Rajasthan may be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country but it never runs out of surprises for its guests. No matter what your expectations, this state, rich with culture, history, heritage, and a whole lot of colours, trumps all of them. This year, Jaisalmer Desert Festival gives you the ideal excuse to get your tickets booked for Rajasthan and bask in its rich culture and folklore. By Shubhanjana Das

Where: 

The Sam dunes of the Thar Desert in Jaisalmer, against the backdrop of the 12th Century Jaisalmer Fort is where you will witness the magic unfold. 

When: 

The festival will be held from 17-19th February this year.  

What: 

If we had to give you a comprehensive list of the things you should expect from this one-of-a-kind affair, it would end up being longer than your monthly grocery list, such are the surprises and the charm that this festival packs in just two days. 

The festival is held a few days before the Spring full moon when performers, artists, musicians, and dancers from all over Rajasthan travel to Jaisalmer to breathe life into the otherwise barren sand dunes. This is one opportunity wherein outsiders can witness just what Rajasthan means when it says ‘festival’. The local folklores are revisited and the whole state is in a trance of collective nostalgia. 

The festival offers every handicrafts and arts enthusiast to buy authentic Rajasthani handicrafts made by the local craftsmen themselves. This is a very crucial contribution to the overall economy of the state. You can find exquisitely embroidered clothes, shawls, rugs, home decor, wood and stone carvings, accessories, and even terracotta made by the inhabitants of the desert.  

  • When it comes to performances, snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers turn showstoppers and the culmination of this 3-day affair happens after sundown, against the backdrop of silvery dunes under the moonlight.  
  • On the third day, the celebrations continue well into the night to celebrate the Spring full moon, according to the Hindu calendar. Dance, music, and other kinds of performances happen with uninhibited pomp and glory. 
  • One thing that you shouldn’t miss out on at any cost is THE Rajasthani thali. No matter where in the country you come from, nothing can overshadow an authentic Rajasthani thali, made in Rajasthan, and by the Rajasthanis. *mouth waters* 
  • The most important animal, the ship of the desert, the camel plays a very significant role throughout the festival. They are brilliantly decorated with jewellery and there is even a camel tattoo art event, which is greatly anticipated every year.  

The events remain the same every year but never without new surprises and charm. 

Things to Know: 

  • Characteristic of the desert weather, the days are hot and the nights cold. So, make sure you are prepared for both. The temperature drop at night is a whopping 14 degrees Celsius. 
  • Book your accommodation before you arrive to ensure you are close to the venue. Chances are, they will be booked out. 
  • The desert sun is unsympathetic as we know it. Be prepared with head scarves, sunglasses, and your sunscreen. 
  • Since the festival is a celebration of the local culture, be respectful of the same.  

How to Reach: 

Jodhpur is the buffer point to reach Jaisalmer since it is the nearest big city. Jodhpur is connected by flights with all the major cities in the country. From Delhi, one can even take a bus to Jodhpur. From there, a number of road transport options are available, including buses, taxis, and hired cars to help you reach the Desert Festival.  

 Related: All You Need To Know Before Going To This Year’s Camel Festival In Bikaner