Camel Racing is considered as the most exciting, and exhilarating sports. It is a sport in which camels are specifically
trained to run on the track for a predetermined course of the time in order to win those handsome rewards offered to the
Most commonly ‘dromedaries’ are preferred for the race which are one humped animal, and cannot be found in wild. This
tradition of camel racing is traced back to hundreds of years, basically inspired from horse racing.
Camel Racing is not only popular in India, but is stretched to different places of the world, UAE organizes this sport every
year generally around October, as it considered the coolest time of the year. About 30 entries are recorded every year to
participate in the race in the UAE.
In India, Camel racing is not only popular as an international sport, but also as a tourist attraction. These events basically
reflect the culture, and tradition of the people. Camels that are trained to participate in racing are called “Thalus”.
These times, when youth is proportionally higher than Millenials, such events are helpful to keep the local folklore
alive around them.
- History :
The history of the tradition of camel racing traced back to Islamic times. Back then, people from different tribes used to
organize the races with the motive to show off the strength of their owned camels.
Rooted from the origins of deserts of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula, Camel racing is the most
ancient sport originated even before the Islamic period which is around in the 7th century CE. Hulagu Khan, the emperor of the Mongol Empire, introduced camel racing as sport in his time.
From Arabia till 3 decades of the 20th century, informal camel racing events continued. Now the methods of training of
camels have evolved to controlled methods of feeding, training and, breeding.
- Camel racing events :
1. Camel cup :
This event is one of the most popular camel racing events which takes place at Alice Springs, Australia each year. Under
this event the highest reward offered to its winner $25,000. Apex Club of Central Australia is responsible to organize this
event every year.
2. Pushkar Fair :
Locally known as Kartik Mela, and Pushkar ka Mela, is a fair hosted as a livestock culture festival annually in Pushkar which
is a town of Rjasthan, India.
The fair is not only an ancient tradition Indian festival, but also a significant event to attract tourist from all around the world.
The major idea behind the Pushkar Mela was to allow camel traders and local cattle traders to do business. Camel racing
usually starts around November depends on the cycle of the moon. For the events camels and other livestock are prepared
to arrive up to five or 6 days before the starting of the major event.
3.Boulia Camel Races :
With the Camels running over 1500 metres of track, Boulia’s Camel cup is the longest camel racing event which takes place
in a town of Boulia every year.
In this event you even get to tag a camel in which a player is made to jump into an arena with livelier camel, then the player
is supposed to stick a piece of duct tape on a camel, and finally have to retrieve the duct tape before the time is up.
Thousands of people gather from across the globe gather every year in the Northern state of Rajasthan, India for Annual Camel Extravaganza.
4. Bedourie Camel races :
This festival takes place at Bedourie on weekends. There are total 6 events, and camel racing is held just after pig racing.
Every year there are over hundreds of spectacles who attend the event to enjoy camel racing. The Diamantina Shire Council
is always trying to encourage camel handlers to catch the event much earlier every year.
5. Child labor and camel racing :
In many places children below of age 18 are forced to race camel every year. Regarding the child labor, in 2005 UAE
government took initiative by banning the use of children, especially under the age of 18 as camel jockeys. UNICEF in
partnership with UAE also formulated a compensation scheme for former camel jockeys.
Post By : Manali Bhaskar Kapadnis