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Things to do -  general

Bikaner is home to one of the only two models of the biplane used by the British during World War I. They were presented by the British to Maharaja Ganga Singh, then ruler of the city. Another unique aspect about Bikaner are the sand dunes that are scattered throughout the district, especially from the north-east down to the southern area. Bikaner is situated in the northern region of Rajasthan. One of the earlier established cities, Bikaner still displays its ancient opulence through palaces and forts, built of red sandstone, that have withstood the passage of time.

It's surrounded by the Thar Desert. The city is known for the 16th-century Junagarh Fort, a huge complex of ornate buildings and halls. Within the fort, the Prachina Museum displays traditional textiles and royal portraits. Nearby, the Karni Mata Temple is home to many rats considered sacred by Hindu devotees.

Bikaner is a city in the northwest of the state of Rajasthan in northern India. It is located 330 kilometres (205 mi) northwest of the state capital, Jaipur. Bikaner city is the administrative headquarters of Bikaner District and Bikaner division.Formerly the capital of the princely state of Bikaner, the city was founded by Rao Bika in 1486 and from its small origins it has developed into the fourth largest city in Rajasthan. The Ganges Canal, completed in 1928, and the Indira Gandhi Canal, completed in 1987, facilitated its development.

The city celebrates its foundation day on Akshaya Tritiya by flying kites and eating special Rajasthani food that includes Bajre Ka Khichda and Imli ka Paani (Tamarind Water) among other snacks. The celebration lasts for two days, known as Chhoti Akha Teej and Badi Akha Teej. People can be seen flying kites during these two days right from the early morning at 5-6am till late sunset. Given the extreme desert weather, standing for long hours under the bright Sun is a torture in itself. Hence, a quick home-made drink like Tamarind Water really helps in controlling body temperature and prevents from heat stroke

The origins of Bikaner can be traced back to 1488 when a Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji, founded the kingdom. Legend has it that Bikaji, one of Rao Jodhaji’s five sons, left his father’s Durbar in annoyance after an insensitive remark from his father, the illustrious founder of Jodhpur. Bikaji travelled far and when he came upon the wilderness called Jangladesh, he decided to set up his own kingdom and transformed it into an impressive city.


Bikaner is situated in the middle of the Thar desert and has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh) with very little rainfall and extreme temperatures. In summer temperatures can exceed 45 °C, and during the winter they may dip below freezing. The climate in Bikaner is characterised by significant variations in temperature. In the summer season it is very hot when the temperatures lie in the range of 28–50.5 °C (82.4–122.9 °F). In the winter, it is fairly cold with temperatures lying in the range of 5–23.2 °C (41.0–73.8 °F).Annual rainfall is in the range of 260–440 millimetres (10–17 in).


Prior to the mid 15th century, the region that is now Bikaner was a barren wilderness called Jangladesh.Rao Bika established the city of Bikaner in 1488. He was the first son of Maharaja Rao Jodha of the Rathor clan, the founder of Jodhpur and conquered the largely arid country in the north of Rajasthan. As the first son of Jodha he wanted to have his own kingdom, not inheriting Jodhpur from his father or the title of Maharaja. He therefore decided to build his own kingdom in what is now the state of Bikaner in the area of Jangladesh. Though it was in the Thar Desert, Bikaner was considered an oasis on the trade route between Central Asia and the Gujarat coast as it had adequate spring water. Bika's name was attached to the city he built and to the state of Bikaner ("the settlement of Bika") that he established. Bika built a fort in 1478, which is now in ruins, and a hundred years later a new fort was built about 1.5 km from the city centre, known as the Junagarh Fort.

Around a century after Rao Bika founded Bikaner, the state's fortunes flourished under the sixth Raja, Rai Singhji, who ruled from 1571 to 1611. During the Mughal Empire's rule in the country, Raja Rai Singh accepted the suzerainty of the Mughals and held a high rank as an army general at the court of the Emperor Akbar and his son the Emperor Jahangir. Rai Singh's successful military exploits, which involved winning half of Mewar kingdom for the Empire, won him accolades and rewards from the Mughal emperors. He was given the jagirs (lands) of Gujarat and Burhanpur. With the large revenue earned from these jagirs, he built the Chintamani durg (Junagarh fort) on a plain which has an average elevation of 760 feet (230 m). He was an expert in arts and architecture, and the knowledge he acquired during his visits abroad is amply reflected in the numerous monuments he built at the Junagarh fort.

Maharaja Karan Singh, who ruled from 1631 to 1639, under the suzerainty of the Mughals, built the Karan Mahal palace. Later rulers added more floors and decorations to this Mahal. Anup Singh ji, who ruled from 1669 to 1698, made substantial additions to the fort complex, with new palaces and the Zenana quarter, a royal dwelling for women and children. He refurbished the Karan Mahal with a Diwan-i-Am (public audience hall) and called it the Anup Mahal.Maharaja Gaj Singh, who ruled from 1746 to 1787 refurbished the Chandra Mahal (the Moon palace). During the 18th century, there was internecine war between the rulers of Bikaner and Jodhpur and also amongst other thakurs, which was put down by British troops. Following Maharaja Gaj Singh, Maharaja Surat Singh ruled from 1787 to 1828 and lavishly decorated the audience hall (see illustration) with glass and lively paintwork. Under a treaty of paramountcy signed in 1818, during Maharaja Surat Singh's reign, Bikaner came under the suzerainty of the British, after which the Maharajas of Bikaner invested heavily in refurbishing Junagarh fort.

