Festivals of the World Series – Jaisalmer Desert Festival (Part 7)

Jaisalmer, a city wrapped with the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Rajputs, celebrates the world-famous Jaisalmer Desert festival every year during the month of February. The festival allures thousands of visitors from different parts of India and from every corner of the world. It is a spectacular experience to witness the grandeur of the festival amidst the sand dunes of the Thar desert. The three-day festival held with fun and frolic between the historic forts and artistic buildings portrays the bewildering beauty of the Indian culture.

Camel driver riding on the rural show during the famous Desert Festival. Photo courtesy : thestatesman.com

The History behind the Jaisalmer Desert Festival

The stories of the past talk about the Jaisalmer Desert Festival way back in the year 1196. Lord Krishna had predicted that one of the successors of the Yadavas will set up a kingdom in Trikuta Hill of Rajasthan. His sayings came true when Rawal Jaiswal of the Yadavas set up his kingdom in Jaisalmer. The episode was marked with celebrations to respect the words of Lord Krishna. Since then the celebrations continued every year with pomp and galore. It was slowly promoted as an International festival by the government of India.

The Celebrations at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is initiated every year with a grand procession starting from the historical fort of Jaisalmer and ending at the stadium of Shahid Poonam Singh. The entire festival is packed with numerous events and performances. Folk music and dance occupy an integral part of the Desert Festival at Jaisalmer. Acrobats, jugglers, musicians, dancers and street entertainers arrive in large numbers at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival to entertain the audiences with their unique skill and talent.

Photo courtesy : india-tours.com

The city is cast into a magical spell with the melodious music of the Rajasthani folk artists. Camps are set up in the middle of the sand dunes, offering a super thrilling experience beneath the starlit skies. The Jaisalmer Desert Festival presents an enthralling episode of the traditional dance forms, Fire dance, and Gair. It is a delight to watch the dancers sway along energetically and rhythmically at the beats of the music. Their traditional attires adorned with flowery designs and coupled with heavy ornaments are a treat to the eyes.

Photo courtesy : indianholiday.com

A wide range of street shops entices tourists. An exclusive display of hand made crafts, jewellery, sculptures, carvings, bags, dresses, shawls are displayed by the local craftsmen and artisans. The festival offers an opportunity to embrace the intrinsic talent of the artists of Rajasthan.

The local nomads perform a wide range of gymnastic acts often leaving the audience awestruck and mesmerized by their energy and passion. The evenings are usually marked with music and dance performances. The desert vibrates for miles with the sound of the drums. The Jaisalmer Desert Festival provides a stunning ecstasy at the backdrop of the picturesque yellow stone fort of Jaisalmer.

The Exciting things to do in the Jaisalmer Desert Festival

 Several events are held in the festival to engage the tourists in various fun-filled activities. The prominent among them are the Turban tying contest, Mr. Desert pageant contest and the Longest moustache display contest. It is interesting to watch the enthusiastic participants try their hands in tying the Rajasthani turbans on their heads. The moustache competition is unique of its kind. It is an amazing experience to observe how the men of Rajasthan have efficiently maintained long moustaches with ease. Mr. Desert pageant is held in reminiscence of the valour and bravery of the Rajputs.

Photo courtesy : Indian-tourism.com

The adventure-loving people can keep themselves engaged with the camel rides across the desert. They can even witness or participate in desert polo matches. Camel or jeep safari rides are also available for the tourists.

If you are a foodie and find delight in tasting the local delicacies, then you must surely hop into the local stalls and street shops. The festival offers some of the tastiest foods and drinks to soothe your tongue and quench your thirst.

How can you reach the venue of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival?

The nearest airport is Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. Jaisalmer has a railway station of its own. Trains are available from almost all the major cities of Rajasthan to Jaisalmer. Private and public buses are also available in abundance from the nearby cities of Rajasthan to Jaisalmer. You can also hire a cab or ride your own vehicle to reach the city.

Jaisalmer Desert Festival showcases the extensive talent of the Indian enticing cultural heritage. It illustrates the gracefulness of Indian folk music and dance. The artistic magnificence of the eminent craftsmen is flourished in an arena appreciated by travellers from all across the world. The festival presents a grand offering of Indian skill and tradition in front of a global audience.


A blogger interested in travelling and exploring new places and sharing ideas with all. Curious about the unique features of a place and its ethereal beauty.

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