Jaisalmer, also known as the ‘Golden City’ is one of the most beautiful desert cities in India. Located close to the Thar desert, the city is known for its stunning monuments, colourful culture, and festive celebrations. One such festival in Jaisalmer that deserves a special mention is the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. 

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is an annual winter event organised in Jaisalmer. Rajasthan Government’s tourism department organises this three-day desert fair festival in the Hindu month of Magh, usually in February. The desert festival Jaisalmer 2024 dates would be 3rd - 5th February. 

If you are planning to visit Jaisalmer to witness the Desert Festival, here is a complete guide for you. It gives you vital information about – 

  • Origins of the Jaisalmer Festival
  • Why it is called the Camel Festival
  • Reason to attend Jaisalmer Desert Festival
  • How to Reach Jaisalmer?
  • Where to stay in Jaisalmer?

Origins of the Jaisalmer Festival

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival has an interesting origin story passed down through generations. Locals say that Lord Krishna predicted the establishment of a kingdom on Trikuta Hill by a future leader from the Yadav community. In 1196, Rawal Jaiswal, believed to be a Yadav descendant, founded the kingdom of Jaisalmer.

To commemorate this desert fair in Jaisalmer, the local people started organising special events and celebrations across the kingdom. As news spread about the fulfilment of the ancient prediction, these joyful festivities evolved into a cherished tradition. Today, this tradition lives on with the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, which is celebrated every February.

Why is it called the Camel Festival?

This desert festival is known as the Camel Festival in Jaisalmer and across the nation because it emphasises the cultural and historical significance of camels in the desert region. Camels symbolise the desert way of life and are crucial to the livelihoods of people in Rajasthan, including Jaisalmer.

The festival features various camel-centric activities and competitions, such as races, polo matches, and beauty contests. Camel parades, where these majestic animals don vibrant traditional attire, showcase the cultural heritage of the region.

Reasons to Attend Jaisalmer Desert Festival

  • Weather

The festival in Jaisalmer is typically organised during February, which can be the best time to visit the place. The weather is usually pleasant during this time. The average temperature in February is usually cool but cosy, an ideal time to indulge in various activities like sightseeing or attending the desert fair.

  • Cultural Events

Rajasthan Desert Festival in Jaisalmer showcases the best of the rich culture and heritage of Rajasthan. Camel shows, performances by local folk artists, moustache competitions, turban tying competitions, the horse race, and many other events organised over three days will keep you mesmerised until the show's end. 

  • Shopping and Cuisines

Explore the vibrant handicrafts at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. Discover beautifully crafted items like Lac bangles, camel leather jootis, bandhani sarees, pichwai paintings, Jaisalmer stone carvings, and more. Immerse yourself in the rich artistic heritage of Rajasthan. Shopaholics can find peace while buying locally made bags, puppets, jewellery, etc.

  • Desert Safari

One of the popular things to do in Jaisalmer is to go on a desert safari, and we’re not talking about vehicle rides, although that’s an option as well. A thrilling camel ride while admiring the arid Thar landscape is a unique experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life. 

  • Authentic Food

This dessert fair of Jaisalmer offers a delightful taste of the Rajasthani food. Numerous food stalls serving authentic Rajasthani cuisines make the festival a paradise for food lovers. Try traditional dishes like dal baati churma, gatte ki sabzi, and sweets like Ghewar. Connect with locals, hear the stories behind the food, and experience the rich heritage of Rajasthan.

  • Desert Safari

One of the popular things to do in Jaisalmer is to go on a desert safari, and we’re not talking about vehicle rides, although that’s an option as well. Also known as the camel festival of Jaisalmer, this festival is great time to experience the thrilling camel ride while admiring the arid Thar landscape. It is a unique experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

  • City Tour

The Jaisalmer Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit place on any Jaisalmer itinerary. The fort is also sometimes called the “Golden fortress” because of its massive yellow sandstone walls. Besides, there are numerous other places to visit in Jaisalmer, such as Gadisar lake, Jaisalmer Government Museum, Nathmal Ji ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli, Tanot Mata Temple, etc. 

If you like suspense and enigmatic places, add Kuldhara, the deserted village 18 km away from Jaisalmer to your list. 

  • Jaisalmer Border

Visit the Jaisalmer Border on your desert expedition for a unique experience. The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is a time when you will see a lot of promotions to visit the iconic Longewala Post, where you can see Pakistani tanks and guns captured during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. This remote border area offers exciting activities like off-roading and border jeep safaris, attracting adventure enthusiasts.

  • Dune Bashing

Don't miss the Sam Sand Dunes on your desert safari near Jaisalmer. Experience thrilling activities like Quad Biking and dune bashing in the vast desert surroundings. It's a must-visit for adventure seekers, making your Jaisalmer journey truly unforgettable.

  • Parasailing

The feeling of soaring above the desert, admiring the golden sands below, and taking in the breathtaking arid scenery is truly amazing. Parasailing in Jaisalmer is a thrilling experience, enjoyed by tourists of all ages. The skilled instructors ensure safety throughout the 15-minute activity. The initial 3-5 minutes of parasailing create lasting memories of this unforgettable adventure.

How to Reach Jaisalmer for the Dessert Festival?

Jaisalmer has a domestic airport. Flights to Jaisalmer from some major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru are available, although in limited numbers. However, Jaisalmer railway station is well connected to major Indian cities via Jaipur. So, you can either get a train to Jaisalmer or change trains at Jaipur. Regular trains are available between Jaipur and Jaisalmer.

Besides, Jaisalmer is well connected with all the major cities of Rajasthan. 

Where to Stay in Jaisalmer?

Club Mahindra Jaisalmer is one of the most exquisite resorts in Jaisalmer for staying with friends and family. The resort offers authentic Rajasthani hospitality with traditional Ghoomer performances and poolside dining. Additionally, you can also try something new by attending pot painting or emboss painting workshops. 

The dunes of the spectacular Thar desert come alive with thrill, excitement, and vibrant colours during the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. Whether you're a beginner or an avid traveller, the festival can provide an excellent opportunity to acquaint yourself with the many colours of Rajasthan.

About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 290,000 members , who can holiday at 140+ resorts in India and abroad.

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