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Jaisalmer Desert Festival
The boisterous Jaisalmer Desert Festival is a one-of-its-kind opportunity for anyone to experience Jaisalmer, the sandstone city, and the nearby areas at their magical best. The three day festivity (either late January or early February) will transport you to a world of weird and wacky; and you’ll love every bit of it. Organized by the Department of Tourism, the festival observes colourful Camel parades, camel races, polo matches, turban tying competitions, and a really interesting competition like the finest facial hair, along with many more.
The colourful festival kicks off with a morning march that exhibits the rich and colourful culture of the desert and its people. The procession starts at Sonar Road and culminates at the famous Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium. Post this event, competitions, including Mr. Desert and the longest moustache, are held followed by lively music and dance performances. Rajasthani men and tall women dressed in traditional bright costumes sing lingering ballads of bravery, romance and tragedy and present folk dances. Traditional musicians try to outdo each other presenting a musical masterpiece for the spectators.
The day two of the festival takes the fun and excitement to the next level. A number of uncanny camel related events including Camel decoration, camel fur cutting, and camel polo can be enjoyed for hours at Dedansar Stadium. The afternoons at Jaisalmer festival are equally colourful because of a host of activities like Border Security Force Camel Tattoo that takes place at Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium. If you have heard of Rajasthan gymnastics on camel back, this is the time when you can experience it up close. Formation dancing is another event that’s sure to keep you amused.
As the extravaganza reaches the final day, the excitement also reaches an ultimate high. The final day witnesses Rajasthani folk concerts under the bright starry sky in the Sam sand dunes, just outside Jaisalmer. Alongside, one can catch other interesting events like a cricket match, parachuting, camel race and Air Force display in the dunes. Amidst the sparkling golden sand dunes of the Thar Desert, the scenario looks exotic in every sense of the world.
Shopping At The Jaisalmer Desert Festival
Right from kathputli (hand-made puppets), to studded jewellery boxes, colourful bags, bangles, dupattas, and all the best of handicraft from all over Rajasthan can be found here. When you’re at a place like Rajasthan, you’re expected to get back home with bags full of souvenirs and gifts. So, don’t forget to stuff your bags with the best of Rajasthan handicrafts. Money exchangers are available at walking distances for the convenience of visitors. And to your surprise, almost all the kiosks accept credit cards.
The festival was initiated in Jaisalmer to attract international tourists to this land of culture and heritage. With the passage of time, the festival has come a long way from being a locally known event to an internationally recognized festival. The Rajasthan Tourism Department takes care of the tourist help desk and ensures utmost security. Most arrangements are taken care of by the local administration and state-of-the art Medical vans, fully-equipped with the best of medical amenities, are also kept on alert.