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PHOTOS: Bikaner's camels get a buzz cut for festival

Last updated on: February 6, 2013 08:15 IST

PHOTOS: Bikaner's camels get a buzz cut for festival

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Narendra Kaushik in Bikaner

The three-day camel festival organised by the Rajasthan government in Bikaner -- from January 26 to January 28 -- saw a flurry of activity with camels and their owners competing in several contests.

The competitions included camel race, camel dance, camel haircuts, camel decoration, fire dance, pot-breaking contest among blind-folded women, race for the fastest men, wrestling, kabbadi, women racing carrying pots on their heads, cultural shows and a Mr Bikaner and Ms Marwan contest.

While competitions for camel haircuts, camel decoration and Ms Marwan and Mr Bikaner took place in Karni Singh Stadium of Bikaner city, the rest of the competitions were held in the sandy deserts of Ladhera, a hamlet about one-and-half hour drive away from the city.

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Photographs: Narendra Kaushik /Rediff.com

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On the last day of the festival, the government organisers took a procession of decorated camels and dance groups -- from different regions of Rajasthan and states like Jammu & Kashmir -- through the city of Bikaner.

Besides people from different parts of Rajasthan, a large number of foreigners from countries like America, England, Italy, Netherlands, Cananda, France, Australia, Switzerland, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea witnessed the festival where the biggest attraction was the performance of camels, the ship of the desert.

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Photographs: Narendra Kaushik /Rediff.com

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PHOTOS: Bikaner's camels get a buzz cut for festival

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The foreigners enthusiastically participated in the various disciplines. While an Italian youth narrowly lost a wrestling bout to a local wrestler, Marry from France won the race of women carrying pots on their heads.

This year's festival saw only foreign women participate in the contest for Ms Marwan. To the delight of the spectators, the women wore traditional Rajasthani colours and greeted the spectators in Rajasthani after walking on the stage.

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Photographs: Narendra Kaushik /Rediff.com

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Over a dozen camels participated in the race in two rounds following which the top six racers competed for the top position. The spectators watched the competition from sand dunes that overlooked the race track.

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Photographs: Narendra Kaushik /Rediff.com
Tags: PHOTOS , Bikaner

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Blind-folded female participants, who broke pitchers, placed about 20 steps in front of them in the heats, fought for the top three spots.

Day one of the festival also saw a group of elderly men walk and dance on fire. The men also devoured fire balls.

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Photographs: Narendra Kaushik /Rediff.com
Tags: PHOTOS , Bikaner

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The camel owners spend tens of thousands of rupees in decorating their animals for the festival. Mirrors, rugs, beads and plastic and paper flowers etc were used to decorate their animals. The local barbers, who trimmed the camel's hair to form different patterns, charged anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 for the haircut.

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Photographs: Narendra Kaushik /Rediff.com
Tags: PHOTOS , Bikaner

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Winners of the Mr Bikaner and Ms Marwan contest.

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Photographs: Narendra Kaushik /Rediff.com

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Kalbelia dancers perform at the festival.

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Photographs: Narendra Kaushik /Rediff.com

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The three-day camel festival in Bikaner saw camels decorated in bright colours and paraded around the city.

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Photographs: Narendra Kaushik /Rediff.com
Tags: Bikaner , PHOTOS

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One of the many lively performances at the three-day camel festival.


Photographs: Narendra Kaushik /Rediff.com
Tags: PHOTOS , Bikaner

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