We did a 16 days trip to Rajasthan visiting Pushkar, Ajmer, Mandawa, Nawalgarh, Dundlod, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Udaipur & Jaipur. We had hired a taxi from Jaipur and would be covering these destinations one by one. Keep visiting!
Our next stop after Mandawa was Bikaner, after having few days in smaller towns, we were back in a fairly big city, in fact this is the 5th largest city in the state of Rajasthan which was founded by Rao Bika in the 14th century. After having checked into palatial Laxmi Niwas Palace Hotel, we headed to get some lunch and explore the city. Just next to the hotel is an old restaurant, Winning Post, I loved their Dal Tadka, while the other items on the menu were fairly ordinary. I also suggest ending your meal with Bikaneri Rasgulle.
Once done with our lunch we decided to visit Karni Mata Temple which is about 33 kms from the city @ Desknok. We reached the temple at about 4pm. The temple is famous for its rats which run around in huge numbers. They eat the prasad offered to Karni Mata while the locals say that spotting a white rat is a good omen. Walking through the corridors with all these rats was a bit scary for me, however thats exactly what this temple is famous for.
Heading back to the city, we took a slightly longer route to fit in a visit to the Camel breeding farm. I definitely recommend this place if you are going with children. National Research Center has done a good job of maintaining the farm and helping Camels breed their new generations, you can also enjoy a small camel ride or ice cream made with Camel Milk. There is a nominal entry fee to the farm while the cameras are charged extra. You can also buy souvenirs made with Camel leather utilized after the animal is dead.
We enjoyed the evening in our heritage hotel and you can read more about our experience at this place here.
We enjoyed our breakfast in peace and geared towards a full day in the city, starting with Junagarh fort. We hired a government guide to give us a tour of the museum which stands just beside the fort as we still had about half an hour before the fort opened at 10AM.
The fort itself arranges for the guided tours in groups which are the best way to see this red sandstone marvel. Various mahal’s like the Phool Mahal, Anup Mahal, Badal Mahal, Sheesh Mahal define the architecture built in the 15th century.
It was a great experience looking at the arts, paintings and other memorabilia in the fort. We decided to leave our taxi in the fort parking while we hired an auto to give us a local taste of narrow lanes in the old city.
The auto took us to the Jain temple, followed by Havelis on Rampuria road, its best to see these havelis from the outside. Next we tried the famous Chotu Motu Joshi Ke Rasgulle and shopped for some snacks from one of the many small shops in the city. It was a great decision to take an auto as it gave us a great peek into the lanes of this historical city which would not have been possible in the car and paying about INR 200 was totally worth it.
We enjoyed a late lunch at Gallops, just in front of Junagarh fort, one of the old charm restaurant serving continental & Indian varieties. We spent the late afternoon and evening relaxing and enjoying the ambiance at Laxmi Niwas Palace.
From here we proceeded on to Jaisalmer.. Read on..
Places to Eat in Bikaner
- Winning Post
- Laxmi Niwas Palace
Must See Places in Bikaner
- Junagarh Fort & Museum
- Jain Temple
- Old Havelis on Rampuria Road
- Karni Mata Temple
- Camel Breeding Farm