The medieval territory of Bikaner was carved out by Rao Bika, a prince of Jodhpur. Supposedly provoked by something his father said, he left home to set up his own kingdom. Bikaner thrived due to its prime location along the caravan routes between India and Western/Central Asia. Enriched by trade, the nobles and merchants of Bikaner built palaces, mansions and temples in red sandstone. Today Bikaner is the fifth largest city in Rajasthan. It is an important defence outpost, and is called 'camel country' since it boasts the best riding camels in all of India.
What to see in Bikaner
The largest attraction in Bikaneris the Junagarh fort, one of the most artistically intricate and beautiful forts in Rajasthan. A visit to this fort, and the havelis (mansions) in the Old City give a glimpse into Bikaner's rich past. Bikaner also has a camel breeding farm and camel museum run by the government. Walk through the Old City to feel the pulse of the city in its markets, shrines and 'namkeen' (snacks) shops.
You can visit the Karni Mata temple (Rat Temple) in Deshnoke, The goddess Karni is the patron deity of Bikaner's royal family, and the temple is famous for the auspicious rats which live on the premises.
Bikaner is part of the desert tourist circuit, covering Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Nagaur and the Shekhawati area. If you are planning a longer trip through Rajasthan or India, we would be happy to recommend a plan based on your interests. Usually our packages include itinerary planning, hotels, ground transport, guided tours as well as safaris and other experiences.