Deserts, as they show in literature refers to the shady, gloomy, unhappy days. We always refer it to be dry, deprived of livelihood. But is it all that we think it to be?
Jaisalmer has certainly changed that thought with the annual Desert festival that takes place in January, or Magh month according to Hindi calendar, 3 days before full moon. It is celebrated among the dunes of Thar desert famously known as Sam dunes. It city has a has a twisted yet glorious history. It was captured by Mughals, then reclaimed by the Rajputs and again captured but all this has given this city a unique architecture and culture.
The festival started in an early 12th century when a famous saying by Lord Krishna became true. He said one day a successor belonging to the Yadav community will set up his kingdom on the Trikuta Hill. This made the people of the state over joyous and they started celebrating and soon this became a festival that was celebrated every year. Even the Government of Rajasthan is not behind in this and has taken total care to make it as attractive as possible and present it on the international tourism map.
The festival is filled with joy, colors and enormous ethusiasm by everyone whether a visitor or a participant. It starts with a procession in the morning from the Jaisalmer Fort to the Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium. The main attraction of this event is the traditional bright coloured dress that locals wear. The Gair and the fire dance are highlights of the festival. The songs and dance narrate the history of this place and are truly a nice way to make someone familiar with rich history that this festival and the place holds. Its followed by the performance of the Kalabazs who are a group of local nomad popular for their gymnastic acts. The Bhopal’s Langham and Manganiars create an enchanting environment with their poignant folk music recitals and ballads.
If all this is not enough for you, it gets better from here. We have Camel polo and camel races. There’s colour all around with the sound of folk Rajasthani music and dance. The list of competitions goes to the longest moustache, Mr. Desert, locally know Maru-Shri, Tug of war, turban tying and other interesting ones. It all ends with a befitting safari on the desert of Sam dunes where you can enjoy several performances of various artists under the sky full of stars.
If this sounds fascinating, then go, book a ticket for next years fest that’s beginning from 28-Jan-2018 to 31-01-2018 and enjoy the extravaganza with your friends or family.