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Bikaner

Bikaner exists in magnificent isolation in the northern Rajasthan desert, a fortified town founded by Bika, son of the Rathore king Rao Jodha (who built Jodhpur), in the late 15th century as a stop on the trading route between the Punjab and the plains. It may not have the golden perfection of Jaisalmer, but it is full of energy and industry and its handsome fort has interiors alive with mirror-work, gold leaf and stained glass. Junagarh Fort was built in 1593 A.D by Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner, who had money to spend and an eye for Rajput architecture and arts. The imposing walls of the fort are circled by a moat and contained within are a beautiful mosque, temples and palaces including Anup Mahal, Sujan Mahal, Gaj Mandir Mahal, Badal Mahal and Karan Mahal.

Bikaner is loved for its multi-coloured bazaars, heritage mansions, narrow streets and vibrant street culture. Make time to see the sandstone Lalgarh Palace with its fine jaalis or latticework screens, its many extraordinary Jain havelis and temples, including the stunning Jain Bhandasar Temple and the Rat Temple (Karni Mata Temple) - this may not be for everyone - whose rodent residents are thought to be the reincarnations of departed souls. The revered Goddess Karni was said to have championed the oppressed and the temple now houses 20,000 rats who are fed, worshipped and treated as sacred.

Bikaner occupied an important position on the ancient caravan routes and served as a prime trading centre to the merchants coming from West and Central Asia. Today it is less touristy than some of Rajasthan’s other famous cities, but it is one of the main gateways for Rajasthan’s renowned desert safaris. Bikaner is famous for its superior camels - dark caramel colour, with luxuriant eyelashes - and hosts a famous camel fair, which is celebrated for three days during the full moon in January or very late December. Outside of town, there is also a camel farm which tourists can visit.

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Client Testimonials

I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had dealings with. Everything – from the individual care and attention in helping to plan the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
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I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
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Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
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We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
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Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
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Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
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