Main Languages : Hindi, English, Bikaneri, Marwari and Rajasthani
Population : 6, 42,550 (approximately)
Location : The location of Bikaner is in the desert districts of north western Rajasthan. The city of camels is situated at an elevation of 238 meters above sea level. The longitude wise location of Bikaner is in between the longitudes of 71 degree 54 minutes and 74 degrees 12 minutes east of Prime Meridian. Whereas latitude wise Bikaner lies in between the latitudes of 27 degree 11 minutes and 29 degree 3 minutes north of Equator. The land area of Bikaner is estimated around 27244 square kilometers.
Climate : Situated in the heart of western Rajasthan at a height of 238 mts. above sea level, the camel city of Bikaner is characterized by hot scorching summers and extreme chilly winters. The temperature varies from 48 degree in summer to below four degrees in winters with the average rainfall hovering around 25 cm annually. Thunderstorms are very common in the month of May-June with the wind blowing upto 120 kms per hour.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Bikaner is during the winter months from November to February. Winter months are pleasant enough for long stays. The summer months are best avoided for visiting Bikaner.
Prime Attractions of Bikaner
It is an unassailable fortress, which has never been conquered. Built in 1593 A.D. by Raja Rai Singh, one of the most distinguished generals in the army of Emperor Akbar, the fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat.
This grand palace is an architectural masterwork in red sandstone, and was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh Ji in 1902. Sir Swinton Jacob designed this oriental fantasy. This architecture is a fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European architecture. The exterior contrasts dramatically with the oriental interiors and amenities. The palace has beautiful latticework and filigree work, which are hallmarks of a great craftsmanship.
Havelis are ancient mansions of dwelling of the noble and wealthy. They are known for their opulent life style and intricate carvings and craftsmanship along with sprawling courtyards. Bikaner is full of such havelis and the notable amongst them belong to Kotharis, Rampurias, Vaids and Dagas. To view these havelis the suggested route is Gogagate, Daddhon Ka Chowk, Rangari Chowk, Assanion Ka Chowk, Mohta Chowk, Binnanion Ka Chowk Daga Chowk, BK School and Jassuar Gate.
Bhandeswari Jain Temple
It is a fifteenth century temple and is the oldest monument of Bikaner. The temple is decorated with rich mirror work, frescoes and gold leaf paintings.
Ganga Singh Museum
Popularly described as the best museum in the state, it displays a rich array of archaeological discoveries from prehistoric Harrapan and early Gupta period. Separate sections put on view paintings, arts and craft, terracotta, pottery, carpets, coins and ancient Rajput weaponry.
Part of the palace has been converted into a luxury hotel and a museum known as Shri Sadul Museum. The museum covers the entire first floor of the palace and houses well preserved old photographs and trophies of wildlife.
It's a museum located in the great Junagarh Fort. The museum is dedicated to royal costumes, textiles and accessories. 'Poshaks' or the ladies ensemble displayed are perhaps the last remnants of the traditional designing styles and workmanship. The museum also reveals a study of changing cultural settings in its display of family portraits of the former rulers. Changes embarked by the western influences appear strikingly. The vivid glimpses of legacy that survived in the contemporary Bikaner are also visible.
Rajasthan State Archives
This Directorate is located in Bikaner. The archives have in their custody some very precious administrative record of Mughal period like Persian Farmans, Nishans, Manshurs, Akbarat, Vakil Report, Arzdasht, Khatoot and the record created during administration of the Princely states of Rajasthan such as Bahiat, Pattas, Parwanas, Rukkas, Chithiat etc.
Camel Research Farm (8 km)
Spend a day with the indispensable ship of the desert at their camel research and breeding centres which is only one of its kinds in Asia. The farm extends over 2000 acres of semi arid land and is managed by the Central Government. These camels are sold in the cattle fairs of Bikaner and Jaisalmer where they are decorated in all their fineries which are colorful and attractive, complementing the brown terrains of the desert.
Gajner is an incomparable Jewel in the Thar. Built by the great Maharaja Ganga Singhji of Bikaner on the embankment of a lake with a generous dose of flora and fauna. Basically a hunting and relaxing lodge, the maharaja and the family shared their passion with their exclusive guests and hosted exotic holidays for them. Around the palace is a thick forestation that attracts the guests to take up a simple walk around admiring the migratory birds in winters like imperial sand goose,antelopes, black bucks and the animal species that wander around in the form of Nilgais, chinkaras, deers etc. The hotel is spread in a large area, and the ambiance around is as raw and authentic as it was before.
It is located 50 kilometres from Bikaner. It is a temple complex of Kolyat and a holy place of pilgrimage for Hindus. The legend has it that Kapil Muni the advocate of Shankya yoga of the Hindu philosophy while journeying towards northwest was struck by the tranquility and peace of this place and chose to perform tapasya (penance) here for the redemption of the world. This place has since acquired great sanctity. The complex has several temples, pavilions and bathing ghats. A dip in the holy waters of the lake especially on Kartik Poornima (November) is considered very auspicious.
How To Reach
By Air : The airport at Jodhpur happens to be the nearest airport to Bikaner and is situated at a distance of 235 kms from where you can receive direct flights from cities like Delhi, Mumabi, Jaipur and Udaipur.
By Rail :
Bikaner is connected by direct rail connections to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Jodhpur and Jaipur. The Chetak Express and the Bikaner Express are important trains that connect Delhi and Bikaner.
By Road :
Buses and private taxis ply regularly to and fro from Bikaner to Delhi, Jaipur and other nearby major cities of India