There may have been no Bikaner at all, if in the 15th century, Rao Bika, the first son of the Maharaja Rao Jodha, had not decided that he would rather found his own princely state, rather than inherit the throne of Jodhpur. Now this former desert wilderness, a five-hour drive north of the blue city, is famed for its impressive fort, intricate Rampuria Havelis, and less-touristy camel safaris. Very hot in the summer, best to visit between mid-October to the beginning of March.