Enjoy the enthralling use of Desert Festival
Majestic deserts, otherworldly ambience, vibrant cultures and exuberant activities, a sheer blend of all these elements composes the “ Golden City” Jaisalmer. The title “ Golden City” refers to the Yellowish sandstone which is rendered to the majestic Jaisalmer fort and also to the houses in this part of Rajasthan.
The city amasses a population of 78,000 people and is generally renowned for its tourist attractions in Jaisalmer, calm and tranquillity surroundings, but this place illuminates at one point of the year, which is also the biggest spectacle in Jaisalmer.
It is the celebration of the iconic” Desert Festival in the majestic Thar desert, and to elevate the grandeur of this festival, there can be no better backdrop than the mighty and stunning Jaisalmer Fort. This historical monument boasts of the possession of an incredible palace and many beautiful Jain temples as well.
Thus, the three-day extravaganza of Desert festival in January is no less than a national festival in this part of the country. Many tourists from all around the country and also from across the borders, visit this place for an unforgettable experience!
The history behind the origin of Jaisalmer
The gorgeous city of Jaisalmer has a huge connection with Hindu mythology as well. Legends claim that Lord Krishna, one of the prominent Hindu Gods, told Arjun (Pandav) that one of the sons’ from Yaduvanshi clan would establish his kingdom at the Trikuta Hill. And this came true in the year 1196 when Rawal Jaiswal, a gallant Yaduvanshi Bhati warrior, pioneered the place at the Trikuta hill.
This place was named after him and was called “ Jaisalmer.” Thus the whole place erupted to celebrate the mighty saying of Lord Krishna and thus every year in the month of Magh (January), this three-day spectacle of Desert festival is celebrated with immense pride and enthusiasm.
And in the modern era, the local government initiated in funding this massive celebration of the desert festival to engage a massive number of tourists from all over the country. And, today this festival is renowned as one of the fascinating tourist attraction in all of Rajasthan. The Rajasthan State Tourist Corporation has left no stone unturned in making this prestigious festival a huge success in Jaisalmer.
Desert Festival- What does it offer?
Desert festival is one enchanting experience which illuminates the city of Jaisalmer. All year long, this majestic place flaunts calm and placid surroundings, with mysterious silence in the vast desert.
But it is in these three days when exuberance and enthusiasm took over the calm and placid nature of this place, which feels nothing less than a paradise on the face of the earth! The astonishing ambience of this place in these three days feels otherworldly and something which cannot be matched in other parts of the country.
The rich heritage of cultural and traditional values in Rajasthan is eloquently reflected in all the activities of the festival, which enhance the stature of Rajasthani people in front of thousands of people from various parts of the country and globe as well. Rajasthan travel guide describes the whole of Rajasthan beauty, nature, tradition and culture, forts and major tourist attractions spot of Rajasthan.
The traditional performance of Rajasthani artists is something which leaves the audiences in a spellbound. Also, this majestic festival proves to be an ideal platform for all the local creative artist in Jaisalmer to showcase their incredible skills.
Thus, Desert festival in Rajasthan is not only for leisure and enthralling activities, but it employs the determined and hard-working individuals, who work day in and day out to execute these incredible skills. The fair also some vintage activities which have been prevailing in this part of the country for ages.
You may witness the heart- wrenching display of Snake charmers who hypnotises the snakes with precision. Snake-charming is prevailing for centuries in this part of India and certainly one of the integral parts of the enticing activities which take place in the desert festival.
Some Other Prominent Activities In Desert Festival
Though the majestic Jaisalmer Fort in the backdrop and incredible ambience of the place itself speaks volumes of the massive prominence of this festival, there are various other enthralling activities which took place at the festival, which steals the limelight from the picturesque sight.
These activities maintain the pride and prestige of Jaisalmer, and it’s cultural traditions in the most glorious way possible. These iconic practices have been prevailing since ancient times; it is the occasion like the desert festival, which extracts out the optimal utility of the hard work that these determined artists put in. Some of the key attractions of the festival are:
Puppetry- It is the integral part of the Rajasthani culture, which is always included in any fair. Be it on a smaller magnitude or the bigger one, and Puppeteers always show their class with the skilful operating of the puppets. Local people fascinate this practice and create a lot of buzz during the activity. So do not miss this opportunity during your Rajasthan tour.
Puppetry has always played a major role in the traditional drama segment, which exclusively is showcased in the rural areas of Rajasthan. Thus, foreign tourists also get insights into the vibrant culture of Rajasthan through the exuberating activity of Puppetry. The Desert Festival plays a vital role in financially supporting these determined artists as most of the year, and they remain deprived of earning big for their respective families.
