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Best Places To Visit Near Bikaner - Weekend Getaways
Bikaner— the dry arid land of Maharajas. This city in Rajasthan is known for its hospitality as well as architecture, and beckons you to the palaces and forts that have seen battles more than splendour. All in all, the city is a great tourist destination. But there are many more places around Bikaner that may trump its beauty and grandeur. From Rajput towns to temples, holy lands to bird parks, there is much to explore around Bikaner. If you are idle this weekend and planning to get out then here’s our list of weekend getaways near Bikaner.
You may remember this place from the 1999 Nuclear tests that India successfully conducted and became a Nuclear state. Located 225 km away from Bikaner, Pokhran is a 4 hour drive. The village is also called the place of five mirages as it is surrounded by salt rocks of Thar. From monuments to arid havelis, archeological sites to forts, Pokhran is perfect for the explorer in you. Visit the 14th Century Pokhran Fort, Baba Ramdev Temple, Patwonji ki Haveli, Nathmalji ki Haveli and Salim Singh ki Haveli. Winter is a good time to visit.
30 km from Bikaner is the holy land of Deshnok. Why holy? Because they worship rats here as god. The Karni Mata Temple here is famous for its celebration of various festivals. This forms the main tourist attraction here as it is home to the 20,000 rats considered god or ‘kaba.’ The additional beauty of its marble pillar carvings and flooring make a visit even more fun. Do visit the village during the Karni Mata fair which is held twice a year.
Another desert village in the middle of Rajasthan, Kheechan is the midpoint between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Known for its birds, Kheechan is home to the beautiful Demoiselle cranes that migrate here during winter from Central Asia. The villagers feed these cranes and welcome them like family. The bird sanctuary of Kheechan is said to feed around 5000 kg of bird seed every winter, making this place just as kind as it is ethereal. The cranes are locally known as Kurja and adored by one and all. The village is located 162 km away from Bikaner.
The salt city near Bikaner, known for its culture and ethnic beauty, Phalodi has become a tourist attraction in recent years. From royal forts to Jain and Hindu temples, bazars to havelis, this city has it all. It lies 165 km from Bikaner and makes for the perfect winter weekend off. Some of the most coveted places to visit here include Sachiya Mata Temple, Lal Niwas, the Mahavira Temple, and Sun Temple.
The city of Bishnois and Jats, Nagaur has a valiant history. About 117 km from Bikaner, Nagaur invites you into its warm folds. The city lies on the road from Bikaner to Jaisalmer. Formally established in the 12th Century by Naga Kshatriyas, it even finds mention in the great Mahabharat. Visit the sandy Nagaur Fortress that encompasses temples and palaces, gardens and fountains alike. A grandeur unrivalled. Other places to explore are Jain Glass Temple, Deepak Mahal, Hadi Rani Mahal, Tarkeen Dargah, Amar Singh’s Cenotaph and Akbari Mahal.
Sand dunes and the Thar extending in every possible direction; Khimsar is parched yet pretty. Aside from its history, Khimsar is also know for the wilderness where one can spot desert wildlife. Desert safaris are exciting here and best taken during autumn and summer months. Camel safaris are also cool as you get to ride on the back of a camel, with picnic baskets and radios to a nice spot on a sand dune to enjoy the sunset. Visit with family or friends for a nice little weekend. Khimsar is 154 km away from Bikaner.
The Shekhawati region of Rajasthan is known for its unique architecture styles. The havelis here are some of the most beautiful buildings you will ever see. It is also the city of audacious locals as the people of this region are mighty proud. From its antiquated monuments to forts and hand-painted old havelis, architecture lovers are in for a treat. Some of the places to visit in Shekhawati include the Goenka Haveli, Haveli Nadine Leprince and Dholi Sati Dadi Mandir. Shekhawati is 217 km away from Bikaner and a nice little drive for a mild monsoon or winter weekend.
Ladnun is a Jain pilgrimage, a centre of Jainism and compassion (ahimsa). Located 190 km away from the city of Bikaner, Ladnun is a part of the Nagaur district. Known for its aesthetics and temple designs, Ladnun is a destination for spiritually inclined as well as architectural geeks. Visit the Jain temples along with places like Mangalpura Bagichi, Peethwale Balaji, Sukhdev Ashram, Pabolao, Dronanchal Arham Ashram, Venkatesh Mandir and Sujangarh.
A popular tourist hub between Bikaner and Agra, Sikar is another historical city. The town is walled, and there are 7 gated entrances into it. Old havelis, forts, royal palaces etc make Sikar lucrative. It is 218 km away and excellent for a lazy winter getaway. Photo walks around the city are pretty coveted and travellers come from far and wide for the same. Some places to visit around here are Devgarh, Laxmangarh Fort, Khatu Shyamji Temple, Sardul Singh Cenotaph and Seth Ramgopal Poddar Chhatri. These chhatris and frescoes adorning buildings here are some of the best, second only to Jaipur.