Someone has rightly said – if you want to see Rajasthan in its true essence, visit Bikaner. It is the land of dignified rulers of several Rajput dynasties and artists like Allah Jilai Bai who sang the legendary folk song of ‘Kesariya Balam.’ This iconic song reflects the love, sacrifice, bravery, and purity of several Rajput soldiers who were born here and died protecting their land and honour.
Revered for its forts, palaces, festivals, folk music, and arts and crafts, the city of Bikaner is a cultural hub that has carefully preserved the values and beliefs of the bygone era. Tourists not just from India but across the world come to the intriguing city of Bikaner to delve deeper into its elegance and timeless charm that are unmistakable in palaces here.
Let us check out the 11 magnificent palaces in Bikaner that you must visit.
1. Rampuria Haveli
One of the prominent palaces in Bikaner, Rampuria Haveli was constructed in the 15th century by the wealthy merchant family of Rampuria. Today, standing tall in pride, Rampuria Haveli is a beatific heritage site that lends Bikaner its identity.
Depicting a great fusion of various architectural styles including Mughal, Victorian, and Rajputana, Rampuria Haveli look glorious and magnificent in every nook and corner. Majorly constructed using Dulmera red sandstone as the base material, this splendid haveli demonstrates the exceptional artistic brilliance of that era. Lovely intricate carvings on the walls of this grand haveli give a reminiscence of the history it was once a part of.
Rampuria Haveli has several inner halls and rooms that are adorned with fine wood and contain many artefacts of that time. When in Bikaner, a stroll in the lanes of this haveli is pure bliss for culture enthusiasts and history lovers.
2. Gajner Palace & Wildlife Sanctuary
Settled quietly on the shores of the shimmering Gajner Lake and surrounded by dense forest, Gajner Palace Bikaner is a majestic place that definitely deserves a spot on your list of palaces in Bikaner for a cultural trip. Built during the British regime, the palace is constructed from red sandstone and marbles and demonstrates a brilliant fusion of European, Rajput, and Mughal architectural style.
Once a summer resort of Maharaja Ganga Singh, the estate other than having this beautiful palace also houses Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary which used to be a hunting ground to the royal family. Now a prominent heritage hotel, one can peacefully enjoy their stay in serenity amidst nature and even enjoy spotting migratory birds flocking in the surroundings.
3. Junagarh Fort
No list of palaces in Bikaner is complete without the mention of the fabled fort of Junagarh. With a great glorious past, the unconquered fort has so many tales to tell. The hypnotic palace showcases a great amalgamation of Gujarati and Mughal inspired architectural style that is well-complemented with picturesque surroundings, making it worth capturing from different angles.
This vast and expansive palace houses several other important spots that include Anup Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Karan Mahal, Har Mandir, and Museum. The beauty of this royal palace is reflective of Bikaner’s culture. Make sure you include this fabulous palace on your list of places to explore in Bikaner.
4. Lalgarh Palace
Lalgarh Palace in Bikaner was built between 1902-1926 in memory of Maharaja Lal Singh, the father of Maharaja Ganga Singh. Curated by the reputed architect Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, Lalgarh Palace shows a perfect blend of European, Rajput, and Mughal architectural style.
Now a heritage hotel, the splendid architectural marvel is run and managed by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji Charitable Trust. Lalgarh Palace in Bikaner holds a strong historical and cultural significance in the history of Bikaner. It houses Sadul Museum and Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum where visitors can check out photographs, trophies, paintings, sculptures, coin collection, and personal artefacts of the mighty rulers of Bikaner.
5. Bikaji Ki Tekri
One of the stunning palaces in Bikaner, Bikaji Ki Tekri is deemed as the first fort in the city which was built by Rao Bika Rathore, the founder of the Kingdom of Bikaner. Speaking of the age of the construction, the grand palace is indeed the oldest structure which is about 500 years old.
Made out of red sandstone with beautiful carvings on them, Bikaji Ki Tekri is a blend of several architectural styles of that time and is captivating enough you leave you spellbound. Besides, the basement of this palace is an interesting spot to explore which is actually a puzzle interconnected with rooms.
