Renowned for the best riding camels in the world, Bikaner lies in medieval splendor, a royal fortified city with a timeless appeal. Lying in the north of the desert state the city is surrounded by sand dunes, some mighty and others of mild gradients.

The strategic location of Bikaner on the ancient Caravan routes of West and Central Asia made it the prime trade Centre in by-gone years. Then, as in now, the camel became irreplaceable, be it as a beast of burden for transporting grains, working on wells, or simply as a mode of transport.

Bikaner's history dates back to 1488 A.D.when the Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji - son of the founder of Jodhpur (1459 A.D.), Rao Jodhaji, established his kingdom here. Of all his five siblings, Rao Bikaji, the most enterprising, chose the barren wilderness called 'Jangladesh' and transformed it into a most impressive city.

The old city of Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground encircled by an embattled wall with five gates. Till today, its magnificent forts and palaces built with reddish- pink sandstone, bear testimony to its rich and architectural legacy. Walk through the city's lanes and colorful bazaars. Meet its cheerful folks and transport yourself to another place, another time.

Places of interest:-

Junagarh Fort: Built in 1588 A.D. by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of Emperor Akbar, the fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat and has some beautiful palaces within. These palaces, made in red sandstone and marble, make a picturesque ensemble of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows dotted all over the structure. The Suraj Pol or Sun Gate; It is the main entrance to the fort. Among the notable of these palaces are the exquisitely beautiful Chandra Mahal with marvelous paintings, mirrors and carved panels, and the Phool Mahal-Ki-Saal ornate with stucco motifs and mirror work. Other palaces worth visiting are the Anup Mahal, Karan Mahal, Dungar Niwas, Ganga Niwas, Gaj Mandir and Rang Mahal. Gigantic columns, arches and graceful screens adorn the palaces from within. The Har Mandir is the majestic chapel for the royal family for worshipping their gods and goddesses.

Prachina Museum: It's a small museum located in the great Junagarh Fort. The museum is dedicated to royal costumes & textiles, family portraits of the former rulers, their changing cultural milieus from generation to generation, their response to western influences, their ritualism & religious accessories, and the legacy of their patronage which survives in Bikaner's contemporary arts and crafts till date. Craft demonstrations by leading artisans of Bikaner are held from time to time.

Sadul Museum & Lallgarh Palace:

Sadul Museum:- Situated on the first floor of Lallgarh Palace, this museum depicts the lives & times of the three successive Maharajas of Bikaner i.e. Maharaia Ganga Singhji, Maharaja Sadul Singhii & Maharaja Karni Singhji through the various artifacts & photographs displayed in 22 rooms.

Lallgarh :- an imposing red sand stone palace, was built by Maharaja Ganga Singhji in memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singhji in 1902 A.D. This oriental fantasy designed by Col. Sir Swinton Jacob, is entirely a hybrid architecture- a mixture of different elements of Rajput, Muslim and European Styles and can be categorized as Indo-Sarcenic style. The Rajput exterior of this palace contrasts dramatically with the occidental decor within. The intricately dexterous carving on red sandstone is a hallmark of great craftsmanship.

Ganga Government Museum: - It is one of the best museums in Rajasthan, having one of the richest collections of terracotta ware, weapons, carpets, coins, miniature paintings of Bikaner school. The exhibits are splendid masterpieces of Harappan civilization, Gupta and Kushan era and sculptures of the late classical time. The museum has a separate section displaying exclusive arts and crafts of the region.


Bhandasar Jain Temple (5 kms): Beautiful 15th century A.D. Jain temple dedicated to the 5th Tirthankara, Sumatinath Ji.

National Research Centre on Camel (8 kms): Spend some time with the indispensable ship of the desert at Camel Research and Breeding Center - one of its kinds in Asia. The farm extends over 2000 acres of semi arid land and is managed by the Central Government.

The Camel Corps of Bikaner were a famous fighting force during the 'Raj' and are still an important part of the desert warfare and defence. The Border Security Force (BSF) uses camel for patrolling on the Indo-Pak border in Rajasthan Sector.

Devi Kund (8 kms): A royal crematorium with several ornamented cenotaphs or 'chhatris' built in the memory of the members of Bika dynasty. Maharaja Surat Singh's chhatri is the most impressive of all, created entirely in red sand stone with spectacular Rajput paintings on the ceiling.

Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary (32 kms) : The lush foliage of woods on the Jaisalmer road are a heaven to nilgai, chinkara,black buck, wild boar and flocks of imperial sand grouse.

The Gajner Palace, a monsoon retreat of the kings, stands on the bank of the lake and has been converted into a hotel.

Shiv Bari Temple (6 kms): Built by Doongar Singhji in the late 19th century. The temple is surrounded by an embattlement wall. It has beautiful paintings and a Nandi facing the Shiva Lingam.

Deshnok's Karni Mata Temple (32 kms) : The famous 600 year old temple on the Jodhpur road dedicated to Karni Mata, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple has huge intricately carved silver gates which were donated by Maharaja Ganga Singh. The most interesting thing about the temple are the rats who scamper freely within precincts. They are regarded as sacred and are fed by priests and devotees owing to the belief that they will be reincarnated in the family of the goddess.

Kolayatji (50 kms): A famous pilgrimage spot with a temple dedicated to Kapil Muni (saint). The temple is the venue for an annual fair held in the month of Kartik (Oct.-Nov.) when devotees gather in large number to take a sacred dip in the holy waters of the Kolayat lake on the full moon day.The small oasis town is now an idyllic picnic spot.

Kalibangan (205 kms): The extensive remains of the pre-Harappan and Harappan civilizations, found at this place in the Hanumangarh district, are of immense interest to archaeology enthusiasts. There is a museum also near the site.



Air: The nearest airport is Jodhpur 253 kms.

Rail: Bikaner is connected with Delhi, Agra, Allahabad, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhatinda, Kalka, Haridwar, Howrah (Kolkata), Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Road: Bikaner is connected by road with the major cities of India. Some important distances are: Delhi 456 kms.,Jaipur 334 kms., Jaisalmer 333 kms.

Local Transport: unmetered taxis, auto¬ rickshaws and tongas

Shopping: Bikaner has its own peculiar items/ typical to this region; its articles made of camel-hide, camel and sheep wool carpets and woollen items, wood, leather, gold & silver products. The Bikaneri Bhujia, Rasgulla and sweets are popular all over India. Shopping areas include inside Kot Gate, King Edward Memorial Road, Khadi Shops KEM Road, Urmul Trust near Central Bus Stand


Area: 38.10 sq. km.
Altitude: 237 metres
Climate: Mean Max. Mean Min.
Summer: 41.8 °C 28.0°C
Winter: 23.2 °C 5.0 °C
Rainfall: 26-44 cms.
Best Season: October - March
Clothing: Summer: Light Tropical
Winter: Woollen
Languages: Rajasthani, Hindi, English