Bikaner Camel festival is colorful and exotic Indian festival. Bikaner festival is dedicated to the indispensable 'ship of the desert', camel. The desert town of Bikaner is located in the Northern part of Rajasthan. Camel festival is held annually during the winters when the harsh desert climate is at its most pleasant. The event is organized by the Rajasthan Government’s Department of Tourism, Art and Culture. Although the festival is inaugurated in Bikaner city, the actual events are held at Ladera village. The village is at a distance of 45 km from Bikaner.
The two days Camel festival starts off with a magnificent procession of bedecked camels against the red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh Fort (1588-1593) in the town. It is a colorful spectacle of beautifully decorated camels that fascinates the onlookers with their charm and grace. The festivity advances to the open sand-spreads of the Polo Grounds, followed by camel races, camel milking, fur cutting design, the best breed competition, camel acrobatics, camel bands and so on. The camels display amazing footwork, dancing gracefully to the slightest direction of their riders.
The Bikaner camel festival is not all about camels. It is also the perfect showcase to display the traditional arts and crafts of Rajasthan. The performance by various local troupes adds loads of color to the festivities. Some of the cultural shows that attract visitors include fire dance and the local folk dances such Ghoomur. These shows are mainly held in the evening after the camel races and events have concluded. The evening ends with a magnificent fireworks display.
The evenings close with a different tenor and tempo altogether: a traditional rendezvous of renowned artistes of Rajasthan and the local folk performers. During the two day festival, sweets prepared from the milk of camel satisfy the sweet tooth of the visitors. One of the highlights of the fair is the chance to sample some of the more popular dishes in Rajasthani cuisine. The food includes local delicacies such as choorma and dal baati.