The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is an annual event that takes place in February each year in India. It is held in the Hindu month of Magh, three days prior to the full moon. In 2018, during this period, without having any prior knowledge of it, luckily, we were in Jaisalmer! The city itself is one of the most beautiful places in Rajasthan, but that will be for another post.
This desert festival starts with a parade from Gadisar Lake, which ends at Shaheed Poonam Singh Stadium, where the festival is inaugurated each year. Hundreds of people gather around town to get a sight of this colourful procession. Charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, performers and, of course, camels, which play one of the most important roles in the festival. The festival is characterized by brilliant colours, music, and laughter. Performers dress in outstanding costumes while singing and dancing along the procession.
The Jaisalmer Fort is the perfect backdrop for this kind of event, with behind the scenes episodes adding more enchantment to the whole festival. At the end of the parade, at the Stadium, where the festival is officially inaugurated, there are initial performances and competitions. Usually, every year, the Rajasthan Tourism Development draws a program with lots of competitions, performances and dance events at specific times.
The festival ties up with several cultural events like camel races, turban tying, longest moustache competition, and special efforts for dressing the camel for the spectacular competition of the best-dressed camel. Travellers from all around the globe are here for the occasion. The Jaisalmer Desert Festival undoubtedly exhibits the local elements and heritage of the land of the Thar desert.
After three days, the festival concluded with a charming light show in the sand dunes on a moonlit night. The annual Desert Festival of Jaisalmer is one such event that you do not want to miss when travelling to India. It’s a carnival where people gather to have pure fun and frolic and nothing else.
Javi Lorbada is a software engineer, born in Spain. He later moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, seeking adventure. Hungry for more adventures, he started travelling and went to Vietnam. Since then, he has not stopped. His love for travel makes him discover new places and cultures, which never cease to amaze him. He is also passionate about photography and all the images in the article have been provided by him. You can follow him on Instagram @javilorbada
Image courtesy: Javi Lorbada