Sponsored by the Rajasthan State Tourism Corporation, the Desert Festival is a colourful, joyous celebration of the rich heritage of Rajasthan. This festival takes place in Jaisalmer in the month of February and lasts for three days.
During the desert festival, the sands around Jaisalmer are adorned with vibrant hues of music and dance, accompanied with sounds of laughter and joy. Musicians entice you with haunting ballads - a mixture of romantic verses weaved together with tunes of tragic pain. The fair has snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Camels, also play a stellar role. This desert festival of India closes with an enchanting sound and light show amid the sand dunes on a moonlit night.
The preparations for this festival begins well in advance, where a few days before the spring full moon according to the Hindu calendar, musicians, dancers and performers from all over Rajasthan start moving in colorful camel caravans towards the golden town of Jaisalmer, which already begins to don a festive look. The 12th century fort of Jaisalmer, built in yellow sandstone, provides a fairytale background for this festival. It is a chance of a lifetime to see the folk art forms against the landscape that has nurtured them for hundreds of years.
Though the festival is mainly a grand display of performing arts, there are several other events that give a glimpse of the desert culture. Exquisitely embroidered skirts, hand-woven shawls, rugs, carvings on wood and stone, camel decorations, embroidered leather bags, ethnic silver jewelry and terracotta can be bought at this desert fair.
Evenings are meant for the main shows of music and dance. Continuing till late into the night, the number of spectators increases by each night and on the final day, under the full moonlit night, the whole place is swarming with people who make it a point to be there to witness this mega show.