Desert Festival at Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is a beautiful desert city in Rajasthan. The golden-brown sands extend across kilometers. The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is an annual event that showcases the culture and tradition of Rajasthan. Held every year in February, in the rustic dunes of Thar Desert for three days, the festival grasps the tourist’s attention with day-long events.

Table of Content

  • Legend of the festival
  • When is the desert festival celebrated?
  • Join the celebrations
  • Other interesting snippets
  • How to Reach Jaisalmer
  • Hotels to stay in Jaisalmer


A mind-boggling dessert festival includes musical shows or rustic dance performances that can groove both holidayers and local visitors. You also have a palatial display of handlooms and handicraft items; connoisseur shoppers can look for. 

Come, let us discover how the Desert festival at Jaisalmer is celebrated in all its fervor:

Legend of the festival

You must all be wondering what the legend or the history behind the Desert festival at Jaisalmer is. Like all their festivals or religious sanctities, this event, too, has a legendary tale behind it. Let us have a look at the same. 

Lord Krishna had once told Arjuna that one of the successors of the Yadava community would set up a kingdom on top of the Trikuta Hill. It was during the year 1196 that Lord Krishna’s prophecy came true. Rawal Jaiswal was the successor of the Yadava community. He had established his kingdom at Jaisalmer. A grand three-day festival is held at the vibrant desert-city year after year to commemorate the event. Celebrations are conducted in the form of a local display of arts. The Government of the Rajasthan Tourism decided to have the festival done on a much larger scale. This was to draw international tourists from across the world. 

Camels and local in Jaisalmer

Camels and local in Jaisalmer

When is the desert festival celebrated?

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is celebrated every year during February. It is typically held during the Hindu calendar month Magha (February), which is three days before the full moon. The festival is artistically celebrated across the beautiful sand-dunes of the Thar Desert.

This event tops the Rajasthan Festivals List for various reasons. Some other festivals you can be a part of when in Rajasthan are the Gangaur Festival, Winter Festival, and Udaipur World Music Festival, etc.

The place is exactly 42 kilometers from the beautiful city of Jaisalmer. The place is so romantic, unspoiled and remote. The entire Sam Dunes comes to life during the three-day extravaganza. You have people from all over the City of Jaisalmer and the neighboring villages partaking in the various shows, programs, and exhibitions, which are organized!

Join the celebrations

You can experience vivid happiness, color and a vibrant outlook to life. This is especially true when you are a part of the sprawling desert festival at Jaisalmer, which happens to be the best tourist attractions in JaisalmerYou have a majestic procession of elephants in the morning. The procession starts from the Jaisalmer Fort up until the Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium. The residents of the Jaisalmer city can be seen in their traditional costumes. They dazzle in their rich, colorful and vibrant costumes. The residents sing and dance their hearts out. The songs and dances connote the tragedies and accomplishments of the desert land as such. You have the Gair and fire dances, as well. 

The local nomads named Kalabaz or Nats perform their acrobats and brave gymnastic acts. The viewers and onlookers are awe-inspired with what they do. Then comes your folk recital programs in the form of music recitals and ballads. The Bhopa’s Lang has and Manganairs perform the folk recital sessions for you. You can be a part of spell-bound camel polo events. These are fabulous camel races you can say cheers to. The gymnastic youngsters perform their stunts on camelbacks. Plus, you have the camel formation dances that highlight the crown theme of the festival. Yet another mega theme follows the events. 

The Border Security Force forms a Camel Tattoo to woo the audiences. You have another state of the art allures and events that mark a pivotal place in the festive arena. These include tug of war, turban tying, Maru-Shri or Mr. Desert competition, and the longest mustache competition. 

You can witness the Grand Finale in the most alluring manner too. You have the Rajasthani folk concert that displays emotions of nostalgia while displaying the diverse culture of the country.

You also have the Air Force display campaigned by the Border Security Force or BSF coupled with a cricket match played even and a parachuting event. The festival comes to a grand end on the Poornima Day or the full moon day. The finale touches its pinnacle point at the Sam Dunes with the Sonar Quila at Jaisalmer Fort recreated in the background. The outlook and the décor lend a fairy tale ending to the entire ambiance. 

Other interesting snippets

Delicious Rajasthani and Gujarati thali plates are served at stalls. The sweets and savories can be mouth-watering indeed. You also have fabulous stalls displaying artifacts, handicrafts, and other souvenirs. You can enjoy desert safari and camping activities before the eve of the desert festival. 

You can also visit some of the best tourist attractions the city has to offer. Some interesting places to see in Jaisalmer are,

  • Jaisalmer Fort
  • Patwa Haveli
  • Gadisar Lake
  • The Thar Heritage Museum
  • Bada Bagh
  • Jain Temples
  • Nathmal Ki Haveli
  • Salim Singh Ki Haveli etc 

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort

Gadisar Lake Jaisalmer

Gadisar Lake Jaisalmer

How to Reach Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is a bustling city that can be reached by rail, road, or air. Here are tips and highlighting points on where and how you reach the sand city. The tips have been bulleted for you, for an easier degree of understanding.

  • By Air: The nearest airport is situated in Jodhpur City. You will have to get down from your flight here. It is approximately 350 kilometers for you to reach Jaisalmer City. You can hire a taxicab or a prepaid vehicle to get you here.
  • By Train: You have a wide network of train services that can land you right up to Jaisalmer. Upon reaching here, you can catch private auto rickshaws or taxis to take you to Sam Dunes. Sam Dunes is where the desert festival is typically held. The place is approximately 50 kilometers from the city of Jaisalmer.
  • By Road: You have exotic connectivity of semi-sleeper Volvo buses or ordinary buses plying to Jaisalmer. You can either halt at Jaisalmer city center to unwind yourself. You can then reach Sam Dunes in time for the desert festival. Or you can take luxury buses that land you right there at Sam Dunes. 

Hotels to stay in Jaisalmer

You have a lovely fleet of five-star hotels and stay cabins out there in Jaisalmer City. You have palatial rooms where you feel like you are staying at home away from home. With exotic hospitality services and the finest array of food, nothing can go wrong with the winter vacation of yours. You can book for the desert festival packages and these hotels will arrange their private vans or buses to land you right there. Most of the hotels get booked out fast. The festival season is the peak season at Jaisalmer City. So, you need to book your tour and travel tickets at least two months before the festive dates. 

If you are looking for a break from your busy modern life, it is time you get the taste of the grandeur of Rajasthan. The Jaisalmer desert festival is a perfect collage of art and tradition of this ancient city that has immense historical significance. Plan your travel to the Golden City of Jaisalmer with excellent tour packages from India Enigma!

So, do not wait any longer! Start planning for your holiday to Jaisalmer right away! 

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-- India Enigma

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