Places to see in Bikaner
There is no dearth of tourist destinations in India. With such a rich cultural heritage, diverse flora and fauna; it beats all other countries hands down in terms of variety and vibrancy.
However, the most powerful attraction about traveling in India lies in its rustic charm that takes you to the core of this great cultural miracle. And if you find it flavored with royal ambience, you are in for some exhilarating experiences that are sure to stay in your heart forever.
Bikaner is one such rocking symphony of regal and rustic riches.
A popular tourist destination, it provides all sorts of sightseeing delights and adventurous activities. You really need to watch its splendor once in your lifetime and if you decide to come here, do take out time for these attractions and activities. They will remain etched in your mind forever and gift you with experiences that cannot be found elsewhere.
My trip to Bikaner was none the less exhilarating than I had expected. What made my trip even more memorable was:
A trip to Junagarh Fort
The moment I reached the entrance of this majestic fort, I felt a surge of awe and wonder, encircling my senses.
The impressive Junagrah Fort is a living example of grandeur and greatness that has stood the test of time with remarkable brilliance. Bearing the stamp of diverse architectural styles like Mughal, British and Rajasthani; it has so much to offer that you will be simply amazed what to take and what to leave.
The palaces, pavilions, courtyards, balconies and kiosks sparkle with ravishing red sandstones and soothing white marble. A treat to the eyes, it brings alive the glory of the prestigious past in minutes and lets you dive in the bygone times, as much as you want. Just let yourself free and explore around. You will meet marvels at every step.
Visit to Bhandasar Temple
Dedicated to fifth Jain Tirthankar, Sumtinath- this temple is an architectural wonder, seeped in excellent craftsmanship.
The classic carvings on the walls and the colorful paintings instantly charm you and once your eyes are set on the intricacies, you will find yourself lost in the alluring artistry.
An intriguing trivia about the temple is that 40,000 kg of ghee was used in its construction in the form of mortar which seeps out of the walls on hot days. Beautiful and bright, here you also get a fine view of the city from the 3rd floor.
Whether you are religious or not, you can feel a spiritual ambiance inside the precincts and it is definitely worth a visit.
A boat ride in the Gajner Lake
Situated near the Gajner Palace, the lake serenaded me with its serene look and invited me for a ride that is impossible to resist.
You will love the sight of luxury and contentment, sitting side by side. It is definitely a must-visit for bird lovers.
A variety of birds that includes migratory species and water birds can be seen in and around the lovely lake, making merry in their cute carefree style.
Nature has blessed it with copious beauty and if you are eagerly looking for a peaceful retreat where you will feel relaxed and restful then this is the place to be at. You will feel relaxed and rejuvenated in fine measure just as I did.
Obeisance at Karni Mata Temple
One of a kind, this temple is dedicated to Karni Mata, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The most fascinating thing about this temple is the rats that reside here and are worshipped by visitors and offered Prasad.
You can see hundreds of them frolicking around the temple. It is said that around 20,000 rats live here.
Watching them is truly an amusing sight and if you can see a white rate, you are lucky and blessed. It is a good sign as they are said to be sons of Karni Mata.
As for architecture, the temple is well-built with nice marble carvings and silver gates.
Trip to Shri Laxminath Temple
Located near the Bhandasar Temple, Laxminath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.
Built in the 16th century, it possesses a very delectable design with intricate carvings and stupendous sculptures.
In the past, the royals used to come here on special occasions to pay obeisance to Lord Laxminath. One of the oldest Hindu temples of Bikaner, it is visited by people from far flung areas who come here for wish fulfillment.
If you are also a religious soul looking to get doses of devotion and spiritual strength then this temple has to be on your list. I fell in love with the sacred aura and the sight of the city from the roof top was amazing and delightful.
Visit to National Research Center on Camel
If you are fascinated by the ship of the desert, this center will regale you profusely. The National Research Center is a farm where camels are crossbred. A large number of camels are kept here and there is also a museum that carries camel artifacts.
