Indian Heritage is reflected in its fairs & festivals. The camel fair of Bikaner is famous all over India. It is the most famous fair in Rajasthan. The camel is ubiquitous in Rajasthan, but nowhere is its presence more pronounced than in the city of Bikaner. These desert engines meander in the countrysides, in bazaars, on the roads; they pull heavy cart loads, transport grain and even work at the wells. They have walked into the lives of the Bikaneris so intimately, that they had now become an indispensable part of the city. Loyal, submissive and low maintenance, the camel is still the most precious element in the desert, despite its characteristic flatulence and tendency to bite during the breeding season.
Eat, drink and be merry. Lanky camels with bejeweled necks and jingling anklets will display amazing footwork on the slightest peck of their mentors. You are happy and so they are. After all, it is 'their' famous festival. January is the right month for a desert spree and Bikaner is just the right place to draft such a concert.
The Camel Festival of Rajasthan begins with a kaleidoscopic parade of decorated camels against the red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh fort, heading towards the open sand grounds. The first day offers the gorgeous presentation of the desert kings. Combating for the first place in the beauty contest, splendidly embellished camels are brought to the arena and careened to catch the critical eye of keen judges. The way the camel is embroidered, the choice of its gadgets and ornament, its capacity to interpret and carry out commands and the variety of pranks it is capable to perform are the basic criteria for selection of the "beauty pageant". A competition for best fur cutting design, camel milking and also for the best camel hair cut is organized.
To bestow a humble gratitude to the desert king, the Rajasthan Tourism Department organizes a vivacious and colorful event in Bikaner every year. Hundreds of tourists and thousands of locals rejoice in this man-and-animal episode, the famous Camel Festival, organized especially for the tourists.
On the second day, the speedy Jaisalmeri camels of the region take part in the camel sprints, which offers a healthy competition to the best camels of the region who compete for the honor. The hoopla extends to such a height that you have to cover your ears and raise your voice to shout for your favorite camel's name. Betting is greatly enjoyed in these regions and don't get awestruck while watching huge amount of money flying from one pocket to another in much less time.
As the sun dives into the horizon, the arena springs up in a different tenor and tempo altogether with the dazzling fireworks illuminating the desert city. Renowned artistes of Rajasthan and the local folk performers present a rendezvous with the traditional wing of music and dance. The rhapsodic skirt-swirling dance and the spine-chilling fire dance will really swing your emotions to the extreme, while you will comb every secret memories of yours to match the extravaganza that is happening right before your eyes.
The beauty of the fair can be enjoyed only upon being present in the fair.