Think of camel fairs, and chances are you will head to Pushkar in Rajasthan. But hold on to your horses (or camels) for a moment: consider Bikaner, with its smaller yet far more enchanting version. And that is only one of the reasons why you need to be in this desert city.
You could talk shop, for example. Someone needs to send Wee Willie Winkie to put the people of Bikaner to bed on time. They simply don’t want to call it a day – keeping their bazaars bustling with activity till late into the night. Join the fun, stroll around and window shop.
And you can never be hungry for long in this city. Bikaner can get anorexics to start questioning their own resolve. The city is full of food, inviting you with, “Come, gorge!” Take your pick from kachoris, samosas, jalebis and ghevar straight from the frying wok. Or choose from all kinds of Indian sweets and savouries from menus that read more like encyclopedic compilations rather than the offering of a single eatery.
While you are there, don’t miss out on the Junagarh Fort. This is where they would bury an innocent and harmless man (by himself) alive in the foundations of a fort or within one of the turrets (on horseback). Why? Because someone told the ruling classes that such an act was considered auspicious and guaranteed invincibility to the fort. Is it legend, or it there truth in the belief?
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