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The Vibrant Desert Festival of Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Desert Festival

The Golden City, Jaisalmer is a major tourist spot situated in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. Jaisalmer holds golden dunes and castles clad in golden honey sandstone, pristine lakes, beautiful Jain temples, and Havelis. Visit this pretty destination to explore stunning places like- Jaisalmer Fort- which flaunts its rich past and heritage and is nestled amid the golden sands of the Thar Desert, Kuldhara village- which is considered to be haunted, Jain temples- which beautifully flaunts its pretty architecture, desert National Park, Gadisar Lake, and Tazia Tower and Badal Palace.

One can easily reach Jaisalmer by air. There are regular flights that are available from Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore to Jodhpur. One can take connecting flights to this place from the other cities of India. After reaching the airport one can hire a taxi to Jaisalmer. Visitors wanting to reach Jaisalmer by train can easily reach the city. The beautiful Jaisalmer is well connected in terms of the railway network with – Delhi, Jaipur, and Jodhpur.

One can go for Delhi Jaisalmer Express, Jodhpur Jaisalmer Express, and Howrah Jaisalmer Express. The other mode to reach Jaisalmer is by road. It is well connected via a network of roads to nearby cities. Visit this astounding destination in the month from October to March as the weather is salubrious and very apt for sightseeing. It is situated in the heart of the Thar Desert thus the summers are extremely hot and dry and should be avoided.  

Things to do at Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Head towards the beautiful city of Jaisalmer and witness the beauty of the city as it holds some outstanding places to explore in your Jaisalmer trip. This pretty city is famed for holding the grand fort that fences the city. Do not forget to visit the Gadisar lake which is one of the major attractions of the city. This man-made reservoir was built in the year 1367 by Maharawal Gadsi Singh. 

Enjoy boating here that is one of the refreshing things to do. Grab some pretty items from here like a puppet, Rajasthani textiles, Jutis, decorative items, local handicrafts, camel leather items, yellow sandstone showpieces, wooden items and ornaments. Shopaholics can head towards Sadar Bazaar, Bhatia Bazaar, Manak Chowk, Pansari Bazaar, Sonaron ka baas and government-owned Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan in Seema Gram.

Adventure seekers can indulge in Parasailing. Just fly high above the desert and enjoy an exhilarating bird’s eye view. It is one of the offbeat activities to do in the beautiful Jaisalmer. Another thrilling activity is Paramotoring which is one of the most thrilling activities to indulge in. the motor-powered parasailing gives one the view of the golden dunes from high above the sky. Try clicking pictures of the surroundings.

Another thrilling thing to do is Quad biking. Grab a chance to explore the dune topography or ride in an enclosed circuit in a quad bike. Head towards the Thar desert as the dunes of the Thar desert are superb for bashing. Hop into an SUV and just bash around. Staying overnight in a desert camp is another exciting thing to do. The visitors can take evening safaris to explore the spectacular dunes and enjoy watching the sun setting behind the dunes. Pay a visit to the Tanot Mata temple and also visit the Indo-Pak border which is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in the beautiful Jaisalmer city. One needs to get permission and permit passes from the Indian Military. 

Encounter Wildlife at Desert National Park which is sprawled in an area of 3162kms. Spot some species here like- the Indian Fox, Desert cat, Chinkara, and many other species too. If you are lucky enough then you can come across the state bird of Rajasthan- the Great Indian Bustard. Watching the Puppet show is in itself a very unique thing to do in Jaisalmer. The Desert Culture Centre and museum conduct the puppet show that is truly an adorable thing to watch. It is 40 40-minute show that lets one take a sneak peek at the traditional times and know more about the rich culture of stunning Jaisalmer. 

Have you ever tried Jeep safaris? If not then do not miss this wonderful opportunity on your next trip to Jaisalmer. The desert jeep safari takes one through the deserts and villages of Rajasthan. Just drive through the serene golden Thar desert and grab a chance to witness the small villages. Get an insight into the daily village life and if one is lucky one might sport the Blackbuck Antelope. Camel safari is yet another interesting thing to do in Jaisalmer. Witness the beautiful desert views during the camel safari and create good memories for a lifetime.

