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Fairs, Festivals, Melas

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Camel fair attracts tourists in Bikaner
by Jethmal

     Bikaner: Tourists visiting the Bikaner city of Rajasthan are having a great time at the ongoing camel fair here, as they are getting a chance to watch the ships of the desert performing several acts they are generally not known for. The three-day annual camel fair kicked off in Bikaner on Saturday (Jan. 10). It began with procession of beautifully ornamented camels heading towards the open sand grounds on the outskirts of Bikaner city. Rajasthani folk dances and music have added to the appeal of annual fair. A camel Pageant was held on the first day wherein the camel owners showed off their Camels' decorations and jewellery. Intricate designs etched on the backs of the animals drew attraction of the spectators. Besides, this festival is a spectacle of unusual camel performances that include camel races, camel dances, and the bumpy and neck shaking camel rides. It fascinates attention when camels display an amazing footwork, dancing gracefully to the slightest direction of their drivers. Camels at the fair have captivated tourists, present here from different parts of the country and abroad, with their movements, charm and grace. "It's a great spectacle. It's great fun for the tourists. And, as a photographer, it's paradise, as it's so colourful. It is so much wonderful material here. And especially people are so friendly so I never get tired of coming here so it's always absolute joy and pleasure to come back again," said Krish, a photographer from United Kingdom. Besides, one of the major attractions of the festival is the moustache competition wherein men dressed in traditional attire show-off their long moustaches. "We prepare for this festival entire year. We take care of our moustache, we don't cut them or trim them entire year. We take care of our moustache like the way a child is being taken care of. We safely preserve clothes, turban and moustache especially for this occasion. We wait for this camel festival so that we can represent culture of Rajasthan at the international level on this land of Bikaner," said Kanhiya Lal, an artist. A variety of events involving camel, like camel dance, camel decoration competitions and camel fur cutting competitions will be presented during the three-day fair. Situated around 320 kilometers from state capital Jaipur, Bikaner city was recognized as a major trade hub in the 16th century. It boasts of a number of places of tourist attraction including forts, palaces, temples and museums apart from the Center of Camel Research.
-Jan 11, 2009

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