Located amidst the Thar Desert, Bikaner is a culturally and historically rich destination in Rajasthan. Once a barren land, the city of Bikaner was established by Rao Bika in 1488. Known for its expansive sand dunes and camel rides, Bikaner is where tourists flock to experience a desert safari. Bikaner looks straight out of Arabian Tales and the city has very well preserved its old-world charm even today.
Bikaner is home to numerous historically significant monuments. It is also home to one of the only two models of the biplane used by the British in World War I. The Camel festival of Bikaner is renowned worldwide. On the other hand, Bikaner is also famous for its local delicacies. In this article, find the places to visit in Bikaner to plan a memorable trip to this city.
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5 BEST Places To Visit In Bikaner
Rajasthan is dotted with formidable forts perched upon mountain tops. However, the Junagarh Fort is different from the rest. Built on Thar desert, Junagarh Fort is one of the oldest structures in the city. It is said that this fort has witnessed each and every development of Bikaner. The construction of the fort was initiated by Rao Bika, the founder of Bikaner city in 1478.
The fort houses artefacts and monuments that represent 16 generations of rulers of Bikaner. Junagarh fort is one of the most popular places to visit in Bikaner. It was previously called Chintamani but the name was later changed to Junagarh. Meaning “Old Fort”. If you are a history buff then visiting Junagarh Fort is highly recommended for you.
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
- Major Attractions: Artefacts and Palace Gardens
- Ideal duration to explore: 2-3 hours
- Things to do: Photography, Witness Ancient Architectural Marvel
Karni Mata Temple
If you have a thing for strange or weird places then Karni Mata Temple is just the right place for you. Also known as the Nari Mata Temple or ‘Rat Temple’, Karni Mata Temple is home to nearly 25,000 black rats. These rats are known as kabbas and are considered holy by the visitors of the temple. Feeding these rats is a favourite activity among pilgrims and tourists.
Apart from its rats, Karni Mata temple is also known for its architectural brilliance. Inspire by Mughal-style architecture, this shrine is embellished with beautiful black and white marbles. Karni Temple is famous worldwide and welcomes visitors from all parts of the world. Visiting this strange temple can be added to the list of things to do in Bikaner.
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 4:00 AM to 10:00 PM
- Major Attractions: 25,000 Black Rats
- Ideal duration to explore: 1-2 hours
- Things to do: Feeding Rats
On the banks of Gajner Lake, one can come across a mammoth palace called Gajner Palace. This royal palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh but was converted into a full-fledged hotel in 1976. The walls of the palace are decorated with paintings that reflect the royal heritage. Gajner Palace is one of the best luxury hotels for one to stay while in Bikaner.
The guests of Gajner Palace can experience the thrilling Desert Safari and Camel Riding. This grand hotel is a favourite one among family vacationers and corporate travellers. The Gajner Palace is an amalgamation of history and modernisation. Gajner Palace is one of the top places to visit in Bikaner if you have a thing for majestic monuments.
- Opening hours: 24 x 7
- Major Attractions: Paintings
- Things to do: Desert Safari, Camel Rides
With Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi as its main deities, Shri Laxminath Temple remains one of the oldest temples in Bikaner. Covered with exemplary silver art-works throughout, this shrine is truly a sight to behold. Shri Laxminath Temple is situated close to the Bikaner Junction Railway Station. It was built between 1504 and 1526 AD by Maharaja Rao Lunarkaran.
The temple is a subject of deep-rooted culture and beliefs in Bikaner. Built as a seat of Lord Laxminath, the rulers of Bikaner considered Lord Laxminath to be the ruler of the region and themselves as the god’s ministers. Visit Shri Laxminath Temple to witness the craftsmanship of the highest level. It is one of the top destinations in Bikaner.
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Monday to Sunday from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM
- Major Attractions: Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi Idols, Silver Artworks
- Ideal duration to explore: 1-2 hours
- Things to do: Worship
Constructed between 1902 and 1926 by the Maharaja of Bikaner, Maharaja Ganga Singh, the Lallgarh Palace is an alluring palace in Bikaner. The palace was built in European architectural style and now serves as a heritage hotel. This magnificent castle changes its colour throughout the day due to its red sandstone structure.
Experience royal lifestyle by staying in Lallgarh Palace. The expansive corridors and well-maintained gardens add to the royalty of the place. The palace also houses a museum called Shri Sadul Museum where Rajasthani Royal artefacts are kept. Lallgarh Palace is one the most famous places to visit in Rajasthan.
- Opening hours: 24 x 7
- Major Attractions: Shri Sadul Museum
- Things to do: Experience a royal stay
Just like any other Rajasthani city, Bikaner too radiates the royalty that once existed in the state. Adorned with beautiful castles and strong forts, Bikaner helps you look into the era of kings of ancient India. The city brims with culture and tradition that can only be experienced by visiting it
Is Bikaner worth visiting?
Yes. Bikaner is a cultural city in Rajasthan that has a lot of things to offer its tourists. From forts, palaces, markets, temples to the massive Thar desert, Bikaner can provide you with an all-around experience.
What is famous in Bikaner?
Bikaner is famous for the Thar Desert and its camels. It houses the largest camel farm in Asia. Apart from the desert and the camels, Bikaner is famous for its savoury.
What is there to do in Bikaner at night?
There is a wide variety of activities to choose from things to do in Bikaner at night. You can attend the Camel Festival, shop at Kote Gate, take a tour of Junagarh Fort of Lallgarh Palace among others.