In and Around Bikaner
Not for nothing is Bikaner the jewel of the desert. Here, apart from the sprawling Junagarh fort, there are many structures to capture a visitorís interest.
Built by Maharaja Ganga Singh, Lalgarh palace symbolizes a syncretism of Rajput, Mughal and European architecture. Exquisite lattice and filigree work, magnificent pillars and Italian colonnades adorn this palace. The palace has its own library and museum.
Built in red sandstone by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner, this palace was used by the royalty for entertainment. A sanctuary which is home to blackbucks and chinkaras surrounds the palace.
This palace has luxurious rooms housing paintings inlaid with precious stones, paintings on lime plasters, gold plated deities and mirror work which stand testimony to clever craftsmanship.
This temple is dedicated to the fifth Jain Tirthankara, Sumatinath. It is the most beautiful of the 27 Jain temples in Bikaner and is renowned for its frescoes and gold leaf paintings. This three-storeyed structure offers a mesmerizing view of Bikaner town.
It is a water reservoir which has royal cenotaphs on its banks. These cenotaphs are made of white marble with beautiful Rajput paintings.
The world famous Karni Mata temple is situated 30kms from Bikaner. Karni Mata is an incarnation of Goddess Durga. This temple is famous for rats which can be seen everywhere in the temple.
Begin your morning by gorging on the delectable Bikaneri snacks and sweets. Go into raptures on seeing the beautiful specimens of Rajasthani art in the palaces, temples and the fort and then head to the astrologers of Bikaner (yes, the town is famous for them) to take a sneak peek into your future. Shop for local handicrafts, especially leatherware, brightly coloured textiles and kundan jewellery.. If you are visiting in January, do enjoy the camel festival at Bikaner where you can see this Ship of the desert in all its glory.
Best Season: October to March.