Camel Fair Bikaner
The Camel Festival Bikaner begins with a fantastic procession of these magnificent animals, bedecked with incredible Rajastani textiles in brilliant colours. The camels have plenty to show off about as they engage in numerous displays of racing, dancing and acrobatics. There's even a beauty competition!
Thousands from all over Rajasthan and beyond converge on Bikaner every year to witness the fancy footwork of these strange beasts, including all the biggest camel traders in the region, so perhaps you could buy a very special souvenir to take home with you...
At night it's time to celebrate, as renowned musicians from Rajasthan and local folk performers entertain the crowds. Dizzying skirt-swirling dancers and fire dancers do their stuff while dazzling fireworks light up the fortified desert city of Bikaner.
Bikaner itself is surrounded by walls and has a 16th-century fort housing old palaces, temples and a mosque. Founded by Raja Rai Singh, the fort is distinguished by its long range of 37 pavilions, a line of balconies and aerial windows of varying designs. An enormous arched doorway leads to the Joramal Temple. If you visit, make sure you get to see the royal chapel, Har Mandir, where royal weddings and births were once celebrated.
January is a perfect time to go to Rajastan ("Land of the Kings"), because it's winter here and the days are not as muggy, humid or hot as they can be in the searing days of summer (March to June). So take a jumper for the evenings and get on that camel!