Bikaner also means Bika's fort, this city as its
name suggests is a homage to its very creator.
Decide your favourite colour and pick a city to
match, Rajasthan's kaleidoscope of colours covers all.
Bastions of history, bristling with memories,
these splendid treasures stand battling the vageries of time.
The City Palace, Jaipur
Wind Palace, Jaipur
City Palace, Udaipur
Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur
The desert sands shimmer and pulsate with an
energy and a spirit of festivity permeates the air, every season
provides many reasons to celebrate.
Ride a camel over the dunes or horses through
the hillside, speed ahead in a jeep and camp under open skies.
A delicate ecosystem, part desert part marshy
lands and even a small section of lush water filled valleys, sports a
wildlife rich in variety.
Whichever Budget Hotel you choose you will
always experience a traditional hospitality that you may never want to
Jaipur Budget Hotels
Jaisalmer Budget Hotels
Bharatpur Budget Hotels
Bikaner Budget Hotels
Rajasthan Tours Travel » Festivals
of Rajasthan » Camel Festival -
Camel Festival - Bikaner
In the very heart of the Thar desert lies the camel country of Bikaner,
famous for its architectural marvels, its hot and spicy cuisine and its
larger-than-life Camel Festival. Camels have always been an integral part
of the culture of Bikaner and to this day it is using the loyal,
submissive and low maintenance camel for all its needs. They transport
grain, pull heavy carts, work the wells and have a rich historic
significance. In medieval times, along with pulling caravans, camels were
also an integral part of the state's defense strategies and even now they
are used by the Border Security Forces to patrol the border along
So each year in the winter month of January a two-day Camel Festival is
organised to celebrate this humble beast. An initiative of the Department
of Tourism, Art and Culture, Government of Rajasthan, it has become hugely
popular with the locals and also a big draw for visitors. Bikaner is the
only city in the country to have its own camel breeding farm, but during
the festival the indigenous camels of Bikaner are joined by a staggering
number of camels that travel across the golden sands to collect at this
venue. They come from all directions, their masters astride them, flicking
the sand at every step with casual ease. And during the days before and
after the festival this barren landscape is full of such camel caravans
carrying men, women and children to the festival.
The scene of the festival is thoroughly captivating, men and women are
dressed up in their brightest most flamboyant outfits, men sport big
multicoloured turbans and women wear the traditional skirts and ornate
jewellery. The prize winner however is the camel, who has been washed,
preened and then decorously laden with beads and finery.
festival starts with a procession of these beautifully decorated camels
which are led through the city streets to the open sands ground, the venue
for the festivities. Once at the venue, the camels are truly in the
limelight and its time for them to show their mettle. Here the camels
compete for the title of, 'the Best Decorated Camel'. The fur designing,
camel milking and camel hair cutting competitions are also very popular
and a chance for the locals to showcase their imagination. The camel can
also dance, really, don't be surprised, he has been trained well and many
who compete in the dance competition have some nifty footwork to show.
Definitely a must-see event. The camel races are as thrilling as they
sound, hordes of camels go charging down the field in a blaze of dust and
glory. The competition is fierce as the best camels vie for the honors,
thousands of excited tourists and locals cheer the favorites. Its the day
of the camel and resplendent in all their finery and showcasing their many
talents this beast will surely win you over.
The camel is the lifeline of the desert folk, not only is he their
vehicle but also their provider, amongst other things it provides them
with an abundant supply of camel milk. Many stalls at the festival are
lined with sweets made of this milk and the hot and syrupy tea, again made
from camel milk is also a must try.
After all the excitement of the day, the nights are given to cultural
displays, song and dance have always been popular here and the visitor is
treated to some famous exhibits. The rare Fire Dance is one such
performance, a devotional dance performed late on a winter night, it sees
dancers perform on large beds of flaming coals, their steps move to the
beat of drums that rise in crescendo till the dancers appear to be in a
trance. And no, they don't have any blisters to show later on. The other
dances may be less dramatic but are equally fascinating, skirts swirl as
women dance to haunting desert rhythms in perfectly co-ordinated
sequences. The grand finale is a magnificent display of fireworks which
illuminate the desert city of Bikaner.