Top 10 Places to Visit in Bikaner: Red City’s Historic Marvels

 

Top 10 Places to Visit in Bikaner: Red City's Historic Marvels

Bikaner-one of the most beautiful cities in India. It is also called the Red City of India due to the majestic red sandstone havelis found across the city. It is a historical place whose origin can be traced back to the 15th century. It was founded in 1488 AD by a Rajput prince called Rao Bikaji, the chief of the Rathore community. He established his kingdom here and transformed it from ‘Jangaldesh’ to one of the most impressive cities in Rajasthan. It is one of the most visited places in India and has an impressive repertoire of palaces, temples and museums. So here are the top 10 places to visit in this historic place

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Best Places to visit in Bikaner

There is a bit of history in every nook and corner of this stunning city. But if you have limited days and a fixed budget, here are the best places in Bikaner.

 

1. Junagarh Fort

Junagarh Fort

It was constructed in 1588 AD by Raja Rai Singh the sixth ruler of Bikaner. He was one of Emperor Akbar’s most distinguished generals. He built this majestic fort complex and it is one of the best places to visit in Bikaner. This fort is an architectural marvel with Indo-Mughal features and is made of red sandstone and marble. It is claimed that the red sandstone was specially brought from Jaisalmer. The fort has many beautiful palaces and is more a symbol of luxury than only a residence for the rulers.  and visitors can feast their eyes on an attractive assortment of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows.

 

 

2.  Rampuria Haveli

Rampuria Haveli

The Rampuria Haveli is a royal mansion built in 1400 AD. It was built by Balujee Chalva under the command of the Rampuria family. The haveli is a unique display of handiwork which was specifically from the 15th century. Red stone, also called Dumera, forms the basis for this monument. The artistic elements can be viewed through the wood-carved leaves and flowers in every corner and wall. Students of architecture would appreciate the beauty of the jharokhas, latticed windows, Divankhanas and the Gumaharia or basement. The main hall in the Rampuria Haveli, or Dankhana draws influences from the Mughal, Rajput and Victorian sensibilities. Rampuria Haveli is considered one of the most marvellous places to visit in Bikaner.

 

 

3. Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum

Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum

This museum is considered the best museum in the state. It contains an extensive display of archaeological artefacts from the Harappa and early Gupta periods.This museum displays the legacy and traditional artefacts from not only Rajasthan but also from the entire India. The works of art are displayed in a planned manner in the museum.

  • Ground floor: Photographs, artworks, wood works and paintings are displayed.
  • Second floor: Incredible sculptures made of bronze and terracotta, miniature paintings, carpets and armoury are displayed.

The Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum is located near the Lalgarh Palace in Bikaner.

 

 

4. Karni Mata Temple

Karni Mata Temple

Not for the faint-hearted, but the Karni Mata Temple deserves to be on the list of the best places to visit in Bikaner. It is located 30km south of Bikaner and deserves a visit. This temple is also popularly referred to as the ‘Temple of Rats’. Approximately 25,000 rats or ‘kabbas’ are seen scurrying around the temple at all times. Infact, it is considered auspicious to offer milk to them, along with sweets. The priests and the workers are offered the ‘dwar bhent’. It is believed that Karni Mata is the incarnation of Goddess Durga.

 

5. Lalgarh Palace

Lalgarh Palace

This majestic palace was built under the supervision of Maharaja Ganga Singh. This architectural marvel is made of red sandstone, 1902 onwards. The architect for this magnificent palace was Sir Swinton Jacob and he created it based on a fusion of Rajput and British sensibilities. Though the initial cost was budgeted at Rs 100,000,  it was eventually completed at Rs 1 million, due to the best quality raw material used in the construction. The Lalgarh Palace boasts of marvellous hallways, lounges, luxurious rooms and is considered one of the places to visit in Bikaner. Besides the detailed lattice and filigree work, a swimming pool, it also has the world’s fourth-largest library.

 

 

6. National Research Centre on Camel

The camel is an important symbol of the state of Rajasthan. Hence it is appreciable that The National Research Centre was set up in 1984 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. It is spread over 2,000 acres of semi-arid land and is located 8 km from the city. The central part is used for the training and breeding of camels. The museum here is an eye-opener for visitors, as it displays the research and development being done for this species. Visitors can also purchase appreciable tokens such as camel skin bags, purses and beautiful works of art created from camel bone. Interestingly, the farm permits tourists to watch camel calves playing and on their return from the desert. Fun things to do: include camel rides and a safari .

 

7. Prachina Museum

This wonderful museum is situated in the Junagarh Fort. Art and history lovers would list the Prachina Museum as one of the places to visit in Bikaner. This is because it portrays the rich luxurious costumes and accessories of three generations of royalty. The Museum showcases a few impressive galleries with different works of art. The galleries are the Contemporary Art Gallery, the Ritual Art Gallery, the Bikaner Period Room, the Aristocratic Textiles and Costume Gallery and the Gallery of Aristocratic Transportation. The Ritual Art Gallery includes idols of deities such as Gangaur and Isar.

 

 8. Gajner Fort and Lake

Gajner Palace is situated in the Thar desert of Bikaner and is considered one of the places to visit in Bikaner. The palace was made by Maharaj Gaj Singh in 1784.The appeal of this fort and lake is the pristine views. It is 6000 acres in size, made out of red stone and has a fabulous location. Inside, the fort is divided into four wings – Dungar Niwas, Mandir Chowk, Gulab Niwas and Champa Niwas. There are also boat rides available. The tourism ministry has also set up safaris, nature walks and sanctuary dinners. The brilliant architecture and the red sandstone domes are worth observing.

 

9. Jorbeer Conservation Reserve

Imagine a vast expanse of only rare vultures! The Jorbeer Conservation Reserve is one of its kind vulture sanctuaries. It is situated 15 km from Bikaner. and it also acts as the dumping ground for the carcasses of camels and livestock. Jorbeer has become a visiting ground for falcons also (saker falcons)  Some of the other rare species one can spot here are The Griffon Vultures, Egyptian Vultures, Cinereous Vultures and Steppe Eagles. Also, The Spotted Owlet and Yellow-eyed pigeon.

 

10. Kodamdeshwar temple and lake

Kodamdeshwar Temple is a revered temple near Bikaner. This temple is a sacred Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Tourists are drawn to the spirituality reflected here in its simplicity and beauty. This temple is a testament to Bikaner and offers a calm, quiet space for prayer. It is one of the few temples, where the temple consists of the idol itself, there are no pillars around it. There is also the Kodamdeshwar lake nearby. Kodamdeshwar Temple is located at a distance of 4 hours from Bikaner.

The ancient city of Bikaner is beautiful and charming with its temples, ornate palaces, architecture, heritage and luxurious textiles on display. The forts, museums, and red sandstone material are fragments of its majestic past and have been well maintained by the government. Junagarh Fort, Rampuria Haveli and Prachina Museum are some of the best places to visit in Bikaner.                                 

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