Lying on the northern tip of the desert tourist triangle, Bikaner was a one of the significant staging post of the silk route in the days when businessmen used to travel mostly on camel caravans. Bikaner was founded in 1486 A.D. and was named after its founder, Rao Bikaji.
The Camel Breeding Farm in Bikaner is only one of its kinds in whole Asia and so is the illustrious Camel Festival. Bikaner is bright and alive and colorful with its traditional costumes, vivacious fairs and festivals, paintings and murals and electrifying wares and hoards of artistic skills that have been there for centuries.
|Significance:||Famous for Dargah of Sufi Saint Chisti|
|Best Season||October To March|
|Language:||Hindi, Urdu, Rajasthani|
|Distance From Jaipur||131 Km|
|Distance From New Delhi:||389 Km|
Typically a desert climate, the days in Bikaner are hot and nights are chilly. In summers the temperatures range between 41.8ºC to 28ºC while, in winters, temperatures range from 23.2ºC to 5ºC.
HOW TO REACHBy Air: Bikaner does not have an official airport. Nal Airport, 17 kms from the city, which normally serves as India Air Force airfield, remains open to civilian flights to and from Bikaner from November to March. The nearest international airports to Bikaner are Jodhpur and Jaipur.
By Train: Bikaner is well connected with all the major cities by the network of trains such as New Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Agra, Churu and many more. From New Delhi, there are day and night trains that take about 12 hours to make the km trip to Bikaner. The Railway Station is situated in the heart of the city.
By Road: Rajasthan tourism and private operators run luxury coaches, which include Rajasthan Roadway Deluxe, Super deluxe and air-conditioned buses, linking Bikaner to all the major cities such as New Delhi, Udaipur, Ajmer and Agra. The intercity bus station is centrally located opposite the Lalgarh Palace.
WHERE TO EATTo treat the guests with new and unusual dishes are considered a matter of prestige in Bikaner and Rajasthan in general, not to mention the delicacies like stuffed camels, goats, and peacocks. The imperial kitchens of all the major hotels will offer you highly decked dishes in which dried lentils, beans from indigenous plants like sangri are ker liberally used. Bikaneri namkeen (salties) are famous and spicy. Lalgarh Palace Hotel is said to have the best cooks in the city.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALSCamel Festival Bikaner
Camel Festival is much like Elephant Festival of Jaipur. Dedicated to the ship of the desert or the main mode of the transport for the desert people, it is held on the full moon night, every year in January. A lot of events featuring camel races and camel dances are held. You can enjoy camel rides and experience the buoyancy and colorful environment typical to Rajasthan.
Gangaur Fair Bikaner
Gangaur Fair is held in March/ April every year in the honor of Goddess Gauri. Maidens and married women enact processions throughout the city. They wear their best dresses and jewellery, sing folk songs and perform rituals to please the goddess and get her blessings for conjugal and marital bliss.
Kite Festival Bikaner
Kite Festival or the Teej Festival is generally held April/ May annually and as the name suggests the major event on this occasion is to fly kites. This cultural tradition bears special significance in Bikaner as it serves to venerate the historical fact that on this day the foundations of the city were laid. The hot climate and the sandstorms are unable to hinder the enthusiasm and fervor with which people of all ages celebrate it.
Karni Mata Fair Bikaner
Karni Mata Fair is held twice a year on the ninth day of the Navratra (the nine-day festival) in March/ April and September/ October, in the honor of Goddess Karni Mata, worshipped by the royal family of Bikaner. All the devotees gather in the little desert citadel of Deshnok and offer their prayers and chant hymns and prayers.
Kapil Muni Fair
Kapil Muni Fair is held in November on the sacred lake of Kolayat, which is about 55 Km from Bikaner, during the full moon of 'Kartik' (according to the Hindu calendar), in the honor of Kapil Muni who founded 'Sankhya' (statistics, which was one of the six major philosophical schools of ancient India). Not only the devotees who come here to take a holy dip in the lake, several other people and tourists visit the place only to see the renowned cattle fair held here during this occasion.