Bikaner Camel Festival – A Traditional Trade of Camel in Rajasthan
Bikaner is a colorful desert town famous for its classic desert outpost look, grand ancient forts and others. Since it is seldom capsulated by tourism elements, you can enjoy a hustle-free vacation here. Among the many elements of Bikaner, camel is an important one. Camels were not just a transportation in the desert regions of the world. It was more of a basis of living, a status symbol and even the embodiment of trade and finance of the desert area. It is quite common among locals to trade camels and camel-based elements to others in exchange of money or other goods.
Add a grand amount of entertainment and cultural activities to it; you get yourself, the iconic Bikaner Camel Festival. Every year, thousands of locals join to trade camels and share cultural activities in Bikaner. Every second of this festival is dedicated to the humped ship of the desert. This festival is officially arranged by the government to promote tourism, which can successfully express the heritage and culture of the land. Do you want to witness the wholesome glory of the desert region? It is time to pack your things for the Bikaner Camel Festival.
Dates of Bikaner Camel Festival
In 2019, Bikaner Camel Festival will be celebrated on 12th and 13th January.
History of Bikaner Camel Fair
It is more than just a trade festival. It is the local’s way of paying tribute to the animals, without which they wouldn’t have survived the severe desert climatic condition. This festival is celebrated in many regions of Rajasthan. However, only a few are quite famous and one among them is the camel festival of Bikaner. During the earlier times, the entire livelihood of the state depended on camels. Bikaner was the only camel breeding region, in the ancient times. Thus, locals bring in their cattle to the breeding region, every year. Do you know that the camels, which were bred and trained in this region, were enrolled in the army of the country? There is still an honorary regiment in the army for the braveness exhibited by the camels in the time of need.
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How to Celebrate Bikaner Camel Festival?
Yes, you will be seeing many camels during this festival. It is not just about a bunch of camels spotted near a cloth tent. This spectacular event takes place against the backdrop of the mighty Junagarh Fort. Apart from the camel trading process and breeding selection, the locals put up many cultural activities, for the main purpose of attracting traders and merchants from far and near.
While the entire daytime is spent with activities and trading, the entire crowd gets exhausted by sunset. As the sun sets, the trading grounds become an open-air theater. You can find dance and music performances by the local folk groups. Apart from these and other cultural performances,you can find interesting fireworks, which would illuminate the night desert sky. Some tend to stay the night in small camps, while others drive away to nearby motels.
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Highlights of the Camel Fair
Camels are the highlights of the fair and there is no doubt to it. However, after you have explored the trading process and the animals and have taken numerous pictures with them, here are the top highlights of the fair, which you need to consider.
1. Traditional folk dance performances and music performances
2. Camel Beauty Pageants – find camels decorated with shawls, anklets, jewelries and others.
3. A series of camel games including the iconic camel race will be conducted
4. Can there be a fair in India without shopping? Enjoy the array of stalls, which sell souvenirs of Rajasthan and souvenirs involving camels like camel skin articles, camel milk, delicacies made with camel milk and so on.
5. Many traditional games and programs are conducted for tourists and locals too.
On day one, the festival starts with the honorary camel ride and Bikaner City camel safari. The inauguration starts with army band performance. Later, several camel activities take place like fur cutting competition, camel dance, camel decoration, Mr. Bikaner and Miss. Marwan competition and others take place.
On the first evening, cultural programs are conducted. On the last day, the entertainment starts with heritage walk, local games and other activities. The day ends with folk performances and fireworks.
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Tourist Attractions in Bikaner Camel Festival
This is an attractive festival, which would demand every bit of your energy. You will have a list of adventure activities to try like camel safari and on the other hand, the rich Rajasthani cuisine will be waiting for you. Top tourist attractions of Bikaner Camel Festival are
- Traditional camel trading process
- Puppet shows by local puppeteers, which recreate local folklores with puppets
- Folk music and dance performances
- Games for camels and humans
- Camel beauty shows
- Shopping at local bazaars
- Exclusive Rajasthani fire dance
- Locally made firework shows
From 2018, a new activity is added to the list. For adding more value to the historic beauty, a heritage walk activity is conducted.
Suggested Tour Packages
- 14 Days – Rajasthan Family Tour Package
- 14 Days – Rajasthan village tour
- 15 Days – Historic Rajasthan tour
Things to do in Bikaner Camel Festival
Everyone would suggest you to try the Camel festival first. Apart from this, there are numerous other activities to enjoy in Bikaner like,
- Sightseeing to explore ancient forts, royal palaces and others.
- There is a long list of museums in the city to enjoy the heritage and history of the land.
- Stay in luxury hotels like Laxmi Niwas Palace to enjoy a royal vacation.
- Try camel safari through the villages of Rajasthan to enjoy the local lifestyle.
- Try tasting delicacies make with camel milk like camel milk ice cream, camel milk tea and others.
- Take a pilgrimage tour to the Jain and Hindu temples in and around Bikaner.
- Shop at the local bazaars for pottery, handicrafts, textiles, trinkets and others.
Places to visit near Bikaner
- Deshnoke – 31 km away from Bikaner
- Nagaur – 114 km away from Bikaner
- Khimsar – 155 km away from Bikaner
- Salasar – 179 km away from Bikaner
Other Packages of Rajasthan
- 8 Days – Rajasthan Tour from Delhi
- 10 Days – Rajasthan Tour
- 14 Days – Rajasthan Agra and Varanasi Tour
- 16 Days – Rajasthan Mumbai from Delhi
How to Reach Bikaner?
The nearest airport to Bikaner is located in Jodhpur. The Jodhpur airport is around 250 km away from Bikaner. From the airport, you can find direct buses and cabs to reach Bikaner.
If you are choosing trains, the nearest station is located inside Bikaner. Bikaner Junction and Lalgarh Railway Station are located inside Bikaner, just 6 km from each other. You can find daily trains from major regions like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jodhpur, Punjab and others.
You can also find direct cabs from any major cities in the country to Bikaner.
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