Here, I got to learn everything about the humped cattle; like breeding, gestation, lifestyle, habits, and a lot more.
If you want you can also try camel milk and food items that are made from it like ice cream, yoghurt and tea. Said to be filled with health benefits, they are definitely worth a try.
And yes, there is also provision for camel rides and safaris. A wonderland of sorts, this is one place with no parallels. Do come to enjoy the fantastic fusion of information and amusement.
You will surely recommend it to your friends as I did after coming back.
Places to stay in Bikaner
No trip is complete unless you have a good accommodation where you can rest after spending hours, exploring the place. And if your accommodation is a luxurious one, there is no other comparison to make the trip even more successful.
Accommodation at Lalgarh Palace
Having come to the city of rajas and maharajas, and not experiencing the taste of royal lifestyle would really be a mistake. And what can be a better option than the much-celebrated and magnificent Lalgarh Palace.
This heritage hotel is a fine example of the grandeur of the glorious past that rested in the royal land of Rajputs. The period furniture, paintings on the walls, marble hallways, expansive courtyards; everything spells luxury and pride.
I found myself immersed in its magic and I am sure any person staying here will feel the same. The service is excellent with the staff taking good care of your needs. I also got to indulge myself with a rejuvenating massage at the spa and felt re-energized like never before.
Places to eat in Bikaner
Dining and living at Laxmi Niwas Palace
Before my trip to Bikaner, some of my friends had mentioned staying at Laxmi Niwas Palace and mentioned about the great Indo-Saracenic architectural style. And this inspired me to spend a couple of days prior to my return at this prestigious luxury hotel.
This place has all the comforts and characteristics that a tourist wants to experience when paying a visit to Bikaner. It is beaming with bright red sandstones and superb sculpture.
The carvings on the pillars, domes and walls have so much of refinement and riches that you cannot help but marvel at the magic of the architects and workers, who toiled for years to create this wonder. Staying at this palace was again like taking a trip into the royal lanes.
The service was flawless and the most pleasurable part was dining at the Garden Restaurant. Providing full view of the lush green and manicured garden in the precincts, the restaurant gave me a memorable dining experience.
Apart from the splendid accommodation, Bikaner also satiated the foodie in me with its delicacies which were fabulous. I tried the most famous eateries of Bikaner, which included:
Relishing Delicacies at Chhotu Motu Joshi Sweet Shop
One of the oldest and most popular shops in the city, Chhotu Motu Joshi Sweet Shop offers excellent food at reasonable price.
Though not a spic and span restaurant designed in modern style, the food compensates for the lack of style.
The quality is first class and the variety can easily give the five star menus a complex. Whether you have come for a lavish breakfast or you are looking to feast on snacks and sweets; the shop is ever ready to indulge you.
The kachori with methi potatoes, vegetable curry and lassi is ideal for any time and most sought-after among visitors.
A sumptuous dish, its taste lingers on for long. As for sweets; Kesar Cham Cham, Rasmalai, rasgulla, kesar kulfi; every name is present. A heaven for food lovers like me, it satiated my food craving to a T.
Savoring sweets at Bhikharam Chandmal Bhujiawala
If you come to Bikaner and do not delve into the spicy, masala-sprinkled bhujia- a kind of snack, your visit will be incomplete. It is renowned all over the world for its exclusive taste.
Sold by the famous Bhikharam Chandmal Bhujiawala, it will make you forget all other snacks. The shop is situated on the Station Road Market which is easily accessible from everywhere and quite near to the railways station.
It is always buzzing with people and tourists make sure they taste the heavenly treats, even if it means waiting and jostling with the crowd.
Every kind of sweet is available here. The famous ones and my personal favorites too, includes the Kesar Kulfi, Rasmalai, Kaju Katli.
And if you have a sweet tooth, you will never feel satiated, no matter how many pieces you eat.
Bikaner is brilliant in its majestic glory and rustic charm. A gem of Rajasthan, it delights you in great measure. You will love the experience of the camel safaris, sightseeing of an assortment of places and the delicious dishes.