Bikaner and camel safaris on the dunes of the Thar desertBikaner ancient caravan city of Rajasthan preserves unaltered the medieval atmosphere and is gathered around the high walls at the limits of the Thar desert.
Bikaner, like other caravan cities of Rajasthan, was destined to see its power and prosperity progressively vanish with the development of railways and ports in the western Indian coastal area.
The old city preserves the medieval atmosphere unaltered and is gathered around the high walls, full of beautiful havelis, the palaces of merchants, temples and bazaars.
Despite all the fairytale wonders offered by the city, curiously in recent decades Bikaner has received international notoriety mainly reflected by another location, located about 30 km and called Deshnoke: this is where the famous Temple of the Mice, Karni Mata, that much interest and horror seems to arouse in foreign visitors.
An interesting fair of cattle that takes place in Bikaner generally in the month of Pausha, between December and January, could in itself be an excellent opportunity to reach this remote caravan city.
What to see in Bikaner
The Junagarh Fort, one of the best examples of Indian architectural mediation between military fortress and sumptuous palace, preserves within its mighty walls humble buildings, replaced by the original buildings, added or expanded by the rulers in the following four centuries, but all witnesses of the constant patronage of the arts and high craftsmanship generously proportioned over time by the family, who did not hesitate to summon masters from all over the Hindustan, who left so many traces of artistic styles and schools.
Temple of Karni Mata
Karni Mata Temple is probably one of the most popular places to visit in Bikaner. This temple is known for its considerable population of mice that are permanent residents.
Dating back to the 15th century, this temple is dedicated to Karni Mata who was the incarnation of the Goddess Durga. Legend has it that when Karni Mata's son died, he asked Yama to restore his son's life, but Yama refused.
Thus, Karni Mata, being the incarnation of the Goddess, gives back her son's life and declares that from now on her family would not face death but would be reincarnated in the form of rats.
Today, there are about 20,000 rats living in the temple premises and without doubt attracting the attention of many travelers.
National Research Center on Camel
The National Camel Research Center is more a breeding, which has about 230 camels of 3 different races. The center is located about 8 km from Bikaner and is open for visitors between 14.30 and 17.00.
The small museum and the camel ride make this place particularly special for visitors.
Camel safari on the dunes of the Thar desert
Since Bikaner is in the immediate vicinity of the great Thar desert, going on a desert safari is the most obvious thing to do in Bikaner. There are jeeps and camels available for safari on the sand dunes. You can choose the duration of the safari, even the chance to camp in the desert and attend popular dance and music. Depending on the duration of the safari, you can see different destinations such as Raisar, Khichan, Balakaya Dhora and Phlodi.
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