Bikaner is a city in the Thar desert area of Rajasthan and it is mostly famous due to the camels as the city consists of country’s largest Camel research and breeding farm. Bikaner camel festival is an annual festival conducted by the Department of Tourism of government of Rajasthan, which has become a biggest tourist attraction of the city. Year on year it is getting more popular and is drawing big count of visitors, and Tourist department is also doing its best to increase the tourist value.
Camels have been a vital part for the desert livers since many ages. The festival represents the usefulness of the camels apart from the showcase of the traditional and cultural crafts of the Rajasthan state.
With the thought of hot weather condition in the Rajasthan, the Bikaner festival is organized in the winter month of January. The barren and rocky landscape of Bikaner city can be seen with huge crowd every year in the month of January when the festival is ongoing. The Bikaner camel festival ranges over two days, the festivities included in the festival includes camel dances, camel procession, competitions for the best dressed camel, tug-of-war, camel races and many more unusual events. It is a perfect time for the Rajasthani artisans and craftsman to display their needle crafts works and embroidery works as the part of bridles and saddles camel attire. The festivities also notice the participation of singers, dancers and folk artists, further it is followed with showcasing the cultural wealth of the Rajasthan people.
Bikaner city was founded by the Rathore prince – Bika in in 1488 AD. He is known as the chirpy and most enterprising son of Rao Jodha of Marwar. It became a famous city in the harsh desserts of Rajasthan.
Bikaner is directly situated on the ancient caravan routes which intersected the West/Central Asia and North India, by which the city Bikaner become a flourishing trade centre in the medieval period. After that it was refferred as Jangaldesh and was coveted by Gurjar-Pratihars, Chauhans and the Bhatis.
The fortified town was protected by harsh desert, hence it preserves the aura of medieval times. The city shows the great culture and architecture. The lofty houses with amazing carvings yet explains the craftsmanship and prosperity of the people.
Camels attired in the beautiful colored traditional Rajasthani handcrafted bridles and saddles tune to a procession from Junagarh fort inorder to begin the festival. The two days long festival notices the camel competitions such as camel milking, best attired camel and best came hair cut among the others. There is also a special eye treat for the people by the camels through their dance moves, the best dancing camel will be awarded for the performance. The camel race held in the second day of the festival is noted as a top event among the all.
To enhance the atmosphere of festival there also happens fireworks display with music and serving of Rajasthani famous food. This festival is treated as the most energetic festival that draws many visitors to the city.