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Desert Festivals

Once a year in winters and on the middle of the continually rising and falling stark yellow sands of the great Thar Desert, the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with the brilliant colour, music and laughter of the Desert Festival. The festival is organised by the tourist authorities as tourist entertainment around January-February.

The very rich and colourful Rajasthani folk culture is on show here for a few days. Rajasthani men and tall beautiful women dressed in their brightly costumes dance and sing lingering ballads of valour, romance and tragedy. Traditional musicians attempt to outdo each other in their musical superiority.

The high points of the festival are - snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, folk performers do rapid trade. Camels, the lifeline of the desert, play a foremost role. Proud moustached villagers, dressed in their ethnic best come astride their picturesquely caparisoned camels to join in the camel dances and competitions of camel acrobatics, camel races and décor, camel polo, tug of war and the like.

The tourist dances, turban tying competitions and tug of war are big draws and laughter. The Mr Desert competitions, which are focused around the length of moustaches by and large, attract many hopefuls.

Activities
The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival, held in Jan/Feb. every year, when the city reverberates to the sound of melodious tunes and rhythms. Folk dances, exciting competitions an contests, especially the turban-tying contest. Mr. Desert contest and camel races enliven the festivities. Colorful craft bazaars are set up for the occasion and a sound and light spectacle is organized wit folk artists performing against the splendid backdrop of the famous Sam sand dunes on the full moon night. Surely a not-to-be missed event.

History
The city has an interesting legend associated with it, according to which, Lord Krishna-the head of the Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of the Yadav Clan would built his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy was fulfilled in 1156 A.D. when Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput, abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital - Jaisalmer, perched on the Trikuta Hill.

Bahti Rajputs of Jaisalmer were feudal chiefs who lived off the forced levy on the caravans laden with precious silks and spices that crossed the territory enroot Delhi-or-Sind. These caravans earned the town great wealth.

Places to see
Jaisalmer is famous for Jaisalmer Fort, Patwon - ki - Haveli, Tazia Tower, Gadsisar Lake and many more. Jaisalmer city guide and travel information

Getting there:

By Air
Jackson Airways has started flight to Jaisalmer from Delhi. You can also fly to Jodhpur and Jaipur. But the flight is 8-seated plane operates only in peak season (Dec-Feb). For the rest of the time Jodhpur is the nearest airport.

By Road
Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe & air conditioned buses from Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner. The roads are very good and fairly comfortable.

By Rail
Jaisalmer is connected to Delhi Via Delhi-Jaisalmer Exp. The train starts from Delhi (17.00) and reaches next day at (12.45). There is also train from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer.

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