National Research Centre On Camels,Bikaner,is situtaed 8km from the city on an arid parcel of land over 2000 acres in size.This Camel breeding farm was established in 1960( though Man domesticated Camels about 3500 years ago).It provides 50% of the nations camels.Three breeds of Camels (one humped-Camelus Dormedarius) found here are jaisalmeri (known for speed),Bikaneri(known for load carrying capacity ) & dark colored camels from gujarat.It is also researching two humped Camels-Camelus Bactrianus-found in the cold desert of Nubra Valley of Laddakh region.
NRCC has been able to cryopreserve camel semen,breed camels by artificial insemination and transfer camel embryos among other arcane research.
Research on the shelf life and the therapeutic value of camel milk has led NRCC to provide ice cream,flavoured milk,Kulfi and curd in its Milk Bar on the campus.NRCC has also developed a cosmetic cream made from camel milk.Camel bones are being used in place of Ivory.Camel leather is used to make items which are in great favour with the tourists.Foreign tourists greatly appreciate the camel and camel Cart rides.
Recently URMUL Dairy of Bikaner has launched camel milk products through RCDF in Jaipur for the general public through their Saras Milk booths.These products are of great therapeutic value in people suffering from diabetes,pain in joints and tension.In Ethiopia it is considered as an aphrodisiac.
Dairy farming of camel milk is also being done in the Sahara Desert in Africa and Dubai in Middle East.
Presently there are about 3.5 lac camels in Rajasthan.These numbers are decreasing alarmingly because of lack of fodder,grazing grounds,poor economic condition of the farmer and the fact that camels are slaughtered for its meat(tastes like rough beef) .
Maharaj Ganga Singh Ji formed the Bikaner Camel Corp which fought with the allies in both WW I( Egypt) & WW II(Middle East).Bikaner had had a camel regiment since 1945.The Corp survives today as part of the Border Security Force.
It is said that when Maharaj Pabu ji of Kolu wanted to gift his sister with some camel cows,on the occasion of her marriage, imported from Sri Lanka, he entrusted the task of delivering and day to day upkeep to Ridmal Raika. Ever since The Raikas consider the Camels as no less than their Gods.
So if you would like to do your bit to save this ship of desert- have a Glass of Camel Milk Everyday.