The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is held every year in the month of February in the Sam Dunes, located 42 km away from the city amidst the Thar Desert. Organised by the Rajasthan Tourism Department, this event starts three days before the full moon day in the month of Magh (according to the Hindu calendar). During this three-day extravaganza, the remote and unspoiled location comes to life with the traditional colours of Rajasthan intermingled with folk music and enthusiastic laughter.
This year, Jaisalmer will witness the event from February 7 (Friday) to February 9 (Sunday).
Jaisalmer Desert Festival 2020: History & Significance
Not much is known about the advent of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival but there is a popular folklore about how it all started. The legend goes; Lord Krishna once told his friend, Arjuna (a Pandava king) that soon a kingdom will be established on the Trikuta hill by a successor of the Yadav clan. In 1196, the prediction indeed came true when a descendant of the Yadav community, Rawal Jaiswal, set up his kingdom in Jaisalmer. Grand celebrations were organised in the kingdom, as the prophecy came true and eventually, it took the form of the annual event called the Jaisalmer Desert Festival.
Jaisalmer Desert Festival 2020: Highlights
Like every year, the festival will commence with a morning procession from the Jaisalmer Fort to the Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium. Here are the major highlights of the event to look forward to:
- Enjoy the traditional dance and music: Witness the locals being dressed in bright, colourful costumes and filling the air with excitement and glee with their traditional dance and music performances. The Gair and fire dance, gymnastic acts by the Kalabaz, folk music recitals by the Manganiars and Bhopa’s Langhas and the jugglery performances are a few highlights.
- Be audience to various camel events: Marvel at the ships of the desert dressed beautifully in traditional attire as they enter the best-dressed camel competition. Yes, you read it right! In fact, there are many other unique events including the camel polo, camel race and camel dance along with a special folk song dedicated to the camel’s necklace called ‘Gorband’.
- Participate in unusual competitions: Ever been part of the turban tying content? You can do it at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, along with participating in other unusual competitions like Mr. Desert pageant and the longest moustache contest. Other interesting activities awaiting you at this exciting regional festival include safari rides, camel rides and polo matches.
- Indulge in authentic Rajasthani fare: From Dal Bati Churma and Ker Sangri to Gatte ki Sabzi, this festival has several stalls and dhabas for all you foodies to satisfy your taste buds.
- Buy a wide range of local handicrafts: The shopper in you will be all excited with the sheer range of home décor artefacts, handloom jewellery and vibrant attires available here.
Pack your bags and head to Jaisalmer to be a part of one of its most awaited cultural events.
For more information about the annual festival, visit www.desertfestivaljaisalmer.com