Luxury holidays in Bikaner

Bikaner has a princely past: it was founded in the 15th century by Rathore regent, Rao Bikaji – from whom the city took its name. You don’t have to stretch your imagination too far to envision regal courts parading down the palace-lined streets; if you need a little help, visit one of the Prachina or Ganga Government museums which are filled with artefacts and trinkets from days gone by. Built in a rose-coloured sandstone, Bikaner is filled with grand palaces and havelis with lush lawns and fountain-filled courtyards, impenetrable forts with magnificent mosaics, and ornately-carved temples dedicated to Hindu gods; the most famous of which, and not to be missed, is the Deshnok Karni Mata Temple. However, the locals place their adoration in the native camels too; the furry beasties enjoy quite the reputation here. Visit in January for the Camel Festival where you can watch the beloved dromedaries and their riders parade the streets bedecked in vibrant fabrics with multi-coloured, pom-pom-strung bridles. There are also races, dances, milking and acrobatics competitions, and camel beauty-pageants – step aside Miss Universe, there’s a new beauty in Bikaner and we hear she’s got high humps…

When to go

From April onwards temperatures soar to a scorching 45 degrees, so unless you like things (seriously) hot, visit between October and March when they dip to a bearable 27 degrees. Avoid the monsoon downpours in July and August.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Jodhpur Airport is the closest major airport to Bikaner; a five-hour drive away. There are regular connecting flights from across Europe and the US; first fly to Mumbai or Delhi then catch a connecting flight to Jodhpur. Call our Smith24 team of travel experts to find out the best route for you and book your flights.
  • Trains

    Bikaner Junction is the main train station in the city. Trains run across the country; Jodhpur and Jaisalmer are both around five-and-a-half hours away and Jaipur is a six-and-a-half-hour journey.
  • Automobiles

    The city’s streets are lined with colourful tuk tuks so you won’t need a car in Bikaner; we recommend you don’t drive in India unless you’ve done so before – many times. Our Smith24 team can also arrange personal drivers for longer journeys.