A vast expanse of undulating sand dunes surrounds the vibrant and bustling city of Bikaner, ensconced in the desert state of Rajasthan, making it an off-beat tourist destination. Nestled in the Thar desert, this ancient city is adorned with gigantic and spectacular forts and palaces. It is also home to India's camel research centre.
The old part of the city stands as a silent witness to the rich history of the region when it was ruled by Rao Bika, the prince of the Rathore clan, in 1488. Surrounded by high stone walls, the older part of the city is a potpourri of culture and tradition. Five gigantic gates lead you into a labyrinth of lanes that are dotted with quaint bright red and yellow sandstone houses. At the same time, its modern counterpart takes you on a roller coaster, with its bustling bazaars, exquisite handicrafts and delicious cuisine. Bikaneri shawls, blankets, carpets, and candy are famous along with lacquerware handicrafts that make it a hotspot for shoppers. From beautiful glass work and attractive mojris (traditional shoes) to pottery, you will be spoilt for choice.
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