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December 31, 2009

Foreign tourists throng Bikaner for camel festival

     Bikaner: Foreign and domestic tourists have converged in large numbers at the annual Camel Festival hosted at Bikaner amid ethnic traditions of Rajasthan They are delighted to witness and experience the colourful cultural heritage of Rajasthan at the ongoing Camel Festival. An annual three-day long carnival of camels commenced on Wednesday (December30) at the Karni Stadium. Rajasthan Tourism in collaboration with the Bikaner district administration has organised this festival. Among the highlights of this year's festival are a 'Camel Beauty Contest' in which colourfully caparisoned Ships of the Desert took part to display their graceful gaits and traits. Various designs were painted on the bodies of the camels making them quite attractive and probably the judges had a tough time to declare the winner! "The festival captures the spirit and essence of Rajasthan. So as a photographer (for me), it is terrific. Every year I come and I think that I have done all work I had to do but I find that I have even more things to photograph, so it is a pleasure to come back," said Jean, a tourist and a photographer from France. Tourists seemed to be upbeat about the traditional reception and were amazed by the exotic ethnic ornaments and costumes adorned by Rajasthani women. "The festival is very interesting, we were able to discover the purpose of coming, the costumes the dances and everything is very attractive, and we hope to see more of this festival," added Amy, another French tourist. On their part, the organisers acknowledged that each passing year has seen an increase in the number of camels as well as the tourists. A prominent feature of the Camel Fair has been the traditional dances of Rajasthan presented by local artistes to the tunes of folk music.
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