Sunday, 15 July 2012

DESERT FESTIVAL


Desert Festival, Jaisalmer

To attract an increasing number of tourists to their state, the Rajasthan tourism authorities have started many festivals all over the state. These festivals preserve the cultural traditional of the region and showcase the rich heritage of Rajasthan. The desert festival in Jaisalmer is one of these. Along with the elephant festival of Jaipur and the camel festival of Bikaner, the desert festival in Jaisalmer forms the major fairs and festivals of Rajasthan. This festival is an important part of tourism in the city of Jaisalmer, which is the gateway to the desert heartland of Rajasthan. 

The desert festival in Jaisalmer is held in the Indian month of Magh, which corresponds to January and February. The festival lasts for 3 days, during which many interesting events are held which reflect the enchanting cultural traditions and the folk arts of Rajasthan, in particular the region around Jaisalmer. The notable events that make up the desert festival include some of the most unique competitions you’ll ever see and fascinating folk performances. The competitions include hardly fought contests like the turban tying competition, tug of war, and the all important Mr. Desert competition
The moustache competition is one of the most memorable events you’ll come across in Rajasthan. Men dressed in traditional garb and proudly displaying their long moustaches participate in this contest. The moustaches are carefully coiled when not in display and can measure more than four feet in length. The tug-of-war is yet another fun filled activity in which teams of foreigners selected at random compete with the locals. The turban tying competition showcases the talent of the locals tying the turbans that are several feet long. The bright and colorful turbans are very attractive, and the event is made even more interesting by involving foreigners who are given a crash course in the art.
Camels are essential for all desert activities. The desert festival in Jaisalmer also utilizes the services of this animal to entertain the tourists. Camel rides on the beautiful Sam sand dunes of Jaisalmer are an integral part of the festival. The highlight of the festival is, however, the camel rides offered no the sand dunes at night. Camel races are also organized for the recreation of the visitors. 
Craft bazaars having many tents that sell handicraft items are yet another attraction of the Jaisalmer desert festival. Tourists can buy a large number of traditional crafts items including colorful bangles, wooden toys, marble statues, and attractive fabrics sporting local tie and die prints.

The nights are full of recreation as accomplished local artists perform wonderful songs, dances and acrobatics that leave the audience mesmerized. The sounds and lights enliven the beautiful desert landscape, making a memorable experience for those present there. 

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