The astonishing skills of the talented acrobats are enough to give goosebumps to the visitors. This spine-chilling activity takes years of practices to execute, which speaks volumes of the hard work that these brave-hearts put in their passion. Even, rural women showcase their incredible skills by carrying “Matkas” on their head and simultaneously balancing their bodies while dancing as well.
Acrobatics are performed on the camels as well, which is performed by trained professionals. Acrobatics by nomads is again one of the most common activities, which is prevailing in the Rajasthani folk culture since ages. Thus, these amazing activities carry the legacy of the Rajasthani culture in all its glory.
This is the most awaited event during the three-day celebration of the desert festival. Camels are decorated in all their glorious majesty and then makes way for a fierce race, which creates a sensation among the enthralling crowds. This incredible experience is one of the most amazing sights at the desert festival, which also signifies a huge importance od Camels in the desert. Thus, Camels are decorated in full-flair to celebrate their value in this part of the country. [ Also, see camel festival ]
Unesco recognises this majestic cultural dance form of Rajasthan, which speaks volumes of its huge prominence in Rajasthan. The performance from Kalbeliya women is something which no visitor would want to miss out on! This is one of the oldest dance forms in Rajasthani culture.
Gair and Fire Dancing
This staggering activity is certainly not recommended for anyone, as even the experts live their life on the edge! Local stuntmen put kerosene in their mouth, spit flames, holding a fire rod. This spine chilling experience catches the attention of thousands of visitors, which overall looks incredible. This is the reason that when tourists choose their favourite tour in their Golden Triangle Tour Packages, they give priority to Rajasthan.
Some Other Unique Concepts at the Desert Festival
Panihari Matka Race
This activity celebrates the culture of Rajasthan in the most beautiful way possible. Carrying water in mud-pots is one of the distinct features, which is prevailing in this part of the country for years. Thus, women dressed in all their magnificence take part in this intriguing contest, which requires them to hold watered pots on their head and compete for glory. Many local women take part in this enthralling activity, which is a huge attraction at the desert festival.
This is one of the bizarre competition, which is incredibly popular amongst rural men. Moustache in Rajasthan is a sign of manhood and pride. Thus to celebrate their amazing culture, many men grow their moustache to mind-boggling lengths to claim the title of “ Man with the biggest moustaches”. This exclusive practice can only be experienced in Rajasthan.
Turban Tying Competition
Turban is regarded as one of the iconic identity for Rajasthani men. It signifies dignity, pride and prestige of their stature in the society. Thus, the Turban tying competition becomes one of the highly anticipated events at the desert festival. With even foreigners trying their hands at this amazing practice, the standards of the event elevate to an unparalleled level. But, it also ensures a burst of laughter as foreigners execute some hilarious styles of tying a turban!
This event takes place on the second day of the event, which is again a major attraction at the Desert Festival. Two teams composed of BSF (Border Security Forces) jawans, lock horns in a fierce battle of polo. But, there is a big twist in this variant of the game. Rather than opting for horses, the players get on the back of Camels to play this astonishing game. This certainly is a must-watch experience for all the tourists.
Maru-Shri (Mr.Desert Competition)
All the local dress their best to win this coveted title. All the local men dress up in the traditional avatar like wearing a dhoti, turban and raised moustaches, for a manly look. The most alluring personality wins the event.
3rd Day Celebrations
The third and final day of the desert festival is for all the enthusiasts who fascinate electrifying performances from popular brands. The incredible backdrop of Jaisalmer Fort assists the mesmerising performance of musicians, which turns the experience to an unprecedented level of exuberance and enchantment.
Also, wander around this stunning place and look for some exclusive souvenirs and other products to savour some memories. You may also go for a desert safari, which goes all the way to the Sam Sand Dunes. Also, don’t forget to relish the scintillating light show, which would leave you in a spell-bound.
You must witness the incredible Air force display, which is a jaw-dropping experience by all means. Parachuting and cricket match are other two prominent events which are popular on the 3rd day of the Desert Festival. Also Check out royal Rajasthan tour.
Some must-do things in Jaisalmer
Desert Festival is a blend of vibrant cultures and astonishing activities which harmonises your soul to the core. But, the majestic place of Jaisalmer is not only limited to the privileges of the desert festival only as it offers various other enthralling activities to do, which would give you memories to savour for the lifetime.
Thus, all the visitors must relish the opportunity of exploring these amazing activities. Make sure that your trip to Jaisalmer is worth every penny spent on it! Below are the best things you can do in the serene desert of Jaisalmer.
