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“A breath of fresh air in Bikaner”
Review of Shanti House

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Shanti House
Ranked #3 of 51 Bikaner B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 16, 2013

Thank the Gods that we bumped into Gouri outside the railway station. He helped us book trains and find buses/tourist information and only mentioned that he had a hostel when we moaned about ours. We'd already booked into the scummy, cockroach infested Evergreen, but the next day we moved into the lovely Shanti house. A big, quaintly decorated airy room with flower patterns on the wall, a proper bed and a Western toilet. We enjoyed a delicious meal on the small roof top terrace, and were charmed by his wee girl who sat in our laps after we ate. Gouri managed to get us seats on a seemingly full train, and was a wealth of information. If you have to stay in Bikaner - stay here!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Anna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 - 71 of 239 reviews

Reviewed February 5, 2013

After arriving from Jaisalmer hot and dusty I was bombarded with tuk-tuk touts after my tourist rupee. Overwhelmed and somewhat hungry I was rescued by Gouri (Man of the house of Shanti) and his trustee motorbike, we rode off for chai and an artist demonstration at the local NGO (a group that supports local artists), it was the perfect antidote to a stressful journey - friendly faces and instant connection, I felt at ease and happily gazed at the beautiful paintings on display (with no pressure to purchase).

The house of Shanti is more family home than hotel, a unique cultural experience, it is difficult as a lone female traveller to connect with Indians (people are often confused as to why you are travelling alone and you're often approached for the wrong reasons) here I was able to interact with women and children with ease and talk frankly and safely with the family (including the men). I was invited to take part in two weddings, an adventure to the temple of rats and a delightful camel farm. There was opportunity to learn Hindi, teach in a local village, and attend art classes. I also visited the local embroidery factory in search of antique folk clothing (a passion of mine) and was delighted with my finds and the negotiated rate (don't forget to barter with a smile on your face).

Gouri also guides tours through the old town - a highly recommended experience providing a valuable insight into the heritage of Bikaner, which was part of the old spice route and India in general. What Gouri and his family gave me was something more than a hotel, a relaxed peek into Bikaner culture and Indian culture as a whole. I was able to ask the questions I had wanted to ask since arriving five weeks ago, without fear of offending or being misunderstood. I think it has to do with the family stepping outside of India to Europe where they visited friends - thus providing a more cosmopolitan understanding of western ways - but still with an strong appreciation and celebration of traditional Indian culture.

The house was in the cusp of the old town, equidistant to the bustling high street and the fort an excellent location to visit most sights, I would recommend there home and hospitality to the reader and would consider visiting Bikaner again (perhaps to volunteer and take Hindi classes),

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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10  Thank Martina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

I haven't slept in this place, I only ate here.
The food was really good, really good price! I've had the jeera rice with aloo gobi, and I returned the next day for fried dhal with jeera rice. They give a very nice personal touch to the diner!
Gouri and his wife are the nicest persons of Bikaner.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
9  Thank Floris88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

Hello to all you Fellow Travelers who just happen to be heading in a Bikaner type direction AND are looking for a FAB place to stay!

I just spent a pleasurable week in Bikaner with a wonderful Family at the Shanti guest house! Actually it felt more like i was staying friends! I really was made to feel welcome in this friendly easy going Atmosphere! There are 4 Unique Fantastic looking rooms Ranging from 4 to 6 hundred Roops! OR if like me you are a budget Traveler there are also 2 Beds(one on the roof,one in A corridor) which are going for 120 Roops!which i found to be great Value. You will also find Gouri (The owner) to be very helpful with travel plans, information ETC. Its also perfectly located for the tourist as its in the old town BUT also close to the new!!! SO ENJOY!!

Room Tip: Look AND choose- They are all good!
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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10  Thank Alex K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

My fiance and I had a positive experience at Shanti house. Its a nice place to hang out with fellow travelers. We also felt quite at home with Gouri, Tara, and Cormelika- their adorable daughter. When we became ill at their house, Gouri and Tara were very caring and concerned for our well being. They helped us a lot when we were in need, and for that we are grateful. We hope to return one day.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank MadiShap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

Lovely guest house run by a most hospitable couple. The free cooking classes (just buy the ingredients) are a nice touch. It is well located and Gouri (the owner) used to be a travel guide so he can help you with just about anything you need for your trip.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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10  Thank TomNevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2012

If you want to stay with a Rajasthani family in Bikaner then we highly recommend the Shanti House. We spent 7 days here in Dec 2012. It is within the Old City and is in easy walking distance of the Railway Station, Fort, Deshnok bus stop, markets, Kem Road and much more. When we arrived we were told to "feel at home" ..and we did!
Gourie and Tara assisted us in so many ways; transport solutions, shopping advice, tour assistance, language interpretaion and help in understanding some of the complexities of Indian culture and just passing the time of day.
Gourie is the only professional guide in the Old City. He has spent his life there. We took his tour early in our stay and what a plus it was. We moved about getting our bearings and had a zillion questions answered.The highlight of the tour was to accompany Gourie to a prayer meeting at the 600 year old Lakshminath Temple.It was exhilirating, something we had never experienced before and can only be done in the company of Gourie. Even if you stay outside the Old City a quick txt or email can get you on this worthwhile tour.
Another highlight for us was helping in the kitchen. Tara and Gourie prepared superb meals. On one occassion Suzanne shopped at the market for ingredients to make a Malai Kofta then helped in its development into one of the best meals we have had.
We found the Shanti, only 4 rooms, to be a haven from the bustling city. We could eat on the roof or in our room if a little peace was needed. All meals delivered. A tap on the door in the morning produced a delicious breakfast and pot of masala tea.Brilliant.
This was a safe place for us to stay.
So if you want excellent budget accommodation (we paid 350r per night) and a stepping stone to the bird and animal life, botany, history,shopping, safari, architecture, food, fort and the temples of this area then the Shanti House is a great option.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank Johnz62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shanti House

Address: Shanti House Near City Kotwaly | Old city, Bikaner 334001, India
Location: India > Rajasthan > Bikaner District > Bikaner
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 51 B&Bs / Inns in Bikaner
Price Range: $10 - $11 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only guest house in the old city. Mentioned and thanked in Lonely Planet. We currently have 3 rooms with attached bathroom and 1 with separate bathroom. Free pick up from bus or train. I am also available for city tours or other travel advice. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shanti House Hotel Bikaner

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