Explore one of the best cities of Rajasthan,
famous for its temples, festivals and forts.
Decide your favourite colour and pick a city to
match, Rajasthan's kaleidoscope of colours covers all.
Bastions of history, bristling with memories,
these splendid treasures stand battling the vageries of time.
The City Palace, Jaipur
Wind Palace, Jaipur
City Palace, Udaipur
Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur
The desert sands shimmer and pulsate with an
energy and a spirit of festivity permeates the air, every season
provides many reasons to celebrate.
Ride a camel over the dunes or horses through
the hillside, speed ahead in a jeep and camp under open skies.
A delicate ecosystem, part desert part marshy
lands and even a small section of lush water filled valleys, sports a
wildlife rich in variety.
Whichever Budget Hotel you choose you will
always experience a traditional hospitality that you may never want to
Jaipur Budget Hotels
Jaisalmer Budget Hotels
Bharatpur Budget Hotels
Bikaner Budget Hotels
Rajasthan Tours Travel » Festivals
of Rajasthan » Desert Festival -
Desert Festival - Jaisalmer
In the most colourful of all deserts, in the heart of the Thar lies
Jaisalmer, the city of gold. Its golden fort, golden desert sands and
elaborately carved havelis evoke unseen memories of times as they once
were. Magical in look and indeed it could be a city out of the Arabian
Nights and its exotic spell weaves its magic not only over foreigners but
Indians as well. For three days each winter the city comes alive with
brilliant colours, festivities, music, laughter, artists, performers,
camels and of course tourists from around the world. Against the majestic
backdrop of the Jaisalmer fort, snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and
folk performers all vie for attention.
Dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, the people of the desert dance and
sing haunting ballads of valor, romance and tragedy. Camels, of course,
play a stellar role in this festival, where the rich and colorful folk
culture of Rajasthan is on show. The festival closes with an enchanting
sound and light show amidst the sand dunes on a moonlit night.
The burnished ochers of this otherwise barren landscape come alive a few
days before the full moon night in the month of spring, with musicians,
dancers, performers from all over Rajasthan moving in colourful caravans
to the golden town of Jaisalmer. During this festival one gets a peek into
the rich and vibrant culture that throbs in the desert heartland. The
traditional arts so dear to the indigenous people and nurtured through
centuries. It is a celebration of man's resilience, his will, his spirit
and nature's glory. It is a chance of a lifetime to witness this heritage
culture against the very backdrop that nurtured it.
The three day festival starts with the arrival of the artists and a
series of programs. Gone is the lonely balladeer and in his place troupes
of talented musicians create divine music out of ethnic handcrafted
instruments. The entire city all the way up to the winding lanes within
the fort wears a festive look. Each day the festivities begin at sunrise,
throughout the day the tempo keeps increasing and at night it reaches a
crescendo under the magnificent star studded canopy of the desert sky.
Though mainly a festival of performing arts, there are many other events
and competitions that make this festival interesting.
The city turns into one giant crafts bazaar, craftsmen even from the very
interiors and the remote corners of the desert exhibit their work here
during the festival. The visitor gets a chance to pick up some precious
ethnic goodies and even interact with the artists who created them.
Exquisitely embroidered skirts, hand-woven shawls, rugs, carvings on wood
and stone, camel decorations, embroidered leather bags, ethnic silver
jewelry and terracotta are some of the wares on offer.
are when the tempo really picks up- it's when the dance and drama begins.
The dances of Rajasthan are just amazing, men and women move in perfectly
coordinated rhythm to the pulsating sound of desert drums. Their colourful
scarves and skirts swirl around them creating a pretty picture, some of
the dances are no less than acrobatic feats and some are astounding feats
of bravery. Fire eaters, sword swallowers and all manner of exotica is on
In any desert occasion how can the all important camel be left behind,
here too he is given the place of pride and finely dressed up for the
ocassion. In fact, heavily painted and ornately decorated camels roam
about jauntily since they are competing for the prize for being the best
dressed. Camel races are quite exciting and the sheer thrill of camel polo
is unbeatable. Another unique event organised here is the camel dance and
you'll be surprised but these beasts of burden really do know how to let
their hair down and shake a leg.
Other interesting traditions are the moustache and turban tying
competitions, both of these have been considered symbols of honour in
Rajasthan for centuries and local men compete for these titles with much
fanfare. In the olden days keeping the moustache twisted upwards meant
keeping one's pride intact while drooping moustaches conveyed complete
surrender. Tying a turban is even more complicated than it looks, in fact
its almost an art. The varying styles of tying the turban and the colors
of the turban describe the caste, region and also the occasion. It's
fascinating to see skilled men wrap yards of colourful cloth into the most
complicated turban designs within minutes. The golden sand dunes of
Jaisalmer are spectacular hosts for the enchancting desert festival each
Air - The nearest airport is in Jodhpur about 300 kms
Rail - Jaisalmer has its very own railway station and
is well connected with most major metro cities in India.
Road - A good network of roads connects Jaisalmer with
Jodhpur and many other destinations in and around Rajasthan. Jaisalmer is
290 km from Jodhpur and 330 km from Bikaner. Regular bus service is also
conducted between Jaisalmer and almost all the other cities in Rajasthan.