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The Camel Festival is organized in the month of January every year by the Department of Tourism, Art & Culture, Rajasthan. Camel Festival of Bikaner is held in the city of Bikaner, with the magnificent Junagarh Fort forming as its backdrop. Caamel festival is organized to underline the value of camel, the indispensable ship of the desert. Bikaner Camel Festival commences with a splendid as well as colorful procession of camels, festooned and ornamented. The procession then moves ahead to the Polo grounds, where it finally concludes.

The grace and charm of the brilliantly ornamented camels leave the onlookers mesmerized. After the end of the procession, the festival carries on with a number of other activities like tug-of-war contest, camel dance and acrobatics, etc. In the camel dance, you will see camels dancing perfectly to the command of their trainers, flaunting an incredible footwork. With their bridles, ornamented necks and jingling anklets, the camels form amazing shadows on the ground and leave the audience spellbound.

Tourists from far and wide come to the Camel Festival of Bikaner to see the camels in all their revelry. The evenings liven up with the various folk shows by the performers. These performers consist of both the renowned artistes of Rajasthan as well as the local folk artists. Some of the best performances comprise those of the rapturous dancers swirling their skirts with effortless ease and the breathtaking fire dancers. Also, make sure that you do not miss the glittering fireworks concluding the evenings.

The festival starts off with a magnificent procession of bedecked camels. It is a colourful spectacle of beautifully decorated camels that fascinates the onlookers with their charm and grace. Several competitions are held, marked with typical Rajasthani colour, joyous music and lilting rhythms and gay festivities.

Activities
The festival starts with the procession of beautifully decorated camels. The procession heads towards the open sand grounds. Here, the festivities begin in earnest. The Camel Pageant is held on the first day wherein the camel owners show off their Camels' decorations and jewellery. Camel dance performances are also held. A competition for best decorated camel, fur cutting design, camel milking and the best camel hair cut is organized The camels display amazing footwork, dancing gracefully to the slightest direction of their drivers. Colourful bridles, bejewelled necks, jingling anklets and long, lanky camel shadows on dusky sands, cast a magical spell.

In this festival tea and sweets prepared by camel milk are made available to the visitors interested in enjoying them.

On the second day, the fleetest camels of the region take part in the camel races. The competition is fierce as the best camels vie for the honors. Thousands of excited tourists and locals cheer the favorites.

On both days, the evening ends with a rendezvous with the renowned folk artists of Rajasthan. The jubilant, skirt swirling dances, the awe inspiring fire dances and many other equally interesting performances entertain the visitors. The grand finale is a magnificent display of fireworks which illuminates the desert city of Bikaner.

History
Situated in the heart of the desert belt, Bikaner was always an inaccessible land. Before the advent of modern motor vehicles, the survival of the people of this region depended on the 'Ship of the desert' - the Camel. The camels of this region were famous for their endurance as well as their strength and beauty.

In fact, the Bikaner army had an elite 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 also boasts of the only Camel breeding center in India.

Camel can still be seen pulling heavy loads on carts in this region. With such a long association with Camels, it is but natural that the Department of Tourism, Art and Culture chose to hold the Camel festival in Bikaner.

 

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