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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What are places to see around Bikaner?

Rupali Khanna DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Don't be surprised if the smooth roads of Rajasthan lure you to journeys around Bikaner and an extended vacation! The state which is known for being a tourist’s favourite offers to you a lot of places to explore around Bikaner, probably giving you the sweetest excuse to extend your vacation by calling in sick at work!

  • Deshnok/ Karni Mata Temple
    Situated at a distance of about 30 km from Bikaner, reaching Karni Mata Temple from the city translates into a drive of about 45 minutes. Visited by some for devotion and many for the fascination, the Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok is a major draw for religious devotees and tourists alike.

    Legend has it the Karni Mata was a Hindu sage who was considered the reincarnation of Goddess Durga. When one of her sons, Laxman, drowned in a tank, she implored Yamraj, the God of Death to send him back. Moved by the pleas of the mourning mother, Yamraj gave life to Laxman and also bestowed upon him the boon of being born a rat in all his successive births. Thus, this temple came to be populated by rats, whose count today stands at no less than 20,000. So much for its history and origins, now comes the experience.

    When standing at the threshold of the temple, you will see a number of black rats scurrying around busily, with no care for the people walking by. I am not lying when I say that your first impulse will be to turn around and run for your life when this sight greets you, but you have to stay on! Walk in and for the first few minutes you will feel like a ballet dancer, reluctant to put any part of your foot down other than the toes! A little time goes by and you will probably ease in enough to be able to walk easily and you would have entered the main shrine by then, where you can see an army of rats up to their daily chores.

    Enjoy the invigorating Aarti and make a Parikrama of the temple and thats when you will find yourself at the place where prasad is being prepared. Though it may seem a little disturbing, this is the place where you will observe a beautiful coexistence of man and rodent, where he is cooking and stirring and the animal is hopping about freely, as if contributing to the preparation in his own small way. Just in front of this place you will find the huge saucers of milk being shared by a number of rats, one of the sights which is iconic for this temple.

    It takes about 45 minutes to reach Deshnoke from Bikaner and regular buses and trains ply on this route.

  • Pushkar
    A holy town in Rajasthan, revered for its centuries old lake and legendary temples, Pushkar is located at a distance of 250 km, making for a drive of about 4 hours. Topped with the legend of the supreme creator Brahma and the widely acclaimed colorful Pushkar Camel Fair, the destination makes for a wonderful spiritual sojourn.

    Pushkar is the site of one of the handful of Brahma temples in the world. It is even said that this is the only temple for Brahma as he is under a curse that forbids him from being worshiped anywhere else. Folklore also has it that the holy lake here is as old as the planet itself. Most tourists make it a point to hire the services of the holy men here for offering worship at the lake. This is not all. Pushkar has numerous other spellbinding temples and is also very famous for the 5-day Camel Festival held during November.
    You can reach Pushkar from Bikaner by cab or bus. However, there are no trains or flights operating between the two cities. Once in Pushkar, you can stay at Ananta Spa and Resorts (Luxury), Hotel Goyal Inn (Mid Budget), Hotel Sajjan Bagh (Budget).

  • Ajmer
    It's time to seek some divine intervention and simultaneously plan an enjoyable, exciting vacation at Ajmer which is situated at a distance of 275 km from Bikaner. A well-known pilgrimage site and nestled in nature's lap, Ajmer offers a glimpse of the royal Mughal, Scindia Rajput era through its beautiful grand monuments.

    Situated amidst the beautiful Aravali Range, Ajmer is literally wrapped in hills. Regardless of the weather condition, the famous pilgrimage center is flocked by visitors throughout the year. Home to the Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti's tomb, it is an important place of worship for Muslims as well as Hindus. Ajmer is not only limited to being a sacred place, it has majestic lakes, historical monuments and grand Mughal mansions and no wonder, the city can be easily termed as the regal state. Even though Ajmer is not a shopping destination, you can easily find interesting items like beautiful silver jewellery, wonderful artifacts and other stuff. Some other attractions are Nasiyan Jain Temple, Ana Sagar and Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra.
    When in the holy city, you can stay at Mansingh Palace (Luxury), Hotel Embassy (Mid Budget), Hotel Regency (Budget). You can reach the place by bus or taxi as no trains or flights connect the city.
  • Mandawa
    Located at 200 km from Bikaner, Mandawa is packed with the Indian Heritage that defines Rajasthan. The hot sun here is almost nullified by the hospitality of local people. Dotted with ancient Havelis that are the primary tourist attraction here, Mandawa is also famed for its cotton and silk produce apart from its stone ink paintings and ancient frescos.

    Located in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, Mandawa was in ancient times a center of the Marwari business clan. Housing many of their havelis(which are all open to tourists), Mandawa is abundant in frescos and paintings dating from those times that draw a lot of foreign tourists. The Mandawa fort has now been converted into a heritage hotel by the Oberoi Group, accessible only to its guests. The various restaurants here serve Continental, Italian and traditional Rajasthani food, and among them, Boongli Restaurant is a must visit for lip-smacking Daal-Baati, Gatta Curry and Kadhi along with Baajra Roti. This region is famous for its cotton and silks, and also wood sculpting and puppeteering, make sure you behold and buy all that catches your fancy.

    You can reach Mandawa by bus or cab, it takes about three and a half hours. When here, you can crash at Udai Villas Palace (Luxury), Desert Resort (Mid Budget) or Hotel Shekhawati (Budget).

  • Jodhpur
    A sweet excuse to extend your vacation, Jodhpur is located at 250 km from Bikaner. Full of mind numbingly majestic historic monuments and sitting close to the immense Thar desert, Jodhpur's rich ambiance assails you like a time warp. The numerous blue painted houses, the colossal Mehrangarh Fort, and a slew of other long ago attractions all seem to bring history to life here.

    Decorated with colorful epithets such as Sun City, Blue City and Gateway to the Thar, Jodhpur is another tourist magnet from Rajasthan. Amongst the multitude of attractions here, a couple of interesting places are Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada. The Mehrangarh Fort holds the distinction of being the biggest of Rajasthan's numerous forts and looks especially great during nights. Jaswant Thada is a historic lakeside place with royal cenotaphs built in marble.

    Bikaner and Jodhpur are connected by train and road, and it takes about 4 hours to commute between the two places. When in Jodhpur, you can stay at Umaid Bhawan Palace (Luxury), The Gateway Hotel (Mid Budget) or Golden Leaf Hotel (Budget).

Get set for an exciting time while exploring these gems around the Camel Country! If you have the time, you can also visit places like Kolyat Ji, Gajner and Nawalgarh.

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