The mystique of the desert beckons.....amidst the
wind-caressed sand dunes rise the city of Jaisalmer, the ancient relics of
a glorious past. Turbaned men with proud mustaches and veiled beauties in
gaily colored attires and heavy jewelery, overwhelm with cheerfulness.
Romance heightens as camels wend their way through the golden sands....
Sounds like an excerpt plagiarized from the perennial Arabian Nights, isn't it? But you can really experience those mythical evenings and otherworldly nights, by touching the golden sands and breathing those memorable moments at the famous Desert Festival of Rajasthan.
Held in the months of January-February, the popular Desert Festival exudes a delightful spirit. For three days, the otherwise arid land of Jaisalmer bounces to life and becomes a confluence of brilliant colors, music and laughter. Frankly speaking, during these days, Jaisalmer gets a chance to parade its exuberant charisma to the foreign world.
The grand carnival displays some chosen and cherished
moments of the glorious past and affluent traditional culture of
Rajasthan. The main attractions of the famous desert fair are the Rajasthani men and tall beautiful women dressed in their
brightly colored and embroidered attires dance and sing lingering ballads
of chivalry, romance and tragedy. Moving round, sometime anti-clock-wise
and sometime clockwise, also whirling at times individually, they unite
hands, and with measured steps and various balletic gestures of body,
beating palms or snapping fingers at particular rhythms, they move in a
circle with the resonance of a kettledrum. With the rising tempo of the
drum and the accompanying high pitched music towards the climax,
participants separate themselves into pairs and swirl swiftly about their
own axis. This indeed creates a mesmerizing scenario where the dancers
maintain a harmony between the music, rhythm and body balance.
Another charm that fascinate many locals and tourists is the turban-tying competition. Known as a safa or pagri, the turban is an indispensable part of Rajput man's attire. A saffron colored turban signifies chivalry, and was thus often worn by warriors. The exchange of turbans symbolizes a bond of friendship and honor. Well do you know that an average turban is about 9 meter long! It is even possible to identify which part of Rajasthan a man comes from and his social class according to the way he ties his turban. Today, not only is it traditional and fashionable to wear a turban, but it also serves as protection from the scorching desert sun.
The most famous desert festival in Rajasthan marks its grand finale by a trip to the Sam sand dunes where one can enjoy the pleasures of a camel ride amidst the golden sands. Try to catch the silhouette of Bedouin way of life and survival, and discover where and how to find water, how to protect yourself against the heat during the day or the cold windy nights in winter. Enjoy the lifetime experience of sitting on the dunes, under the solitary moonlit sky and listening to stories about the more dangerous desert species; snakes and scorpions. No need for your watch, the sun will wake you up. No concrete boundaries limit your sight, just incredibly magnificent dunes of always changing colors and shapes.
There are convenient and comfortable road connections to Jaisalmer from Jodhpur and Jaipur. During the desert fair, RSTC offers a diverse array of luxurious buses and tourist coaches that ply regularly on these routes. Once in Jaisalmer, you can hire an auto-rickshaw or a private cab to reach the fair. But if you want to squeeze every moment of enjoyment from your holiday trip, then go for a camel cart ride.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit desert Festivals
The Festival of Sands
A Avish Stay In The Barren Desert
Participate In The Merriment
Play With the Sands and They Play With You
Let The Desert Engine Bring You To Life
Rajasthan & The Taj
Wildlife Safari Tour
Mahal - White Wonder
Delhi - Eternal Capital
Sikri - City of Victory
- Out of The World
Madhya Pradesh -
Centre of Attraction