|Facts and Figures|
|Area||38.10 sq km|
|Languages||Rajasthani, Hindi, English|
|Best time to visit||November to February|
This desert city of Rajasthan (India's north-western province) is an eye-catching site of well-fed camels and citadels. Being near to Delhi, it had to withstand the worst of Mughal invasions during earlier times.
It has the neighboring country Pakistan on one side. It is situated on a slightly higher place (altitude 237 meters) and has an arid climate most of the year. Due to the geographic location of the city, it was one of the most important trade centers for the traders of west-central Asia.
Just like the history of the entire state, Bikaner also has its own glorious past to talk about. It has examples of courage, motivation and happiness. It was in 1488 that a Rathore Prince, Rao Bikaji (a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur, Rao Jodhaji), established his kingdom here. It has faced many foreign intrusions and fought a number of wars with the Mughals and the British.
The various parts of the palace-the Dewan-iI-khas, the Phool Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal and Anup Mahal
The temple of Mata Karni and Goddess Durga is a must-visit place to experience the rare sight of rats being worshiped in thousands of numbers.
The Gajanir Palace and the wildlife sanctuary, 32 km from the main city, is also a place worth visiting. A large number of wild species are available like the nilgai, wild boar, chinkara, etc. This place was the summer resort of the former kings.
Shiv Bari Temple, just 6 km away from the main city, is a well-curved and neatly worked out temple. It has a bronze Nandi statue and a Shiva lingam.
Kalibangan is an archeological site containing remains of the pre-Harappan and Harappan civilizations. This is a much-recommended site for historians and others who want to gain an insight of India's rich heritage.
Besides these, there are several places of pilgrimage like Kolayatji, Devikund, etc., which are famous among the people of religious minds.
LOCAL HUES AND COLORS
To know the local hues and colors of Bikaner, one has to witness the local fairs and festivals.
- The Camel Festival, held in the month of January, is the most exciting festival. Competitions related to camels like camel races, milking, dancing, etc., make this festival even more interesting.
- Kolayat Festival is the holy festival when the people take a dip in the holy water of the Kolayat Lake. It normally takes place on the full-moon night of the Hindu month Kartik (November).
- Gangaur Festival, dedicated to Goddess Parvati, is an 18-day long spring festival celebrated during the month of April.
The typical Rajasthani products like metal ware, blue pottery, Rajasthani paintings, puppetry, embroidered fabrics, block-printed fabrics, etc., are easily available in the local markets of Bikaner.
Bikaner is well connected to the nearby towns and cities of importance.
Jodhpur is the nearest airport. The airport is easily accessible by road.
Bikaner has number of train links to connect it with the major cities of India. It is also linked with the big and small cities of India by the national highways and other roadways.
Bikaner has a number of hotels and lodges to accommodate its guests. The price range varies noticeably to meet the demand for various levels of tourists.
WHERE TO EAT
Besides the lodging facilities, there are numbers of eateries and restaurants serving various delicacies.
The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation has number of tourist information centers. Trained tourist guides and interpreters can be availed through prior contact with the RTDC.
Although visiting this desert place is a real treat for the visitor; there are some points to be kept in mind while packing up for Bikaner. Being a desert and arid land, it lacks humidity. Therefore, a good skin moisturizer and wet tissues should be kept handy. It is advisable to visit this site during winter seasons when the weather becomes cool and tolerable. The day and night temperature varies significantly. For winters, sufficient numbers of woolens are recommended for the travelers.
|Adventure Tours of India|