The camel is an important animal component of the fragile desert eco-system. With its unique bio-physiological characteristics, the camel has become an icon of adaptation to challenging ways of living in arid and semi-arid regions.
The proverbial Ship of Desert earned its epithet on account of its indispensability as a mode of transportation and draught power in desert but the utilities are many and are subject to continuous social and economic changes.
The camel has played a significant role in civil law and order, defense and battles from the ancient times till date. The world famous Ganga-Risala of erstwhile Bikaner State was accepted as Imperial Service Troup and participated in World War I and II.
The camel helped the engineers while constructing the Indira Gandhi Canal in Western part of Rajasthan. Presently, the camel corps constitutes an important wing of Border Security Force of Indian Para-Military Services.
National Research Center on Camel (NRCC)
Considering the importance of camel in the socio-economic development of arid and semi-arid zones, the Government of India established a Project Directorate on Camel at Bikaner (India) on 5th July 1984 under aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) which was upgraded to National Research Center on Camel (NRCC) on September 20, 1995.
Since the distribution of dromedary camels in India (516828 heads) is confined to the arid and semi-arid areas of North-western India spread out in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana, the NRCC is focusing on basic and applied research on one humped camel (Camelus dromedarius).
The center is also focusing issues of double humped camel (Camelus bactrianus) found in the cold desert of Nubra Valley of Laddakh region.
As far as types of milk go, camel milk firmly lay in the exotic category. In India, nomadic tribes of Rajasthan and Kutch have long known the medicinal benefits of the milk from the queen of the desert. It has something to do with the sturdy animal’s diet.
Thousands of herbs found in the desert have been recognized to have medicinal value. Now, it’s been ‘discovered’ by the West, and we are rediscovering it here in India. .
Camel Milk Or Cow Milk
There are many benefits of camel milk over other types of milk like that of a cow or buffalo. Studies conclude that camel milk is healthier than cow milk. It mirrors human mother’s milk which makes it easy to digest and consume, not to mention making it highly nutritious and better than cow’s milk.
There are many fundamental differences between the nutritional makeup of camel milk and cow milk. Let’s look at some of the significant ones here Camel milk contains a higher concentration of minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, copper, sodium and magnesium.
It contains higher vitamin A and B2 levels. It also contains more protein than cow milk. It contains thrice the amount of Vitamin C than cow milk. Camel milk contains more unsaturated fatty acids and essential B-vitamins than cow milk. It also contains lower cholesterol than cow milk.
Camel milk contains a different composition of whey proteins and caseins when compared to cow milk, which is a big reason why it has more healing properties than cow milk.
It contains a lower amount of lactose which makes it easier for lactose-intolerant people to digest and consume. Camel Milk has more effective antibacterial and antiviral characteristics than cow milk.Camel Milk does not solidify easily and is easier to digest than cow milk.
Now that we know how camel milk has more nutrients and more effective properties than regular cow milk, let’s look at some of the health benefits that camel milk offers:
Good For Allergic Children
Camel Milk is an ideal home remedy for children who suffer from mild to severe allergies from many types of foods. Scientific studies on a small group of eight children who were severely allergic to milk and other kinds of food showed that they were successfully able to overcome their allergies by following a diet consisting of camel milk. All eight children overcame the allergies with no side effects .This is owing to the presence of disease-fighting immunoglobulins, which help reduce allergies and their symptoms.
The center has been identified as one of the important tourist place of Bikaner and is included in the tourist book. The tourist visiting the canter can see the camel of different breeds and their behaviour. A camel museum is available to apprise them of the developmental and research aspects of the camel in the desert ecosystem. Facilities of camel riding, safari and video/photography are available for the visitors.
Camel milk parlour is a special attraction because it vendors unique value added camel milk products like ice-cream, hot and cold beverages. Every year thousands of Foreign and Indian Tourists visit the center. With effect from 29th October, 2018 to 31st March 2019, the visiting hours for the tourists will be 12.00 hours to 18.30 hours on all days and ticket counter will be open upto 18.00 hours.
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