The Jaisalmer Desert Festival of Rajasthan is held in the month of February every year amidst the sand dunes in the outskirts of Jaisalmer. It is a celebration of the local culture of Rajasthan and the ship of the desert camel without whom life would have been impossible in the state. The tourism department of the government of Rajasthan organizes this three day festival each year to promote tourism in the state.

Legend behind the Jaisalmer Desert Festival

The desert festival of Jaisalmer is well known for its exotic colors and breathtaking locales. Every edition of the festival has been organized more than 40 kilometers away from the city’s boundaries. The golden sand dunes of the legendary Thar Desert serve as the backdrop of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. The chief objective of the local government authorities in Rajasthan was to attract foreigners to the state through colorful displays of the local costumes, dance and song styles and decorative camels. This is the main reason why the festival is held over three days during the winter month of February. In order to ensure security for the international travelers, the Rajasthan government has constructed many mobile money exchangers in the vicinity of the festival grounds. Though located far off from the main city, every stall in the Jaisalmer Desert Festival is equipped to accept credit cards in place of cash.  

Tourists visiting the Jaisalmer Desert Festival can also get a look of the legendary Sonar Qila of Jaisalmer, mentioned in many books and films.

Customs, Traditions and Cultural Importance of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival

You have already enjoyed the sights of bejeweled camels, beautiful Rajasthani women wearing colorful costumes and swaying to folk songs and men singing soulful tunes as they play on traditional instruments. But have you watched a ‘best moustache’ or ‘turban tying’ competition before? These are the best events of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, drawing the maximum crowd in the three days. 

The other notable features of this festival are the handicrafts section where local artisans can exhibit and sell their ware. Men from Jaisalmer and neighboring villages and cities in Rajasthan prepare to participate in the Mr. Desert contest held as part of the festivities. A camel ride around the sands of the Thar Desert attracts a large number of foreign visitors to the festival. Camel polo and camel tug of war are two games which are native to the Rajasthan deserts but not familiar with foreigners and non residents, thus generating a crowd and hype.

Do not miss the fireworks at display during the late evening hours and at night. An illuminated Jaisalmer sky and fort make for some wonderful photography experience. Also visit the local eateries and ask for Rajasthani specialties sold at lower rates during the Jaisalmer Desert Festival.

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