30-01-2018 09:51 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Know more about the ongoing Jaisalmer Desert Festival
The Jaisalmer festival is a much-awaited annual event that is held in the Hindu month of Magh (February), three days prior to the full moon. This year, the festival which is a traditional extravaganza is held on 29 to 31 January. On these days, the desert comes alive with colours and sound. Tourists from all over the world attend this festival full of joy and mirth.
The festival is celebrated in the Thar desert that exudes mystery and romance, remote and unspoiled in the silvery brilliance of the full moon. The festival starts with a procession and this year, the procession commenced from the Gadisar lake and culminated at the Shaheed Poonam Singh Stadium, where the festival was formally inaugurated. People dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, sing and dance all through the procession.
The fair comprises of snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Camels form an intrinsic part of this festival where they are dressed in spectacular clothing with beautiful accessories before their participation in the best-dressed camel competition. Camel owners compete to win camel races which are held in addition to two unique events - the camel polo and the camel dance.
Other competitions that add to the fun are the moustache and turban tying competitions, which not only demonstrate a glorious tradition but also inspire its preservation. Both the turban and the moustache have been centuries old symbols of honour in Rajasthan.
Apart from the competitions, visitors can indulge in a shopping spree as the traditional and exotic handicrafts are displayed at various stalls. Exquisitely embroidered skirts, hand-woven shawls, rugs, carvings on wood and stone, camel decorations, embroidered leather bags, ethnic silver jewelry and terracotta, all beautiful creations of the desert craftsmen are exhibited here.
Evenings are meant for the main shows of music and dance and vibrating desert drums can be heard for miles around. Spectators enjoy the show till late in the night while they also partake of the delicious food served at the stalls.
This amazing festival beckons enthusiastic visitors every year to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.The Jaisalmer fort provides an ethereal backdrop to the annual desert festival which is sponsored by the Rajasthan State Tourism Corporation. This year the focus is on giving the festival a new look to attract more tourists. So there are new attractions like kite festival and horse race. Local renowned folk artists, as well as folk artists from Bollywood, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana, are invited. The last day is going to be exciting with a special cultural programme to be held at Kuldhara and brilliant fireworks in the evening.
The 12th-century fort of Jaisalmer, built in yellow sandstone, provides a fairytale background to the festival that transforms the otherwise barren landscape into a kaleidoscope of events. Do not miss it for a once in a lifetime experience.