temple. This temple was built by a Jain merchant, Bhanda Shah. The foundation of this temple was filled by pure ghee and dry coconuts. The three-storied temple is made of red sandstone and one can enjoy the wall paintings and usta art here.

15. Seek Blessings at the Shiv Bari Temple

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Built of red sand stone, the Shiv Bari Temple is located about 6km from Bikaner. Fortified by a high wall the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has a beautiful wall panting of Nandi Bull facing the Shiva Lingam. Other main features of the Shiv Bari Temple include the pavilions, domes, and the well decorated columns. The exterior of the Shiv Bari Temple Campus has the statues of Lord Krishna with the 'Gopis' which leaves the devotees enchanted and mesmerized.

16. Admire the Architecture of the Royal Cenotaphs

The Royal Cenotaphs is the cremation ground of the foyal families of Bikaner. It is an architectural treat for the tourists. The splendid structure with intricately carved marble pillars display legends of Lord Krishna and other beautiful traditional designs. The oldest monument on the ground was installed in the honour of Rao Kalyanmal and the earliest is the one made for Maharaja Karni Singh.

17. Revisit the History of Bikaner at Sadul Singh Museum

Dedicated to the Maharajas of Bikaner, Maharaja Ganga Singh, Maharaja Karni Singh and Maharaja Sadul Singh, the Sadul Singh Museum has a fabulous collection of artefacts belonging to the kings, paintings, trophies, weapons, photographs to mention a few. It is the best place to get insights into the heroic activities of the Maharajas. If you are a history buff, you should definitely include visiting here in your topmost things to do in Bikaner.

18. Pay Respects at the Devi Kund

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Located around 8km from Bikaner, Devi Kund consists of royal cenotaphs or chhatris of brave rulers of Bika dynasty. This royal crematorium houses several cenotaphs. Every cenotaph displays remarkable Rajput craftsmanship. This exquisite architecture is a must visit during your trip to Bikaner. You may also visit Dargah of Rustal Ali Shah Peer which is located nearby.

19. Watch a Sunset by the Sursagar Lake

Sursagar Lake was dug out during the reign of Maharaja Sur Singh to curb water shortage in the region. With well maintained surroundings and proper seating arrangement around the mesmerizing lake, it is a famous attraction and a preferred picnic spot in the city. People also visit here to enjoy beautiful views of the sunset.

This post was published by Aqsa Aleem

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