India’s only camel breeding farm is located in Bikaner, a remote city in the Northwestern area of Rajasthan. Started in 1975, nearly half the camels bred in India come from this farm including those used in the camel regiment of the Indian Army. Formally named the National Research Center on Camel, the center is more popularly referred to as the Government Camel Breeding Farm.
Roughly 230 camels from 3 different breeds are reared here where experiments related to camels are conducted on a regular basis. Results from these experiments are used to in hopes of breeding better, or more economically advantageous, camels. Raika’s or Rebari’s who are local camel breeders (and have been in the profession of taking care of camels since the ancient times) are employed by the center.
Tourists are permitted from 2:30 – 5:00 PM once the camels have returned from grazing. Unfortunately this is in the sizzling afternoon heat but you can cool down by tasting some refreshingly thick camel milk. Be sure to arrange a guide in advance as without one this attraction can be a bit dull. Initial reactions to the camel’s appearance, from what you might expect, are brushed aside by both the guide and center workers. Although the camels looked slightly malnourished, I was assured they were fed properly and timely. Refrigerated food trailers were stationed on the property to provide and maintain fresh food, a feat given the arid Thar Desert climate.