Thursday, December 1, 2022

Bikaner Rajasthan- Activities, Attractions & Festivals

Among the world’s most popular tourist destinations, India has a prominent role. Several destinations in India attract visitors from all over the world who speak various languages and cultures. Rajasthan, the country of forts and palaces, is one of them. Rajasthan is a destination where you may experience all of the luxuries of a royal lifestyle all at once. Tourists will find ancient temples and centuries-old castles aplenty in this land. In Rajasthan, many places attract a large number of tourists. One of them is Bikaner.

Bikaner- The Epitome of Rajput Culture!

When thoughts turn to Rajasthan, what comes to your mind? Perhaps, the huge expanse of sand, people riding camels against the backdrop of the sunset, and palaces bathed in regal elegance. Bikaner has all this and more. It fits the “wonder in the heart of the Thar desert” narrative.

Founded by Bikaji, Bikaner presents a potpourri of a rich Rajput cultural heritage, culinary delights, high-intensity festivities, and one-of-a-kind palaces. After all, it is among the most vibrant cities in Rajasthan and a busy tourist location keeping a steady stream of visitors all year round. Here’s your comprehensive guide to Bikaner and it’s tourist attractions.

What to See in Bikaner

Bikaner spoils you for choices when it comes to must-visit sites. Let’s help you with details on key attractions in Bikaner to allow you to plan your travel itinerary accordingly.

1. Junagarh Fort

Junagarh FortJunagarh Fort is hands down Bikaner’s most popular tourist attraction. Raja Rai Singh constructed the fort in 1593, featuring several places, including Anoop Mahal, Ganga Niwas Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Phool Mahal, Karan Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal. Composed of red sandstone, these palaces are designed to comfort and thrill. The fort’s walls are 986 feet long, with 37 bastions and two entrances. Karan, the fort’s main entrance, is located on the fort’s pole. A temple can be found within the fort, used for deity worship by the royal family of Bikaner. Other well-known landmarks include Durbar Hall, Gaj Mandir, and Suraj Pol.

2. National Camel Research Center

National Camel Research CenterJobir, Bikaner is home to the National Camel Research Center, a popular tourist attraction in Bikaner with a unique designation on the tourism map. It walks you through camel breeds, camel’s evolutionary journey and other information that camel lovers find useful. You also get insights into the desert ecology to beef up your knowledge. Feel free to enjoy a camel ride, safaris, and video and photography sessions at the center.

3. Lalgarh Palace

Lalgarh PalaceLalgarh Palace is a coveted palace featuring stunning, intricate architecture to keep you spellbound. Maharaja Ganga Singh is credited with building this gorgeous palace in the twentieth century. Now, it is being converted into a hotel to cater to the elites.

The palace’s magnificent interior decoration and the opulent Rajputana-style designs make it a sight to behold. A museum has also been created in Lalgarh Palace, housed within the Ganga Niwas, where miniature works from Bikaner’s art school are on display.

This castle also features a library, which houses a huge collection of Sanskrit manuscripts printed on parchment, gold, silver, and copper plates. In addition, items from the Harappan civilization, the Gupta period, and the Kushan dynasty have been preserved here.

4. Rampuria Haveli (need more info here)

Rampuria HaveliRampuria Haveli should be on your bucket list when visiting Bikaner. Constructed with red sandstone, the haveli exudes an old-world charm to enthrall its visitors. The splendid architecture, craftsmanship, and paintings within are worth seeing.

Bikaner is home to several Havelis (noble houses), the Rampuria haveli for one. Every part of the Havelis, constructed of red stone, is interesting – the jharokha (casement), the entry, the lattice windows, the diwan khana, the gamharia, and the cellar. Each window is adorned with leaves and flowers, adding a nice touch to the overall decor. This colossal Havelis is lavishly embellished with high-quality golden work. The dankhana (drawing room) is reminiscent of Mughal and Rajput times and bears a strong Victorian flavor. The excellent wood carvings add to the Rampuria Haveli’s overall appeal.

5. Karni Mata Temple

Karni Mata TempleKarni Mata Temple is a well-known Hindu temple in Deshnok, 30 kilometers south of Bikaner. Also referred to as the Rat Temple for the abundance of black rats, it has the idol of Goddess Karni Mata, a local deity. Tourists flock to observe the marble carvings on the temple’s main entrance, in particular. The silver gates, gold parasols, and enormous silver plates stored here for rats (Kaaba) are other attractions. The beauty of the marble temple is apparent at first glance while the sight of rats rattling through the main door is amazing.

6. Jain Temple Bhandarkar

Jain Temple BhandarkarJain Temple Bhandarsar was constructed in the 15th-century. It is dedicated to Sumatinath, the 5th Tirthankara. In Jain philosophy, Tirthankara is a man who has overcome the cycle of life, death, and rebirth and paved the way for others to achieve nirvana. Amazing mirror work, frescoes, and gold leaf paintings here are to enchant you.

7. Gajner Palace

Gajner PalaceGajner Palace is in Gajner, near Bikaner, located on the banks of a lake and surrounded by a forest. Raja Ganga Singh used red sandstone to construct this palace, which served as a hunting retreat for the kings of Bikaner. The principal attractions of this monument are the elaborately carved pillars, windows, and screens. If lucky enough, you can feast your eyes on the diverse fauna, including migratory birds, black deer, blue bull, chinkara, and nilgai.

8. Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary

Gajner Wildlife SanctuaryFor wildlife enthusiasts, Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary is a dream come true. Previously, the Raja of Bikaner owned this woodland, and set it aside for hunting. A lush green forest, just 32 kilometers from Bikaner on Jaisalmer Road, is home to nilgai, chinkara, black deer, wild boar, royal sand herd, chinkaras, black antelopes, nilgai, desert foxes, and wild boars. It is also a refuge at home to a variety of birds, including royal chirping birds and ducks.

9. Devi Kund

Devi KundSituated 8 kilometers from Bikaner, the Shahi crematorium could be on your bucket list. It features several beautiful chhatris, each dedicated to a Bikaji dynasty ruler and situated where they were cremated. Maharaja Surat Singh’s Chhatri is an exceptional example of that era’s architecture. Before Maharaja Gaj Singh Ji, who practiced Sati, Devi Kund also had the tombs of 22 female members of the royal dynasty. A memorial commemorating a ruler’s sarcasm (male sati) can also be found. Maharaja Surat Singh’s Chhatri is entirely built of white marble and features beautiful Rajput paintings on the ceiling.

10. Kolayat

KolayatFor Hindus, Kolayat is a significant site for a plenary indulgence. Each year, devotees from all over the world visit this temple complex to seek blessings. According to a legend, Kapil Muni, a proponent of Samkhya Yoga, was so mesmerized by the beauty of this region that he stayed on his way to the northwest to perform ‘Tapasya (penance). The attractions include temples, ghats, a holy lake, and city market. Bikaner is 50 km from Kolayat.

11. Shiva Bari Temple

Shiva Bari TempleThe Shiva temple is guarded by a high wall and located just 6 kilometers from Bikaner. It was built in the 19th century by Maharaja Dungar Singh in remembrance of his father, Maharaja Lal Singh. The principal attractions of this red stone temple include:

  • The wonderful wall paintings
  • Four-faced black marble Shiva statue
  • Bronze Nandi idol sitting right next to the Shiva-lingam
  • Two big water reservoirs called Bavaris

12. Shri Laxminath Temple (need some more info)

Shri Laxminath TempleLord Lakshminathji (Lord Vishnu) was regarded by the kings of Bikaner as the true king of Bikaner. The kings considered themselves the Lord Vishnu’s Diwans or ministers. This temple, made of marble and red stone, was created to hold Lord Lakshminath’s throne.

Major festivals in Bikaner:

Consider indulging in the festivities of Bikaner to capture the true culture and local life. Read on, as we walk you through some of the most famous festivals of the city.

1. Bikaner Camel Fair

Bikaner Camel FairThe Bikaner Camel Fair is a celebration of camels and their significance for the local folks. A camel race is a prime attraction of this yearly event. Other exciting activities include fur cutting designs, best breed competition, camel bands, camel acrobatics, and much more.

Camel dancing performances also attract attention. Watching camels dancing on the instruction of the cameleers and displaying excellent footwork is also a sight to behold. Plus, feast your eyes on competitions for camel decorations, fur cutting ideas, camel milk, and best camel hair. The images of foreigners dressed in Rajasthani attire and dancing to folk tunes make their way into Bikaner news.

2. Karni Mata Mela

Karni Mata MelaKarni Mata Mela is a ten-day celebration held twice yearly in March – April and September – October on the grounds of Karni Mata Temple. It honors the goddess Karni Mata who according to Hindu mythology, possesses superhuman abilities. The Karni Mata Mela is a site for a variety of cultural and religious programs that receive extensive media attention.

The temple opens at 4 a.m. on the first day of the mela for puja followed by Arti. Bhog and Prasad are also offered to the deity during the puja. The goddess’s statue is elegantly adorned with a golden crown, priceless jewels and garlands. A large number of tourists attend the fair to have the first-hand experience of the region’s rich religious heritage.

3. Kolayat Fair

Kolayat FairThe fair happens each year on a full moon day marked by villagers bathing in the sacred lake. The fair’s primary attraction is its lamp-master. The lanterns are made of flour and lit before being poured into the pond. Every year, up to one lakh people congregate here. The presence of Kapileshwar Muni’s ashram has heightened the significance of this location.

Best Things to Do in Bikaner: (add a few more activities)

Best Things to do in BikanerBikaner isn’t all about sightseeing. Rather, it has something for the adventurists as well. The city offers a stunning variety of adrenaline-pumping excursions for everyone.

  • Camel ride

Camels are a part and parcel of life in Bikaner. The National Camel Research Center is a good place to start. There, you can ride a camel, sample camel milk sweets, tour the in-house museum, or simply meander around the farm for a unique experience.

  • Desert camping

Desert camping is a crowd-puller in Bikaner Rajasthan. Creating a tent out of gold sand, sleeping in it at night, and witnessing the stars in the open sky offer an unforgettable experience.

  • Camel Safari

Where there is a desert, there is a camel. It is the same in Bikaner. This is the perfect place for a camel safari through the vast expanses of the Thar desert.

  • Shopping

Bikaner caters to your shopping needs holistically. From local markets to posh shopping malls, you have plenty of options to buy from. Be it footwear, sweets (papad, gathiya), clothing (lightweight, patterned dress material), traditional blankets, or anything else, you can find it in Bikaner.

Conclusion

Bikaner is a place where you can have fun, knowledge, experience, and be yourself. Plan your next holiday now and start packing. And don’t forget to bookmark this page in case you need to check the points while planning your itinerary. Stay connected for more guides.

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Rohit Kumar
Rohit Kumar
Passionate about content quality and attention to detail, Rohit has penned over 15,000 copies for some of the leading online and offline publications in his eight-year career. Currently heading the content team at Dunia Ka Gyan, he believes in team spirit, ingenuity, and reader satisfaction.

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