The Desert Festival oF Jaisalmer
From Camel Polo to Turban Tying
Once a year, in wintertime, the Desert Festival takes place in Jaisalmer, an Indian town part of the Rajasthan state and situated in the middle of the Thar Desert near the border with Pakistan. The three days long festival is the place to see many aspects of Rajasthan’s colourful culture in only limited time.
The festival starts from the centre of town with a huge parade with people dressed up in beautiful, colourful costumes, after which everyone heads towards the festival grounds in the desert, just a bit outside Jaisalmer. Here the different events take place, ranging from turban tying to folklore music and dances, moustache competitions and not to forget the selection of a Mr. Desert. Wanna try to tie a turban, don’t hesitate to participate. Before you know it, you’ll also be on stage.
When thinking of the desert we often make an association with camels, so it will come as no surprise that you’ll see plenty of them during the festival, here in Jaisalmer. Apart from dressed up camels, there will camel polo and camel racing, among others showing how fast camels can actually run. Did you know that a camel is able to run up to 65 kilometers per hour for example?!
Jaisalmer can be reached by train from cities like Jodhpur and New Delhi. Alternatively you can also take a bus from these and other cities throughout India.
Last but not least, you’re in the desert, so make sure to dress accordingly during the day and use protection against the sun. Eventhough the event takes place in wintertime, temperatures are still around 25 degrees. Be prepared for colder temperatures at night though.
* In 2015 the festival will take place from 1 to 3 February.