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Rajasthan is a land of colorful fairs and festivals that forms a major attraction for the tourists all over the world and it plays a great impact on them. Its palaces and forts remind us of the many Kingdoms that strived for the region. It is a land of Maharajas and their lavish forts and palaces. With splendid ruins that are magnificent, the desert landscape appears like fairy tale mirages of a bygone era. This place of sand dunes, camel trains, glittering jewels and vibrant culture also offer enough festivals to fill the calendar that are a must see and are some unforgettable attractions.
Among the many festivals of Rajasthan, the Desert Festival holds special importance and is specifically initiated with the purpose of offering the tourists, a glimpse of the culture of the state. This festival is an annual event that is organized by the Rajasthan tourism Development Corporation in the city of Jaisalmer and is held in the month of Magh i.e. February, three days prior to the full moon. The festival spreads its colors, plays the desert tunes and reaches the heart of the global spectators. Just when you are out of the chilly winters and stepping into the blossoming season of spring, the golden city Jaisalmer captures the minds of the travelers. This three day long festival brings life to the remote, unspoiled and romantic location. This year it will be celebrated from 20th Feb to 22nd Feb.
History of the Desert Festival
The history of Jaisalmer reels back to the 12th century and the city was discovered by the Rajput king Maharawal Jaisal Singh. Later on, it was captured by Ala-up-din-khilji. Not many people are aware of the history of the desert festival, but as legend says, Lord Krishna of the Yadav community told the Pandavas that one of the successors of the Yadav clan would set up his kingdom on the Trikuta Hill. Rawal jaiswal in the year 1196, a descendant of the Yadav community established his kingdom in Jaisalmer and when people came to know about the prophecy, celebrations were organized throughout. This celebration turned into a festival that was organized every year and later on, to make it more vibrant and to attract international visitors, the government too started to market the Desert festival in Jaisalmer.
Celebration of the Desert Festival
The celebration of this three day long festival brings the desert into life with enthusiasm, color and fun. The festival starts with a huge procession early in the morning from the Jaisalmer Fort to the Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium. All the events of the Desert Festival see a huge involvement and participation of the people who indulge in various activities. They remain elated and excited throughout the occasion. The major attraction of the festival includes camel races, various cultural events, longest moustache competition, Mr. Desert contest. The spectators can also watch camel races, gymnastic stunts on came back, rug of war, turban tying. The final day of the festival observes Air Force display, parachuting and cricket match. Food stalls, handicraft shops and interesting stalls of artifacts are also available at the festival.
The Desert festival of Jaisalmer is a three day celebration that reflects the tradition and culture and unique delights of the desert city.