Bikaner is the fifth largest city in Rajasthan. It was founded by Rao Bikaji in 1486. Bikaner being one of the three great desert Kingdoms of Rajasthan after Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. It is dotted with scores of sand dunes. It is located in the mid of Thar Desert. Bikaner is also called Camel City. It is distinguished for the best riding camels in the world and hence boasts of having one of the biggest largest Camel Research and Breeding farms in the world. Bikaner is also famous for its handicrafts and its Camel festival, which happens in the month of January every year, with camel races, various cultural activities and villages sports events etc.
Major tourist attractions of Bikaner
Junagarh Fort :
Junagarh fort is the most imposing forts in Rajasthan. This fort was built in 15th century by Raja Rai Singh. It is built with red sandstone and marble. The fort has seven gates contains several palaces, pavilions and many temples of Hindu and Jain religions with several types of architectural style. Junagarh fort is the main tourist attraction in Bkaner.
Laxmi Niwas Palace :
Laxmi Niwas Palace is a residential palace of the royal family of the Bikaner. It was designed by the Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob in the year 1902. The style of architecture is Indo-Saracenic. It is now converted into a luxury hotel. The magnificent structure in red sandstone is one of the major tourist attraction in Bikaner.
Lalgarh Palace :
Lalgarh Palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the memory of his father Maharaja Lall Singh. It was designed with Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles. Lalgarh is constructed with red sandstone and has many grand halls, lounges, cupolas and pavilions. The palace houses the Shri Sadul Museum as well as a large and important collection of Sanskrit manuscripts, the Anup Sanskrit Library. One portion of the palace is use for royal family for resident and another part of the building has been converted into a heritage hotel operated by the royal family of Bikaner.
Gajner Palace :
Gajner Palace is a summer palace of Maharaja of Bikaner, built by Maharaja Ganga Singh ji, palace situated on the embankment of a lake. It is just 30 Km from Bikaner city. The architecture of Gajner palace is the masterpiece. It is built in red sandstone with intricately carved pillars, jharokhas and screens , the craftsmanship here is amazing.Palace is surrounded by beautiful wooded area, Now a part of the palace is converted into Luxury hotel.
Karni Mata Temple :
The world famous temple of Karni Mata situated in the town of Deshnoke, just 30 km south from Bikaner. Karni Mata temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. This temple is famous for rats, which you can be seen everywhere in the temple.
Camel Breeding Farm :
Camel Breeding Farm also known as Camel Research Farm was establish is 1984 by central government of India engaged in research on camels. It is the biggest Camel Breeding farm in Asia. It is 9Km from Bikaner city center. You can enjoy camel ride and ice cream made of camel milk. The best time to visit the Bikaner camel breeding farm is in the afternoon when camels return back from grazing.
The Camel Festival is an event organized by the Rajasthan government, Department of Tourism, Art and Culture. It takes place every year in the month of January. At this festival the "ships of the desert" are seen at their best. The camels are decorated in typical Rajasthani attires, colorful bridles and saddles Some famous activity like camel races, camel dances, and the bumpy, neck shaking camel rides take place at this event.
How to Reach Bikaner :
By Flight :
Bikaner has an airport named Nal Airport, presently not fully functional, basically it is an Indian Air force station. But a domestic terminal is under construction at the same airport site. It is expected that flight operation will start from 2013 onward. it is 13 kilometres away from the city centre. At present two nearest airports to Bikaner, one Jodhpur which is 250 Km and second Jaipur which is 320 km.
By Train :
Bikaner is well connected railway network with all major stations and cities of India, Bikaner is served by two railway stations namely Bikaner Junction and Lalgarh Railway Station.
By Road :
Bikaner also has a very good all weather roads that are part of the state and national highways linking the major cities of India. State Roadways and private bus operate air-conditioned and ordinary bus services from Bikaner to all parts of north India, like Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
Climate of Bikaner :
Summer season : Average maximum and minimum temperatures of Bikaner is 48 º C and 30 º C.
Winter season : Average maximum and minimum temperature of Bikaner is 24º C and 04º C.
Monsoon season : Average rainfall of Bikaner is between 260 - 440 millimetres.
Best season to visit Bikaner : Between September to March.