Dungar Singh, who reigned from 1872 to 1887, built the Badal Mahal, the 'weather palace', so named in view of a painting of clouds and falling rain, a rare event in arid Bikaner. General Maharaja Ganga Singh, who ruled from 1887 to 1943, was the best-known of the Rajasthan princes and was a favourite of the British Viceroys of India. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India, served as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet, represented India at the Imperial Conferences during the First World War and the British Empire at the Versailles Peace Conference. His contribution to the building activity in Junagarh involved separate halls for public and private audiences in the Ganga Mahal and a durbar hall for formal functions. He also built the Ganga Niwas Palace, which has towers at the entrance patio. This palace was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, the third of the new palaces built in Bikaner. He named the building Lalgarh Palace in honour of his father and moved his main residence there from Junagarh Fort in 1902. The hall where he held his Golden Jubilee (in 1938) as Bikaner's ruler is now a museum.

Ganga Singh's son, Lieutenant-General Sir Sadul Singh, the Yuvaraja of Bikaner, succeeded his father as Maharaja in 1943, but acceded his state to the Union of India in 1949. Maharaja Sadul Singh died in 1950, being succeeded in the title by his son, Karni Singh (1924-1988).The Royal Family still lives in a suite in Lalgarh Palace, which they have converted into a heritage hotel.

state Rajasthan,India
Country India
Area 155 km2 (60 sq mi)
Languages spoken Marwadi,Rajasthani,Hindi,English
Currency Ruppee

Top Things In Bikaner

Places to visits

  • Junagarh Fort

    Junagarh is an impregnable bastion that holds the distinction of having never been captured.

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    It was constructed in 1588 AD by Raja Rai Singh, one of Emperor Akbar’s most distinguished generals. The fort complex houses some magnificent palaces constructed in red sandstone and marble and visitors can feast their eyes on an attractive assortment of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows.

  • Karni Mata Temple

    Karni Mata Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Karni Mata at Deshnoke, 30 km from Bikaner, in Rajasthan.

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    It is also known as the Temple of Rats.The temple is famous for the approximately 20,000 black rats that live, and are revered in, the temple. These holy rats are called kabbas, and many people travel great distances to pay their respects. The temple draws visitors from across the country for blessings, as well as curious tourists from around the world.

  • Kote Gate

    If you are a shopaholic then Kote Gate is full of surprises for you.

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    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.

  • Rampuriya Haveli

    Rajasthan, especially Bikaner, is known for its havelis. Large, magnanimous, extravagant houses complete with intricate details of jharokas and carvings, havelis are no less than palaces.

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    Great effort has been put into the smallest of details. From doors to windows to every small bit, special thought and neatness has been adhered to and hence such a brilliant piece of architecture has been created. Among all other havelis like Rikhji Bagri ki Haveli, Haveli of Bhairondan, Daga Chowk Havelis and Sampatlala Agarwal Haveli, Rampuria group of Havelis are known for their more than 400 years old architecture splendor.

  • Lalgarh Palace

    The Lalgarh Palace was originally built for the Maharaja Ganga Singh between 1902-1926.

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    The Palace is now converted into a Heritage hotel which is owned and operated by the Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji Trust and marketed by Maharaja Heritage Resorts Limited. The palace defines the bleak and rugged reality of Thar in Bikaner. The renowned architect, Sir Swinton Jacob, was given the hold of this whole project. The palace started to build in 1896 and its first quadrant Laxmi Niwas was completed by 1902. It was named in the memory of Maharaja Ganga Singh's father Maharaj Lall Singhji. It has played host to a high number of dignitaries. The open corridors run through the halls and rooms of the palace. They are lined with an old collection of prints and vintage copies of etchings. They are mounted with hunting trophies. It has 56 superior and standard rooms equipped with mini bar and every possible thing of necessity. Lord Curzon was the first notable guest of the palace.

  • National Reserch


    Identified as one of the important tourist place of Bikaner, National Research Centre On Camel is open for tourists during afternoon.

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    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. There are many shops within the premises too.

  • Desert Safari

    The ships of desert, Camels, enable us to discover some of the beautiful and relatively unexplored regions of Bikaner.

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    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.

  • Bhandasar Jain


    Bhandasar Jain Temple is one of the 27 beautiful Jain temples located in Bikaner.

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    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.

  • Laxmi Nath temple

    Built in 1488 by Rao Bikaji, this is the oldest temple in Bikaner.

