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Desert Festival, Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan is often addressed to as "The Golden City". The name has been acquired from the fact that the city stands on an edge of the fort made of yellow sandstone, which under the rays of the Sun glimmers like Gold. Jaisalmer has a peculiar charm of its own. Like all the other cities of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer too has its own glorious past to boast about.

As per the legend, it is believed that Lord Krishna who was the head of the Yadav clan, once told Arjuna that some descendent of the same clan will build a kingdom and it would be situated atop the Trikuta Hill. This prediction came true around 1156 A.D. when the city of Jaisalmer was built atop Trikuta Hill by Raja Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput ruler. The King chose Trikut hill as the new site for his fort. This was because he thought that his previous abode at Luderwa (16 km from present Jaisalmer) was vulnerable to possible enemy assault.

In medieval times, Jaisalmer continued to be on the focus of the masses because of its strategic location. It falls in the way of one of the two routes, which connected India with Persia, Egypt, Africa and the West. The Bhatti Rajput rulers were the sole guardians of the city and thus mustered enough wealth through taxes levied on the passing caravans which were in abundance. Jaisalmer has many ancient and heritage temples, depicting a typical architecture that sets it apart from the rest. Here one gets to see many Jain temples, which are quite famous and renowned. The place is a famous tourist destination, and is visited by a number of foreign tourists. Various festivals are held, of which the desert festival Jaisalmer is quite popular and famous. Held in the month of February each year, this is one of the most colorful events in Rajasthan, where one witnesses multiplicity in cultural events, including camel races and turban tying competitions. One of the unique competitions held in this event is the moustache competition. People participate from far and wide and the man with best moustache is awarded. A majority of events performed here are truly exotic in nature to mesmerize the crowd and tourists. There are folk performances by traditional musicians from different regions of Rajasthan, which include folk dance competitions to enliven the spirit of this festival.

Connoisseurs of traditional handicrafts can visit the craft bazaar. This bazaar is especially set up during this time, where one gets some of the best variety of handicrafts. This festival forms an integral part of Rajasthan Tourism and popularizes traditional art and culture which is truly synonymous with the pomp and show exhibited here.

Situated amid the picturesque Thar Desert, Jaisalmer city commands premiere position among the tourist attractions scattered all over Rajasthan. The Jaisalmer city is revered by both Indian and foreign tourists. The name Jaisalmer induces a melodramatic picture of utter magic and brilliance of the Thar. The hostile terrain notwithstanding the warmth and color of people is simply over whelming and mesmerizing.

You will never forget marvels like the famous Gair and Fire dancers that are the major attraction of the desert festival celebrations.

Interesting contests including a turban tying competition and a Mr. Desert contest further enhance the fun of the occasion. A trip to the Sam sand dunes marks the grand finale, where one enjoys camel rides and brilliant performances by the folk artist under the full moon against the backdrop of picturesque dunes. The experience is like straight out of an Arabian Nights fable.

The Jaisalmer Desert fair/festival is organized by The Rajasthan tourism. They also provide the tourists a tourist help cell to deal specially with the problems faced by foreign tourists. All arrangements are closely monitored by local administration and state of the art Medical vans, equipped with the best of medical amenities, are kept on high alert. One who wishes to buy gifts or souvenirs for near and dears can make the best use of this fair, which offers artifacts from whole Rajasthan. Mobile money exchangers are there in case you need to exchange currencies. Almost all the kiosks have the facility to accept credit card.

During the festival it is advised to visit Gadi Sagar Lake and take a close look on the migratory birds as they indulge in amorous fights and languorous fluttering of their wings under warm sunshine. Also a visit to Desert Cultural center to take a sneak peek of Rajasthan culture will give a fuller and rich feel.

Jaisalmer is well connected by air and surface and offers a variety of accommodation for its guests including luxury tents. Comeā€¦..enjoy the dunes!!!