I know many of you are still planning to give a kick start to your new year but a week has passed on and you are… still… planning! It’s time to stop being lazy and get on your feet! Let’s give a cultural start to 2014! When we talk of culture, the first place comes to mind is Rajasthan. It is no wonder that the state is known as the most colourful and the most cultural state of India. The people who have already been there know the magic and those have not are yet to experience it.
See the women covered in all the colours you have known and the men in bright coloured rolled up turbans. Even in their daily lives, the people here keep all decked up which itself creates an aura of festivity. Even in your jeans and top, it makes you want to wear some local jewellery and with it starts the fun of exploring the markets, meeting local people, knowing the city and rejoicing in the culture.
January is one of the best times to visit Rajasthan. One. Because of weather- you don’t have scorching sun over your head. Two- it hosts the world famous camel festival in January. And three- you were planning a trip, what can be better than a fun filled celebration in Rajasthan! As Bikaner is the camel capital of India being host to the largest camel breeding farm in Asia, it is no surprise that this festival is held at Bikaner.
There is a small village Ladera in Bikaner that happens to be the venue of the famous 2 days and nights Bikaner Camel Festival. Camels are decorated beautifully in brightest of colours to charm the tourists. People come from all parts of the world to be a part of this festival where the fascinating ships of desert can be seen at their best. Regional music and dance adds to on the fervour of the event where even camels dance as and when directed by its owners. Various competitions like best looking camel, camel milking, best camel hair cut, etc keep happening that keep the guests entertained.
This year the festival will be held from 15-17 January. You can enjoy various camel fun activities and shows. See the camels dancing to the local tunes or watch them racing with each other all decorated and adorned with accessories. Held by the Department of Tourism, it is a very entertaining experience for the tourists. There are innumerous activities carried out all the time focusing towards ‘heroes of the event- camels’. Camel owners rejoice and dance on local tunes while camels parade the grounds. Apart from various camel shows, there is a very interesting tug of war competition between the camels, fun to witness. You can also enjoy a bumpy camel ride at this special time when the camels are looking their best and click pictures that would make your friends jealous when you upload them on facebook. Taste various delicacies exclusively made in camel milk. Even the tea available here is prepared in camel milk. Don’t drink tea? Then try the special Lassi made in camel milk!
After an action packed day, relax in the evening. Shop some exquisite Bikaner handicrafts. Sit back and enjoy puppet shows, indulge in the local dances on the Rajasthani folk tunes circling around a bonfire. The event ends on 17th January i.e. Friday. The weekend awaits you and you can thus explore the city. Visit the beautiful sand dunes of Thar and witness the super imposing Junagarh Fort that could never be conquered or hampered by Aurangzeb bringing it splendour matchless to any. Visit the famous Karni Mata Mandir to watch the countless rats worshiped in this temple. Return refreshed by 19th and give a kick start to your routine life from 20th, Monday.
Bikaner is a rustic city that still carries the charm of its history. Bordered with Thar Sand Dunes, the city represents its lifestyles through magnificent palaces and beautifully carved temples in yellow and red sandstone. It is one of the pearls of Rajput civilization that has still not lost its age old charm.