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    The temple contains statues of Hindu deities Vishnu and Laxmi and it boasts of the superb archeological skills of artists and artisans.

  • Gajner Palace

    Gajner Palace was originally a hunting lodge for the Maharaja and his family which was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh on the banks of Gajner Lake.

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    It is a lakeside paradise in between the Thar Desert. The palace was converted into a heritage hotel in 1976. It is a perfect getaway from the fast lifestyle. You may get a chance to explore a world of the nature walk, boat rides, sanctuary dinners and desert safaris. The picturesque beauty of the palace once had remnants of a historic railway station. The hunting resort was connected to rail in 1922. The palace has been modernized yet has a hint of aristocracy and history in it. Visit any time of the year and relish the beauty of the heritage palace turned into a hotel. From cooperate events to holidaying plan, the place is completely fit. Camel safari is what you can opt for while you visit the palace. Do not miss the chance of exploring peace in the laps of history and nature.

  • Shiv Bari Temple

    Built of red sand stone, the Shiv Bari Temple is located about 6km from Bikaner.

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    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.

  • Camel festival

    A two day event organized every year in the month of January, the Camel festival has some spectacular.

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    A two day event organized every year in the month of January, the Camel festival has some spectacular and unusual camel performances like camel races, camel dances, and the bumpy, neck shaking camel rides take place at this event. Tea and sweets made of camels' milk are also available during the festival. The festival starts with a procession of camels from the Junagarh fort. On both evenings, there are some cultural performances by the renowned folk singers and dancers of Rajasthan.

  • Devi Kund

    Located around 8km from Bikaner, Devi Kund consists of royal cenotaphs or chhatris of brave rulers of Bika dynasty.

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    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.


  • Rajastani Thali

    This contemporary cafe and restaurant close to the Junagarh entrance is known as ‘Glops’ to Rajastani Thali.

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    This contemporary cafe and restaurant close to the Junagarh entrance is known as ‘Glops’ to Rajastani Thali. There are snacks such as pizzas, wraps and sandwiches, and a good range of Indian and Chinese veg and nonveg dishes. You can sit outside or curl up in an armchair in the air-conditioned interior with a cold beer or an espresso.

  • Puri Chole

    Puri Chole have a unique specification.

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    This bright and hugely popular 1st-floor restaurant serves up pretty good veg Indian dishes, plus a few Chinese mains and pizzas (but unfortunately no beer), amid large banks of plastic flowers. It's a good place to sit and relax if waiting for a train. The ground-floor fast-food section is less appealing, but it does have a good sweets counter.

  • Rasmilai

    You might have Rasmilai in bikaner.

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    Evergreen is a neat and clean Rasmilai where the delicious air-conditioning hits you the moment you walk through the door. The veg and nonveg menu leans equally towards North Indian and South Indian cuisines, with many classics such as paneer tikka and malai kofta represented.

  • Swaad Thali

    Wanna beat the heat? Palace Garden Restaurant is available for you in our Digha.

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    This excellent garden restaurant at one of Bikaner’s best hotels is a lovely place to eat – at least until the nights become too chilly. The fare spans South Indian, veg and nonveg North Indian, and Chinese, and if you’re lucky there will be live traditional music and singing.

  • Shakti Dining

    Central and modern, Shakti's serves good Indian classics in a garden setting or in air-conditoned comfort.

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    Central and modern, Shakti's serves good Indian classics in a garden setting or in air-conditoned comfort. Also here is the funky Road Runner Cafe for a more casual dining experience.



Things to do -  general

Situated in the middle of Thar Desert, Bikaner is a city of forts and palaces. It is also known for its sweets and snacks.

Bikaner with its magnificence in architecture, art and culture has sands filled with colour, festivity and cultural marvels. Sand Dunes and the Desert Safari are among major attractions. Bikaner is also famous for hosting the international Camel festival which draws tourists from world over. Other attractions here include experiencing delicacies such as Thandai, Bhujias, shopping for the fascinating Ivory and Lacquer items or simply witnessing the immense heritage taking form of wall paintings and arts and crafts in the area.


Things to do - Sports and nature

Bikaner, located in the middle of the Thar desert and founded by Rao Bika back in 1486, has many temples and forts reflecting the cultural heritage of Rajasthan. Some of the famous places you should definitely visit here are- Junagarh Fort- Earlier known as Chintamani, this fort also has artefacts from ancient past of Bikaner.

Karni Mata Temple, a Hindu temple, also known as the Rat Temple, is located at Deshnok, 30 km from Bikaner. While thousands of rats are worshipped in this temple, there are few white rats here, considered to be the holiest ones. Lalgarh Palace, built in the 19th century, has been converted into a heritage hotel. The cravings are done on red sandstone. Its architecture is a mixture of Rajput, Muslim and European styles. Its beautiful designs with sprawling gardens are an attraction for tourists. Bhandasar Jain Temple, one of the most beautiful Jain temple, is famous for its paintings and for the fact that 40,000 kgs of ghee were used in making of this temple.


Things to do - Nightlife

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.

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.