Visit Desert National Park
If you are intrigued by the majestic wildlife, then look no further to this amazing national park at the Jaisalmer city. Occupying a massive area of 3162 Sq.km, the place boasts of incredible varieties of animal species which would leave you in a spellbound! The basic composition of the place is blended with rocky surfaces and Sand dunes.
Some of the rarest breeds of animals in the national park are Indian Fox, Desert Cats and Chikara, which make this place a must-visit for wildlife attractions aficionados. The national park also is renowned for the presence of the prominent birt in Rajasthani culture, the Great Indian Bustard. Thus, make way for this amazing national park with your loved ones for a memorable experience.
This is again one of the most exhilarating activities which you must cherish in Jaisalmer. The motor parasailing as it is generally referred to is an ideal prospect to relish the beauty of Jaisalmer from the best place, up in the air! The scenic landscape of golden sands looks otherworldly through this experience.
Make sure that you capture these moments to savour for a lifetime. The activity is extremely safe, and the veteran experts try and ensure that you have a hassle-free experience! This amazing activity at just INR 2000 is a value for money prospect that you should not miss out on.
Off Roading at the Thar Desert
If you are a petrolhead, then this adventurous ride would certainly fascinate you. Complete your dream of riding amidst the Golden sands of the desert, with an intimidating SUV under you. There are not many activities in Jaisalmer which can match the thrill of this heart-pounding experience.
The supervision of experts ensures that you are completely safe and enjoy the activity to the fullest. Thus, make way for the bumpy rides in the desert, which you always aspired for. The cost of RS 3500 for this experience is a bargain for sure!
Sightseeing at some historical Havelis in Jaisalmer
The mighty “Jaisalmer Fort” is not the only historic place in Jaisalmer. You may witness the likes of Nathmal Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli and Jain Temples here, which would be an incredible experience. Nathmal Ki Haveli flaunts a stunning fortress-like appearance which would make you feel like rewinding to the history! This masterpiece of architecture is a must-visit.
Salim Singh ki Haveli is another striking piece of architecture which graces the beauty of Jaisalmer. This astonishing mansion would make for an ideal place for an excursion. Also, wander around the historic Jain temples, which are quite popular tourist attractions in Jaisalmer. [ Also see, must-visit Majestic Rajasthan Forts and Palaces Tour]
Camping is one experience which brings you up-close with nature’s most imperious form. And there would be no better place for an escapade, then the mesmerising deserts of Jaisalmer. Spending leisure time with your loved ones in the serene surroundings of deserts is an experience which can’t be expressed in words.
Enjoy scrumptious Rajasthani cuisine, along with the enthralling performance from Rural dancers of Rajasthan. There are various places in Jaisalmer which are ideal for night camping such as The Serai, Royal Desert Camp and the Prince Desert Camp. This incredible experience would cost you INR 5000, which is a great prospect.
Boating at the Gadisar Lake
This picturesque lake makes for an ideal prospect for a bewitching boating experience, which you would not forget for the rest of your life. The reservoir was constructed in 1367 by the Maharawal Gadsi Singh. And it has been an iconic place for boating experience for years. Thus, boating experience with your family at this lake would be an ideal way to spend some cosy time with your loved ones. The boating experience is best enjoyed at the time of Dawn.
Overall, Jaisalmer is a place which makes for an ideal prospect for a dream vacation with your family. Especially in the month of January when the Desert festival takes place. Thus, Getting insights of the rich cultural and traditional heritage of Rajasthan would be a memorable experience for you and your family.
Along with the spectacle of the Desert festival, there are other incredible activities to do in Jaisalmer, which makes it one of the best tourist locations in not only Rajasthan but in India as well. You can check out the best tourist places to visit in India.
How To Reach Jaisalmer
By Air The nearest airport from Jaisalmer is the Jodhpur Airport, which is approx. 337 kilometres away. Thus avail the services of personal cabs and make way for the amazing desert festival at Jaisalmer.
By Railways Rajasthan railway network is pretty sophisticated and spreads all across the state. Thus, visitors would certainly experience a hassle-free service. The Jaisalmer railway station is just 1.8 kilometres from the location. Thus, you may easily avail the services of Auto-rickshaw to reach the location conveniently.
By Roadways With impeccable road connectivity and bus services, it is quite an easy task to reach Jaisalmer. You may opt for luxury Volvo coaches, Cabs, taxis or even your vehicle to reach Jaisalmer. Two popular bus stands in Jaisalmer are Golden Bus Terminal and Roadways main bus stand.
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