Bikaner is a desert town situated in the midst
of Thar Desert. It is one of the most culturally rich towns in the State,
dipped in the ancient Rajasthani traditions and customs. Dominated by Rajput
culture, the city is well-known for beautiful sand dunes, historical forts,
Havelis, palaces, and camel rides. Also referred to as the “camel country”,
this region is popular for breeding few best breeds of camels. Bikaner also
houses one of the two the bi-planes that was used during World War I by the Brtish forces.
Bikaner portrays a vibrant culture of art and
architecture, festivals and cultural wonders. The most popular attractions of
the city is the desert safari across the sand dunes which are dipped in different hues of the setting
sun. The city also hosts the famous International Camel Festival that attracts
tourists from different parts of the world. The region is also well-known for
myriad scrumptious street-food such as Bhujias and Thandais. A trip to Bikaner is
incomplete without shopping for authentic Ivory and Lacquer products,
handicrafts and textiles.
More on Bikaner
History of Bikaner
the rule of Rajputs, the city of Bikaner was barren desert land. The region was
under the rule of Rajputs during the 15th century and it was
established in 1488 by Rao Bika. Also referred to as ‘Jangladesh’ by Rajput
rulers, the city formed a trade point between Central Asia and Gujarat.
the reign of Raja Rai Singh which lasted from 1571 Ad to 1611 AD, the town of
Bikaner witnessed tremendous development. He expanded the region by defeating
various rulers and annexing regions in the Mewar Kingdom. During the 18th
century, the region started losing its prosperity as it came under the Brtish
rule. As a princely state under the new empire, the royal family of Bikaner
still continued to rule but now as an ally to the Empire. Eventually, the
family shifted to the Lalgarh Palace where it still resides to date.
Culture of Bikaner
people of Bikaner take immense pride in their culture and you will often spot
the locals in their traditional attire- dhoti kurta for men and ghagra choli
for women. The majority of the men wear a turban, commonly known as pagadi,
around their heads. The most common language spoken in the region is
Rajasthani, however, people here can speak and understand Hindi as well.
cuisine of Bikaner also reflects its rich culture. It a custom to prepare most
of the dishes in ghee or buttermilk. Some of the delicacies include khichdi,
gatte ki sabzi, pakode, dal baati churma, etc. The city is also popular for the
“Camel Festival”. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and visitors
from all over the world attend this auspicious occasion. The festival involves
a lavish parade and procession of decked-up camels. The display of the high
bred camels is followed by events like- camel races, camel rides and
performance of folk songs and dances.
is also famous for miniature painting, meenakari work (ornamental stonework),
and carpet weaving. Utsi art is another popular form of art which was widely
practiced during the reign of Raja Rai Singh. This form of art involves golden
meenakari work on camel hide.
Bikaner – The City Of Forts And
has many temples, forts, Havelis, and palaces that are soaked in the rich
culture of Rajasthan. While in Bikaner, you should not miss out on places
listed as follows-
Fort, previously known as Chintamani, houses antique artifacts that are reminiscent
of the prosperous past of Bikaner. The intricate and meticulous carvings and
patterns on the walls and roof will grasp all your attention.
Palace is a marvelous work of architecture that constitutes a perfect fusion of
Muslim, Rajput, and European architectural styles. The fort which was
constructed in the 19th century has now been transformed into a
heritage hotel. You will be mesmerized by its beautiful wall carvings and
Mata Temple, popularly known as Rat Temple, is a Hindu shrine situated at a
distance of 30 km from Bikaner in the town of Deshnok. As the name suggests,
thousands of rats are worshipped in this temple and among these rats, there are
also quite a few while rats which are considered to be the holiest ones.
Jain Temple is one of the most beautiful Jain temples in Bikaner which is well
known for its paintings and architecture. An interesting fact about this temple
is that 40,000 kg of ghee was used to while constructing this shrine. The temple
is a three-story structure and you can have a panoramic view of the
surroundings from its top floor. Lakshmi Nath Temple, the oldest temple of
Bikaner, it houses statues of several Hindu gods such as Laxmi and Vishnu.
The Camel Country
is also known as ‘the Camel Country’ and it is very difficult for any visitor
to resist the camel rides along the sand dunes. As a part of camel safari
rides, you will explore the hidden beauty of sand dunes that lie in this barren
region. During the evening, you will also be entertained by various artists
singing local traditional songs, dancers performing the Rajasthani dance, etc.
on the organizers, the camel safari may last for 2 to 15 days. The cost of the
safari starts from INR 1200 per person for a simple tour, however, you will be
charged higher if you are planning for a longer trip. Ideally, the organizers
look for visitors in a group to conduct the safari, else it becomes very costly
for each individual.
an international camel fair is organized by the Department of Tourism, Art, and
Culture during the month of January. During the festival, an elaborate
procession of camels dressed in colorful clothes, walk down the path performing
interesting acts like dance and race. There are also a few folk dance
performances and puppet shows. Tea, sweetmeats and other dairy items prepared
from camel milk are also available.
Restaurants and Local Food in
is known for Namkeens, Bhujjias, Papads, and Baris. Make sure you try these
delicacies while in Bikaner and take some home too. Along with this, you can
enjoy other traditional Rajasthani snacks such as kachori and samosa.
Restaurants in the city offer you typical Rajasthani cuisine and desert such as
Dal Bati Choorma, Gatte ki Sabzi, Khata, Ghevar, Fini, Rabri and more.