Bikaner Camel Corps
The Bikaner Camel Corps was a unit of Imperial Service Troops
Imperial Service Troops
The Imperial Service Troops were forces raised by the princely states of the British Indian Empire. These troops were available for service alongside the Indian Army when such service was requested by the British government...

 from India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 that fought for the allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


The Corps was founded by Maharaja Ganga Singh of the Indian state of Bikaner, as the Ganga Risala after the British government of India accepted his offer to raise a force of 500 soldiers. The state of Bikaner had a long tradition of using soldiers mounted on camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

s. For instance, in 1465 Rao Bika
Rao Bika
Rao Bika was the founder of the city and principality of Bikaner in present-day Rajasthan. He was a scion of the Rathore clan of Rajputs. He was a son of Rao Jodha, founder of the city and principality of Jodhpur....

 led a force of 300 sowar (or camel riders) to conquer neighbouring territories. Ganga Singh subsequently lead the Ganga Risala when it fought in the Boxer Rebellion in China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in 1900, in Somaliland
Somaliland is an unrecognised self-declared sovereign state that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia. The government of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the British Somaliland protectorate, which was independent for a few days in 1960 as the State of...

 in 1902-1904 to quell the Somali Uprising and in Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in World War I. At the Suez Canal in 1915
First Suez Offensive
The First Suez Offensive took place between the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I...

 the corps routed the opposing Turkish forces in a camel cavalry charge. The Corps fought in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 in World War II, when it was supported by the camel-mounted Bijay Battery, which became a mule team battery.

After India's Independence the Bikaner Camel Corps was merged with camel troops from Jaisalmer
Jaysalmer , nicknamed "The Golden City", is a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located west from the state capital Jaipur. It was once known as Jaisalmer state. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain...

 in 1951 to become the Ganga Jaisalmer Risala and joined the Grenadiers as the 13th battalion. It took part in the actions to foil Pakistani raiders in the Bikaner and Jaisalmer regions during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947...


After 1975 all of the Indian Military Camel Corps, including the Ganga Jaisalmer Risala, were disbanded. A brief attempt was made to resurrect them but the plan never came to fruition. The Ganga Risala still survives though as a part of the Border Security Force
Border Security Force
The Border Security Force is a border patrol agency of the Government of India. Established on December 1, 1965, it is one of the Central Armed Police Forces. Its primary role is to guard India's international borders during peacetime and also prevent transnational crime...

, retaining the name Bikaner Camel Corps.
The Ganga Jaisalmer Risala was dismounted in 1974 and underwent conversion into standard infantry. It continues to serve as a regular infantry battalion under the name 13 Grenadiers (Ganga Jaisalmer). Post 1971 the unit has seen action in counter insurgency operations in the states of Punjab and Assam. It has to its credit one Kirti Chakra and one Shaurya Chakra among numerous other awards.
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