Location : Bikaner in Rajasthan, India.
When To Visit : January.
Major Attraction : Camel
What To See : Best Breed Competition, Tug-of-War, Camel Dance, Acrobatics.
The camel is ubiquitous in Rajasthan, but nowhere is its
presence more pronounced than in the city of Bikaner. These desert engines
meander in the countrysides, in bazaars, on the roads; they pull heavy
cart loads, transport grain and even work at the wells. They have walked
into the lives of the Bikaneris so intimately, that they had now become an
indispensable part of the city. Loyal, submissive and low maintenance, the
camel is still the most precious element in the desert, despite its
characteristic flatulence and tendency to bite during the breeding season.
To bestow a humble gratitude to the desert king, the Rajasthan Tourism Department organizes a vivacious and colorful event in Bikaner every year. Hundreds of tourists and thousands of locals rejoice in this man-and-animal episode, the famous Camel Festival, organized especially for the tourists.
Eat, drink and be merry. Lanky camels with bejeweled
necks and jingling anklets will display amazing footwork on the slightest
peck of their mentors. You are happy and so they are. After all, it is
'their' famous festival. January is the right month for a desert spree and
Bikaner is just the right place to draft such a concert.
The Camel Festival of Rajasthan begins with a kaleidoscopic parade of decorated camels against the red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh fort, heading towards the open sand grounds. The first day offers the gorgeous presentation of the desert kings. Combating for the first place in the beauty contest, splendidly embellished camels are brought to the arena and careened to catch the critical eye of keen judges. The way the camel is embroidered, the choice of its gadgets and ornament, its capacity to interpret and carry out commands and the variety of pranks it is capable to perform are the basic criteria for selection of the "beauty pageant". A competition for best fur cutting design, camel milking and also for the best camel hair cut is organized.
On the second day, the speedy Jaisalmeri camels of the region take part in the camel sprints, which offers a healthy competition to the best camels of the region who compete for the honor. The hoopla extends to such a height that you have to cover your ears and raise your voice to shout for your favorite camel's name. Betting is greatly enjoyed in these regions and don't get awestruck while watching huge amount of money flying from one pocket to another in much less time.
As the sun dives into the horizon, the arena springs up in a different tenor and tempo altogether with the dazzling fireworks illuminating the desert city. Renowned artistes of Rajasthan and the local folk performers present a rendezvous with the traditional wing of music and dance. The rhapsodic skirt-swirling dance and the spine-chilling fire dance will really swing your emotions to the extreme, while you will comb every secret memories of yours to match the extravaganza that is happening right before your eyes.
Domesticated thousands of years ago by frankincense traders, who trained the lanky cud-chewer to make the long and arduous journey from southern Arabia to the northern regions of the Middle East, the camel went on to become the desert dweller's primary source of transport, shade, milk, meat, wool and hides. Inquire a bit more about this desert engine who will entertain you for two continuous days, otherwise you might belittle his credits. Look at those long haired rock star looking camels with hair in their ears, at the end of the row. They are local camels from the Bikaner district renowned for their strength. The light colored camels are from the Jaisalmer district, and are known for their speed- up to 22km/hour! The dark colored camels are from Gujrat, and their better halves are renowned for the quantity of milk they produce; up to 7-8 liters at each milking. Camel's milk is much more nutritious than that of a cow. It is lower in fat and lactose, and higher in potassium, iron and Vitamin C. If you have a cup of tea in a small desert village, you're quite possibly drinking camel milk. BUt the most important part of this festival is the Camel ride
The bus stand is north of the city center, almost opposite the road leading to the Lallgarh Palace Hotel (if your bus is coming from the south and you want to be dropped off in the town center, ask the driver). Hire an auto-rickshaw or a cycle-rickshaw to reach the venue of the festival. Moreover, bicycles can also be hired from numerous shops lined up opposite the police station on station road.
Top 5 Reasons To Visit Camel Festival
Enjoy With The Ship of The Desert
More Than Just A Mere Creature
Feel The Grandiose In The Rustic Culture
Shop Till You Drop
Ride on a Camel
Rajasthan & The Taj
Wildlife Safari Tour
Mahal - White Wonder
Delhi - Eternal Capital
Sikri - City of Victory
- Out of The World
Madhya Pradesh -
Centre of Attraction