Annual Desert Festival in Jaisalmer attracts tourists every year.
The desert festival in “The Golden City of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer” is an annual event that attracts many tourists in the Hindu month of Magh (February), three days prior to the full moon night. In 2019, the Annual Desert Festival starts on 17th February and extends till 19February and will be held on the Sam Sand Dunes which is about 42 K.M. from Jaisalmer.
The history of the Desert Festival includes a legend behind it. As per the legend, Lord Krishna predicted that a successor belonging from the Yadav community will set up his kingdom on the Trikuta Hill. In the year 1196, his prediction came true, when Rawal Jaiswal, a descendant of the Yadav clan, established his kingdom in Jaisalmer. Celebrations were organized throughout the kingdom, when people came to know that the prophecy has come true. The celebrations shortly developed into a pageant that’s currently organized annually. The intention behind initiating this festival was to provide tourists especially foreigners, a glance of the imperial state culture of Rajasthan that has always fascinated them.
Here are the 5 top attractions to witness in the annual desert festival
- The magnificent Procession: The festival commences with a procession in the morning from the Jaisalmer Fort to the Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium. The locals dress in traditional and bright costumes. They sing and dance portraying the tragedies and accomplishments of the desert.
- Folk Music: The Gair and the fire dance are highlights of the festival. The Kalabaz or the Nat’s are a bunch of native nomads who are known for their gymnastic acts. The Bhopa’s Langhas and Manganiars create an enchanting environment with their poignant folk music recitals and ballads.
- Gymnastic Stunts: One can witness rare competitions like camel polo. Gymnastic stunts on the dcamel back and camel formation dancing are the crowning jewels of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival.
- Alluring Competitions: The competitions are also followed by the Border Security Force Camel Tattoo. Tug-of-war, turban tying, Maru-Shri (Mr. Desert competition) and the longest mustache competitions are others allures.
- Rajasthani Folk Concert: The Rajasthani folk concert conducts in the grand finale of the festival following an Air Force display, cricket match, and parachuting. This festival ends on Poornima (full moon day) in the Sam dunes with the “Sonar Qila” (Jaisalmer Fort) in the background creating a fairy-tale ambiance.
Delicious food, attention-grabbing stalls displaying artifacts, handicrafts and alternative souvenirs are also offered at the festival. Desert hunting expedition and encampment can be also enjoyed on the eve of the festival.
How to Reach
By Air: Jodhpur Airport is the nearest international airport to succeed Jaisalmer. The airport is 337 kilometers away. you’ll be able to either rent a paid or a personal taxi from the Airport to reach Jaisalmer.
By Rail: Jaisalmer is well connected with a good network of trains covering most of the Indian cities. The train station is found within the center of the desert town. Once you reach the railhead, there are several auto-rickshaws and personal taxis connecting the city.
To enhance the role of tourism enterprise trade in the state the Rajasthan government has brought down the luxurious tax from 10% to 8% to boost the tourism enterprise trade within the state. Special tourist trains such as Palace-On-Wheels has been launched in the year 1996-97 and it has proved to be extremely popular for International tourists and NRIs. The state government also announced a “New Hotel Policy” in 2006 with several concessions.