From fire dances, to traditional Indian ghazals, kalb elian performers, jugglers and acrobats, to troupes of folk singers, livening up your evenings at our courtyard, takes but a day’s notice. Our performers are camera-and-tourist-friendly, and not averse to teaching you a line, or a step or two, if you’re willing to hum and dance along.
Fairs & Festivals
The Annual Bikaner Camel Festival takes place every January. This would be the place to rate and gauge everything about the animals, including their haircuts! Rammat or local street theatre takes centre-stage every Holi. The streets are crowded with enactments from Hindu scripture that last all night, ending at dawn. The city’s Jain community celebrates Paryushan and Kartik Poornima with great fervour in October and November respectively.
Shrines & Holy Places
The annual pilgrimage to Kolayat presages the Pushkar Fair.. The Karni Mata temple in Deshnoke, 30 kms. south, is where you will find the largest number of rats you’ve ever encountered, all partaking in a very orderly way of the evening prasad. Of the 27 Jain temples lining the cityscape of Bikaner, the Bhandasar Temple, a treasure trove of usta art, is a must-see for many reasons, including a birds-eye view of Bikaner.
Stock up on dalmoth, namkeens and other fried foods when in India’s snack capital. Translucent and opaque watercolours made of minerals and vegetable dyes and gold-embossed examples of Usta art make excellent gifts, if you can bear to part with them. Leather bags, sandals and the ubiquitous wooden kata are other items worth bargaining for.
Bikaner is home to many of India’s most prominent astrologers. Although appointments aren’t easy to come by, many Indians and tourists swear by their accuracy and numerological genius. Will this by the year you marry? Or strike it rich? Why not hear it first-hand from the redoubtable Munna Maharaj.
A ten-minute walk away from the palace, Junagadh Fort, despite its vulnerable-looking outlay has never once fallen to invaders. With seven pols or gates, numerous palaces, pavilions and temples, the fort is an architectural testament to the power and pelf of the Rathore Rajputs.