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Bikaner


BikanerBikaner is camel country. Founded inn 1486 by Rao Bika, it is now the fourth largest city in Rajasthan. It is an awesome and beautiful city, sprawling over vast tracts of sand dunes. The city has forts, palaces and temples galore, making it a tourist delight.  


The old city of Bikaner is bounded by a high stone wall and five gates. The Bikaner fort has several palaces made over various periods in history and also a library that is home to valuable Rajput miniature paintings, and a library of Sanskrit and Persian manuscripts. The fortified town has a medieval aura about it.


The major sightseeing here includes the Junagarh fort, Lalgarh palace, Bhandasar Jain Temple and numerous havelis or mansions. The Gajner wildlife sanctuary is also accessible from Bikaner. Besides the sightseeing, Bikaner is also good to experience true Rajasthan culture, by participating in the numerous fairs and festivals observed here, viz. Gangaur, Karni Mata fair and Akshaya Tritiya. The Karni mata temple is known for the large number of rats that exist there peacefully without bothering the visitors or causing disease. Akshaya tritiya is celebrated as the foundation day of Bikaner.


Bikaner is known for its camel research centre, the only one in Asia. Each January the state government organizes a camel festival with camel races, various cultural events and a fire dance performed by the Sidh people.


Bikaner is a well known centre to buy intricately carved jharokas or stone screens, as well as Usta art, a unique and medieval style of miniature paintings and gold embossing. This work is found everywhere, on ceilings, pillars, walls, marble, wood, glassware, ivory and most beautiful of all, on pieces of camel hide.


Bikaner is also known for its dry spicy snack called Bikaneri Bhujia and for sweets like Rasgullas and Ladoos.


Bikaner is a hot and dry place due to being bang in the middle of the desert. Best time to visit is during the October to March period. Bikaner has several heritage hotels, viz. the Gajner Palace, Karni Bhawan Palace, Lallgarh Palace and Laxmi Niwas Palace. Besides these, there are several budget and mid range hotels making it a convenient place for tourists.


Jodhpur is the closest airport at 235 km, while rail links are available with Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhatinda, Kalka and Howarh. There is also a good network of roads.

 

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