Bikaner Camel Festival
Transportation through the modern motor vehicles is recent infrastructural development in this desert area. Even after this development, the survival of the people of this region depends on the 'Ship of the desert' - the Camel. The camels of this province were famous for their staying power as well as their strength and beauty. In fact, the Bikaner army had an privileged camel corps called the Ganga Risala which took active part in both the World Wars. The Ganga Risala was a Camel unit in the army even after the independence and it took part in Indo-Pak wars. Bikaner has the only Camel breeding center in India. Camel can still be seen pulling heavy loads on carts in this region. With such a long involvement with Camels, it is but expected that the Department of Tourism, Art and Culture choose to hold the Camel festival in Bikaner.
Department of Tourism, Art and Culture organizes Camel Festival in Bikaner every year in the month of January along with esert region's Folk dances and Music. It is otherwise an exclusive camel fair, a festival when the ships of the desert are seen at their best. These high breaded camels fascinate tourists from all over the world with their movements, charm and grace. A show of unusual camel performances: camel races, camel dances, and the bumpy, neck shaking camel rides are performed.
The festival begins with the parade of beautifully decked camels. The parade heads towards the open desert grounds covered with sands. Here, the festivities begin in earnest. The Camel Pageant is held on the first day wherein the camel possessors show off their Camels' decorations and ornaments. Camel dance shows are also held to make it more interesting. A rivalry for the best bedecked camel, fur cutting design, camel milking and the best camel hair cut is performed. The camels exhibit amazing footwork, dancing stylishly to the slightest direction of their drivers. Colorful bridles, bejeweled necks, jingling anklets and long, lanky camel shadow on dusky sands, radiate a miraculous spell. In this celebration, the tea and sweets prepared by camel milk are made available to the visitors interested in enjoying them. On the next day, the fleetest camels of the region take part in the camel races. The contest is fierce as the best camels vie for the honors. Many thrilled tourists and locals cheer the favorites. The jubilant, skirt swirling dances, the awe inspiring fire dances and many other equally interesting performances amuse the visitors. The grand finale is a wonderful display of fireworks which illuminates the desert city of Bikaner.