Explore The Akal Wood Fossil Park is spread over 21 hectares and contains fossilized tree trunks that are housed in corrugated iron shelters. These fossils belong to a forest that was 180 million years ago in the prehistoric Jurassic era. This forest used to be where the Park stands today. It is a must-visit destination as one will be astonished that this area which is arid today had a hot and humid climate in a pre-historic Jurassic era that supported luxuriant forest. One can behold the rare sight of the fossilized remains of the redwood tree trunk right at the entrance itself.

What is the Desert Festival

Desert Festival is celebrated for three days in February month. The tourism department of the Rajasthan government organises the Desert festival in the pretty dunes of the Thar desert in the Sam Dunes which is 42 km from the main city of Jaisalmer every year. Tourists from all over the world visit Jaisalmer to attend this stunning festival and take part in the cultural activities and sports held at this festival. It was initiated with the motto to provide visitors with a glance at the rich culture of Rajasthan state. 

Visitors come across the cultural events, camel races, turban-tying competitions and many more activities that are organised in the Desert Festival. It is all about fun and excitement. Visitors can enjoy the vibrant puppet shows, folk music, dance, camel polo matches, tug of war, and juggling. The participants wear colourful traditional attires and display the best of Rajasthani folk culture and traditions.

Witness the unique competition for men by the name Maru Sri or Mr Desert Pageant that attracts local as well as international travellers. Grab some pretty handicraft items that are truly worth buying. Try sine local food in the numerous food stalls that serve the best authentic local food. So just pack your bags and head towards Jaisalmer and be a part of this colourful Desert festival.

When it is celebrated

Desert Festival is an annual festival that takes place in February in the stunning city of Jaisalmer. It is held in the Hindu month of Magh three days before the full moon. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm amidst the pretty dunes of the Thar Desert in the Sam Dunes which is around 42 km from Jaisalmer. 

Highlights of Desert Festival

1. Enjoy watching the traditional dance and music

Enjoy witnessing the locals dressed in bright colourful costumes and watch them dancing in traditional form. Enjoy the Gair and fire dance, gymnastic acts by the Kalabaz, folk music recitals by the Manganiars, and Bhop’s Langhas and the jugglery performances in this vibrant festival.

2. Witness the Camel Events

Watch the ship of the desert, Camels dressed in pretty traditional attire as they enter the best-dressed camel competitions. It is indeed a unique competition to watch. Other unique competitions that should not be missed are- Camel Polo, Camel race, and camel dance along with the special folk song dedicated to the camel’s necklace- Gorband. 

3. Enjoy participating in unusual competitions

Do not miss taking part in the turban-tying contest here at the Desert Festival. You will surely be going to love it. There are other competitions too that are worth taking part in - Mr Desert Pageant, and Longest Moustache contest. Some other exciting activities to enjoy at this festival are- safari rides, camel rides, and polo matches. 

4. Try some Delicacies

Try authentic Rajasthani food like- Dal Bati Churma, Ker Sangri, and Gatte ki Sabzi. Foodies can find numerous stalls and Dhabas that surely will satisfy your taste buds. 

5. Pretty handicrafts

Grab some beautiful items to take back home with you. Items like- home décor, artefacts, handloom jewellery and vibrant attires are available here in this pretty desert festival. 

6. Go Dune Bashing

Adventure enthusiasts can go for Dune bashing in the Thar desert. It is a superb place for off-roading and bashing. Hire a tough vehicle and bash the dunes that will surely give you a thrilling experience. 

7. Jaisalmer Tour

Visitors can enjoy touring Jaisalmer during one of the days of the Jaisalmer Desert festival. The city holds some magnificent places that truly need to be added to the tour itinerary. 

8. Enjoy Desert Safari

Tourists planning to enjoy the three days at the Jaisalmer Desert festival can take some time to enjoy the desert safari in the Thar desert. Witness the stunning landscape and stay overnight or go glamping in the desert. 

Entry fee or ticket

There is no entry fee or ticket for attending the Desert Festival. So be a part of this fantabulous festival and witness the cultural events that truly need one’s presence. 

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