Bikaner is a beautiful and quaint town located in the northern region of Rajasthan, the land of Rajas. The city is known for its rich, medieval Rajasthani culture. Owing to close proximity of the city to the national capital Delhi, the influence of the Mughal culture is quite apparent here. Legend has it that the city of Bikaner, which was founded by Rao Bhikaji in 1488, is blessed by the Goddess Karni. Even today, thousands of travelers from all over India visit the city to seek the blessing of the Goddess, who is revered to personify Goddess Kali. The Goddess’ temple is the only temple in India where the pilgrims worship and pray to rats.
One of the major highlights of the city that attracts international tourists is its magnificent forts that were built during the 18th century. century. The camel fair that is held in January every year is also a prominent attraction. The camels of Bikaner are known to be the best in the world. Other important tourist attractions of Bikaner include the Gajner Palace, Camel Breeding Farm, Ganga Golden Jubliee Museum, Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary and the Junagarh Fort.
Apart from tourism and its rich culture, Bikaner is also known for its exotic cuisine. It is known as the land of sweets and namkeen. Just like other parts of India, Bikaner too has its own traditional dishes. The city being the land of royals, food has been a special part of the lives of the people in the Bikaner. The finest cooks in the town did their best to cook dishes and please the royalty. The city of Bikaner is the native land of Bhujia, which is a salted snack item that is made of lentils and gram flour.
It has been a long tradition of the royals to treat the visitors to their palace with royal dishes. The kings fed their guests unique foods to give them a happy and memorable experience. Even today, the recipes of the dishes are very much prevalent as the cooks have passed on their secret recipes to their sons. Legend has it that the royals of Bikaner dined in a grand way; they ate in gold and silver utensils.
If you love to eat sweets, Bikaner is the place to be. The place is known for its delectable sweet recipes. The cooks follow the policy of using minimum amount of water and prefer to use more milk and butter. Apart from milk and desi ghee, another important ingredient used in preparing sweets is gram flour. Some of the popular sweet dishes that would just melt in your mouth are Rabdi, Fini, Raj Bhog, Rasogullas, Gaund Pak and Ghevar. The sweet dishes of Bikaner are popular among both the locals as well as the tourists.
If you have had enough desserts, you can treat your taste buds with some spicy and crispy namkeen (salty) dishes. The Bikaneri Bhujia is the most popular salty dish of Bikaner and has been granted its own GI (Geographical Identification) Tag. Other popular dishes of Bikaner include badi, papad and wafers. The crispy, crunchy dishes made from the local spices are a treat for the taste buds.