Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Jaisalmer Desert Festival
Photo: fest300.com
The city of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan is located in the heart of the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert. Jaisalmer is sometimes referred to as the “Golden City of India” because of the yellow sand of the desert and the yellow sandstone of the buildings which give a yellowing-golden tinge to the entire city. The city is known for the Jaisalmer Desert Festival held every February.

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is run by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. The three-day event focuses on the culture and lifestyle of the Rajputs and other transitional clans of the Indian subcontinent. Its main goal is to introduce the general public to the rich and vibrant cultural heritage of Rajasthan and to make thousands of visitors fall in love with Jaisalmer with its magnificent fort and beautiful temples.

The program of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival is very rich and diverse. Attendees can enjoy folk music and dancing, fire performances, tattoo shows, tasting of local delicacies, and a number of events featuring camels such as camel polo, camel races, camel dances and camel decoration. Local performers create an unforgettable atmosphere that makes the Jaisalmer Desert Festival stand out among other cultural events of its kind.

The festival kicks off with Shobha Yatra, a ceremonial procession featuring members of local clans dressed in their traditional attire. Sword-carrying men atop horses, camels and elephants enter the Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium which serves as one of the main venues of the festival.

Among the event’s highlights are turban tying and the longest mustache competition. Mustaches and turbans are regarded as symbols of honor and masculinity, so to win the competition is considered an impressive accomplishment. Camel races, camel polo, camel dances and camel decoration also are major attractions. Local breed of camels are famous for their agility and speed, so all camel-related events are pretty spectacular.

The Jailsalmer Desert Festival culminates on the third day which is always the day of Purnima (full moon). The closing ceremony includes singing, dancing, and a spectacular firework display in front of Jaisalmer Fort.

Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Photo: Ben Beiske Creative Commons, fest300.com



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