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Just few hours drive from the cities of Jaipur and Jodhpur, Bikaner still remains somewhat undiscovered by tourists in comparison with its popular neighbours. In the heart of the Thar desert it was once considered an oasis along the old trade route from Central Asia. Today it has a thriving camel safari scene and many tourists prefer it to the bustle of Jaisalmer. A traditional, Rajasthani desert town with the magisterial Junagarh Fort, it provides a quintessential rural Indian experience. Our pick of the best places to stay in Bikaner all reflect the area’s history and charm.
The early 20th century Junagarh Fort is as imposing today as it would have been when it was first built. Walk along its ramparts for views of the town below.
The shrine of the Goddess Durga, the Karni Mata Temple, is visited by Hindu’s from around the country. Thirty kilometres outside of town it is a scenic drive and worth a visit.
Like much of the rest of Rajasthan Bikaner is best to avoid during the summer months, between April and July, when temperatures soar close to 50 degrees.
Whether by road or train it is well connected with the major cities of the state, so is a good stop-over on a wider tour of Rajasthan.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Bikaner are all ideally located to appreciate the highlights of this charming city.
For excellent value
- With all the facilities one could wish for from a relaxing desert experience; a pool, spa and Mughal tented style rooms, Vesta Bikaner Palace provides excellent value at under £60 a night.
For a heritage stay
- Built in 1927 the ancestral manor house, Bhanwar Niwas provides a princely stay. Surrounding a cool inner courtyard with ornately carved stonework it is a lesson in period charm – and excellently priced too.
- A stay at Laxmi Niwas Palace is to truly travel back in time. Period rooms filled with antiques and capacious four posters, landscaped grounds patrolled by peacocks and a stunning pool.
- Outside of the town, overlooking the Gajner Lake, the hotel’s namesake, Gajner Palace boasts huge, traditional apartment style rooms. Couples can enjoy a candlelit dinner overlooking the waters or a romantic boat trip.
Still not sure which to book? From great value to romance browse through our list of the best places to stay in Bikaner to start to plan your trip. Alternatively check out all our recommended properties in Rajasthan, or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
Best Hotels in Bikaner
Vesta Bikaner Palace 40 rooms from $58Bikaner (Himtasar)
Enjoy a princely stay at this heritage-style palace. In the sophisticated rooms, canopies in textured fabrics drape elegantly from above, hardwood floors and tasteful design throughout. Dine in the inviting restaurant or take your meal outside into the courtyard. Gym, pool, massage, plenty to amuse.WeddingsSights nearby - Junagadh Fort, Gagner Place, and Camel Research FarmSwimming Pool - Outdoor poolKids Club - Fully staffed.
Bhanwar Niwas 25 rooms from $71Bikaner
Grand and princely manor house built in 1927, a sumptuous living testimony to the elegance and opulence of old India. Mouthwatering vegetarian fare served in dining hall. Rooms feature period furniture and traditional tiled motifs. Bright and airy central courtyard is an architectural delight.Restaurant - Dining hall serves delectable vegetarian foodSights nearby - Situated within the walled city of Bikaner
Laxmi Niwas Palace 58 rooms from 71Bikaner (Lal Garh campus)
Travel back in time when you stay at this Maharaja's palace, a majestic architectural tribute to luxury and craftsmanship. Opulent rooms decorated with gilded filigree ornamentation and furnished in sumptuous fabrics. Tantalising Indian and Chinese fare. Outdoor pool and lofty central courtyard.Outstanding location - Former residential palace of the Rajasthani MaharajaPalaceRomantic BreakGreat walks - Desert trekking can be arranged upon request
Gajner Palace 45 rooms from $118Bikaner (Gajner)
Romantic historic palace with captivating gardens and handsome architectural features, on the shore of a shimmering lake. This oasis in the desert offers regal accommodation in well-appointed rooms. Restaurant serves tantalising Rajasthani and international fare. A place of unparalleled splendour.Country EscapeWeddingsSights nearby - Junagarh Fort is less than a mile awaySecluded setting - For escaping.