6. Vesta Palace
Vesta Palace of Bikaner is one of the popular palaces that exudes true luxury in all sense. Although the hotel is built as a contemporary masterpiece, it still reflects the rich heritage of Rajasthan as the magnum opus consists of elements like huge pillars, large courtyards, and a haveli construction style that gives it an old-school vibe.
While the exteriors of this grand palace draw inspiration from the culture of Bikaner, interiors on the contrary are pretty chic and modern with a subtle touch of traditional extravagance. Repleted with all modern-day amenities, Vesta Palace of Bikaner promises guests a convenient stay and experience of a lifetime.
7. Laxmi Niwas Palace
Of several places to visit in Bikaner, Laxmi Niwas Palace, now a heritage hotel, is a one-of-its-kind structure that was once the residence of Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner. Built between 1896-1902, this palace depicts the best of Indo-Saracenic architectural style, curated by the renowned British architect Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. Adorable hand-painted friezes, gold-laden walls, filigree, and latticework are some defining features of this graceful red sandstone structure.
Laxmi Niwas Palace in Bikaner, standing in all glory, welcomes guests from all around the globe, especially cultural enthusiasts and luxury lovers. Restaurants here serve delicacies from around the world and the palace also hosts a lounge and bar, serving many exotic, domestic and international liquors. Regarded as one of the best places to visit in Bikaner, this palace hosts entertainment activities in its big garden for guests that range from traditional Rajasthani folk music and dance performances to the famous puppet show the state is well-known for. For a memorable experience, make sure you book your stay at Laxmi Niwas Palace in Bikaner.
8. Bharat Palace
Bharat Palace in Bikaner is a renowned heritage hotel that is known for its world-class settings and hospitality. Located strategically, the palace offers a convenient stay to the guests who come to explore the city of Bikaner as all the prominent spots from this location is easily accessible through different means of transport.
Built as per the modern style, Bharat Palace in Bikaner has everything that is needed to make a stay memorable for its guests. Besides, the hotel has several options to suit guests with different budgets. So, even in terms of affordability, this hotel is worth checking out.
9. Basant Vihar Palace
Spend moments of respite at the luxurious, Basant Vihar Palace of Bikaner. Built by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji, the stunning palace used to be a prime spot for conducting and celebrating several occasions and festivals. Settled in the peaceful surroundings, the palace has got a gorgeous lily pond, stunning fountain, and spectacular garden in a huge area that is full of beautiful flowers and trees; all these together add to the splendour of this larger-than-life structure.
Now a prominent heritage hotel, Basant Vihar Palace of Bikaner exudes a contemporary architectural style with a subtle traditional elegance that runs through the entire construction. If you are planning a trip to Bikaner, the palace is definitely worth checking out.
10. Narendra Bhawan
Narendra Bhawan or Narendra Palace in Bikaner peeks into the life of Maharaja Narendra Singh Ji as it comprises of his memories from his tours to different destinations. Along with being a regimental ruler, Narendra Singh Ji was a voracious reader and vintage car aficionado.
This grand residence of Narendra Singh Ji has now been converted into a heritage property where guests come from across the nation and world to enjoy the true luxury it has to offer. Other than the luxury, guests visiting Narendra Palace, Bikaner can enjoy cultural music and dance in the evening and even take a tour within the palace to explore more about it.
11. Karni Bhawan Palace
Once home to Maharaja Karni Singh, Karni Bhawan Palace of Bikaner is now a heritage hotel that is known for its distinctive ambience and great hospitality. Speaking of the architectural style of this magnificent palace, it is constructed in the deluxe art and deco style which was pretty popular in the 1940s in Europe and the US. Large windows, ornate staircases, and Doric pillars are the defining features of this royal residence.
For cultural aficionados, Karni Bhawan Palace in Bikaner is a must-visit place as it has sensibly preserved royal furniture pieces, paintings, photographs of regal personalities of Bikaner and Mewar. Besides, this palace has everything that you may need to have a convenient and amazing stay.
Whether you are planning a solo trip or with your family, the city of Bikaner with its rich history and cultural values is sure to leave you spellbound.