Sunday, 15 July 2012

CAMEL FESTIVAL,RAJASTHAN


Camel Festival, Bikaner

Bikaner is a famous town in the state of Rajasthan in western India. The people of this region adjoined by the desert have traditionally depended on camels as chief mode of transport. This region is famous for its camels which have been bred here for centuries. In fact, Bikaner has the only camel breeding center in Asia. No wonder then that the department of tourism, art and culture of the government of Rajasthan chose Bikaner for hosting the annual camel festival. The camel festival, Bikaner is a grand event held every January. It is a major highlight of tourism in Rajasthan, and attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists. 

The Camel Festival of Bikaner is one of the prominent Fairs and festivals of Rajasthan. The chief attractions of the festival are of course, the camels, but there are numerous entertaining add-ons, such as the folk music and dances. Camels are fascinating creatures and are called ‘ship of the desert’ for their ability to survive and cover vast distances in the extremely difficult conditions of the desert. The Camel festival, Bikaner, is a celebration of the long and historic association between this animal and the local folk. Bikaner, in particular has had a special association with camels as its royal army had a camel battalion which has served the British in both the world wars.
The Bikaner camel festival kicks off with a procession of beautifully adorned camels. The camels are marched towards the open arena where the next round, the camel pageant is held. The camel pageant is a very interesting part of the festival wherein the owners of the camels showcase their camels in their best attire, and make them act to their commands. The vibrantly decorated camels, complete with jewelry and other adornments, make up a spectacular sight for tourists. The other events involving camels include competitions for the best decorated camel, camel milking and best camel haircut, among others. The most fascinating event is undoubtedly the camel dance event in which well trained camels dance in beautiful formations to the amazement of the spectators. 

The second day is marked by the much awaited camel race. The best camels of the region compete to reach the finish line, cheered on by the onlookers. The evenings of the two day festival are marked by fabulous folk performances. The final day is marked by a dazzling fireworks display. 

Tourists visiting the camel festival, Bikaner can also visit the famous landmarks of the city like the Junagarh Fort, Suraj Pol, Lalgarh Palace, and the Golden Jubilee Museum.

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