Bikaner is not just a destination…. it’s an experience!
As I boarded my train to Bikaner, ready to indulge in lavish hospitality extended by the lovely Narendra Bhawan, I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect.
Even though I have made multiple trips to Jodhpur (My mom is from the blue city) as a kid – Usually every summer holiday and major festivals; I barely “explored” much of Rajasthan. As kids we were always holed up in the house playing monopoly or chatting till wee hours of morning. Days were spent chilling by the air cooler, as it was always bloody hot to step outside in the dry desert climate.
A few short trips to Jaiselmer with my previous firm MakeMyTrip, were pretty much all I had experienced in the desert state of India – Rajasthan.
So with zero exceptions I set off in the deserts of India.. only to be royally surprised.
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Top Places to Visit in Bikaner for Instagrammable Shots
Little did I even know I would find anything “Instagrammble” beyond the gates of Narendra Bhawan – Our swanky design boutique hotel…but I was in for a big surprise.
I found not just one but six amazing places in Bikaner which would make fellow Instagrammers go green with envy.
Don’t believe me? Well pictures sure do speak louder than words.. so check out these wonderful pictures of Bikaner and my own IG posts from this Princely state.
Our stay at Narendra Bhawan was perhaps one of the best hotel experiences ever, for me.
Think unparalleled luxury, stunning decor, smiling staff, wicked cocktails, mouth watering cuisine, themed diners, curated tours and personalized royal treatment – THAT’s Narendra Bhawan for you!
Everything from its intricate interiors, modern decor, palace-like exteriors, splendid architecture, beautifully curated corridors, ethnic Indian artifacts and furnishing – all make for those perfect picture backdrops for your Instagram.
As soon as I stepped it, I threw my bags, took a quick shower and got my GoPro and Canon out to start clicking. Every opportunity I got during my stay, was spent taking pictures of this beautiful palace.
So, with endless photo opportunities, Narendra Bhawan takes the top spot for Instagram worthy places to visit in Bikaner.
If you want to live life King size (or Queen, ahem ahem).. THIS is the place you need to get to.
Laxmi Niwas Palace
Laxmi Niwas Palace is a “real” palace in the heart of this princely state of Bikaner. It was the residence of Maharaja Ganga Singh, King of Bikaner back in 1900’s.
You can only image how magnificent and grand the entire palace is, now converted into a luxury heritage hotel.
We got a grand tour and a fancy museum themed luncheon here, which gave us several hours to take pictures and gawk.
From grand interiors, royal game rooms and exotic exteriors and gardens – all of this and more, makes it stand out as the perfect Instagrammable locale.
Built in the early 1900’s for Maharaja Ganga singh, Lallgarh embodies royalty and luxury.
My favorite photos were of the reflective designs in the swimming pool, huge open courtyards, exotic chandeliers and stunning corridors. Just for this royal swimming pool and amazing exteriors, I will give Lallgarh Palace a big thumbs up!
I must admit, I am not big on buildings so I wasn’t very keen to check out “just another fort”.
My plan was simply, hop on the luxury Narendra Bhawan vehicles, look around for 10 mins, click a few pictures and hop back to the hotel to get some rest (And more pictures back at the hotel).
That plan flopped – big time!
I spent over 2 hours engrossed and totally mesmerized by the captivating history and spectacular settings of Junagarh fort.
Immediately, I knew why this fort was so popular.
You walk around from era to era looking at works of 16 rulers. Yes, that’s right – it was built by 16 different rulers in different eras. So it actually feels like you are walking inside a time capsule as you start looking at “Mahal’s” in different styles.
This also means each Mahal has a different decor. With three awe-inspiring courtyards, various rooms built in totally different styles, age old artifacts and a ton of history and architectural brilliance – Junagarh Fort is surely one of the best places to get your Instagram mojo on!
Bikaji ki Tekri
Perhaps the only “off-beat” spot on this list, Bikaji ki Tekri is the neglected “poor King’s fort”, as they call it.
It is a tribute to the founding fathers of Bikaner who ruled this princely state between 15th – 16th AD.
Bikaji ki Tekri is now just an abandoned building and anyone can enter and explore at leisure. This means, you will not even find any crowds here and can pretty much have the entire fort to yourself – How amazing is that for a photo shoot?
The spectacular cenotaphs were the highlight for me, making for amazing photo backdrops.
On our first day, we were given a lovely specially curated Haveli tour by Narendra Bhawan. These walking tours offer ample opportunities to capture the heart, soul and the “Real Bikaner”; merchants of the bygone era.
You can capture people, cows, camels, everyday life in Bikaner and of course the stunning Haveli’s. On these curated tours, you can even enter a real Haveli and see how its like from inside.
If you are into #DoorPorn then the Haveli tour will be just your thing. I can guarantee at least ten Instagrammable “door” shots in just one hour walk around the district – Sounds good? Well then, add a walking tour to the historic Haveli’s of Bikaner to your bucket list.
So have you been to Bikaner or visited any of these spots? Did they satiate your photo cravings? I want to hear from all fellow Instagrammers – Do share in comments below 🙂
Disclaimer – I was a guest of Narendra Bhawan for a fun-filled, indulgent trip to #ExperienceBikaner in all its glory!