A lively and colourful event, the Camel Festival is
organised by the Department of Tourism, Art & Culture, Rajasthan in
Bikaner every year. January is just the right
month for a desert spree, and Bikaner just the
right place to see the Ships of the Desert. In the camel country
Bikaner, these desert leviathans pull heavy
cart loads, transport grain and even work at the wells.
The Camel Festival begins with a colourful procession of bedecked camels against the red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh Fort, the festivity advances to the open sand-spreads of the grounds, followed by the best breed competition, the tug-of- war contest, camel dance and acrobatics, etc.
The camels display amazing footwork, dancing gracefully to the slightest direction of their trainers. Bridal bridles, bejewelled necks, jingling anklets and long, lanky camel shadows on dusky sands cast a magical spell. Hundreds of tourists and thousands of locals and dignitaries revel in this man-and-animal affair.
The evenings close with a different tenor and tempo altogether: a traditional rendezvous of renowned artistes of Rajasthan and the local folk performers. The jubilant skirt-swirling dancers, the awe inspiring fire dance, and the dazzling fireworks light up the fortified desert city of Bikaner.
Air: The nearest airport is Jodhpur 240 kms.
Rail: The Indian Railways connects Bikaner with cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Agra, Jaipur, Allahabad etc. The gorgeous 'Palace on wheels' also covers Bikaner in its eight-day tour of Rajasthan.
Road: Though the unfriendly desert sands surround Bikaner but the city is well connected by roads. There are local and inter-state bus services for Bikaner.