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All You Need to Know about the Jaisalmer Desert Festival

7 mins. read

With its magnificent architecture, glorious history, and vibrant culture, Rajasthan – the Land of the Maharajas is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations. From ancient, small towns to bustling cities, the state offers a perfect amalgamation of old and new. Although there are so many must-visit places, a trip to Rajasthan is never complete without a visit to Jaisalmer. Located in the expansive Thar Desert, this city also acts as the guard of western Rajasthan.

Fondly known as the Golden City, Jaisalmer got this name from its most prominent landmark, Sonar Qila (the Golden Fort). Unlike other famous forts in the country, the Golden Fort is not just a tourist attraction. With a number of shops, hotels, and ancient homes (also known as havelis), this is one of the few living forts in India. This also makes it one of those rare UNESCO World Heritage Sites where people can actually stay!

Apart from the Golden Fort, Jaisalmer has so many other tourist attractions as well. Some of these include Bada Bagh, the Jain Temple, Patwon ki Haveli, etc. If you want to indulge in some fun outdoor activities, then this city will not disappoint you. From going on a desert safari to enjoying a camel ride, shopping at local markets to camping at Sam Sand Dunes Jaisalmer has so many options.

How to Reach

Being a popular tourist destination, Jaisalmer offers great connectivity with other parts of the country.

By Air

Located at an approximate distance of 337 kilometres, Jodhpur Airport is the nearest international airport. Once you reach there, hire a private taxi to get to Jaisalmer.

By Rail

You can easily find direct trains to Jaisalmer from all the major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, etc. The good thing is that the railway station is located in the centre of the city. So, once you reach there, finding an auto-rickshaw or taxi should not be a problem at all.

By Road

Jaisalmer offers excellent road connectivity from all the major Indian cities. You can either choose from state-owned buses, luxury coaches, sleeper AC buses etc. or hire a private taxi to reach the city.

Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Jaisalmer Desert Festival

This city is also known for hosting one of the most popular and colourful events in Rajasthan, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. Visited by a large number of tourists every year, this festival showcases the artistic side of royal Rajasthan at its best. Held in the Hindu month of Magh (February), three days before the full moon, this festival goes on for two consecutive days.


It is believed that Lord Krishna, ruler of the Yadav community, told Arjun (one of the Pandavas) that a successor belonging to the Yadav community would set up his kingdom on the Trikuta Hill. This prediction came true in the year 1196 when Rawal Jaiswal (a descendant of the Yadav clan) established his kingdom in Jaisalmer. To celebrate the new beginning, events were organised throughout the kingdom. When people became aware of the fact that a prophecy had come true, these celebrations became a tradition. Now, this festival is organised every year in the month of February.

Things to Do

Here is a list of things you can do to make the most of your Jaisalmer trip:

Enjoy Cultural Events

Also known as the Jaisalmer Maru Mahotsav, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival gives a great opportunity to take a closer look at Rajasthani culture. Here, you get a chance to enjoy several traditional events all in one place. From vibrant puppet shows to awe-inspiring folk music and dance shows, from camel races to camel polo matches, from tug of war to other juggling events, there are so many options. Other than this, you also get to see some unique competitions, such as turban tying and the longest moustache competition. One such competition is held under the name ‘Maru Shri’ or Mr. Desert Pageant. This competition is only for men and attracts a large number of locals and tourists alike.

Gair dance forms and folk fire dances are also among the major attractions of the famous Jaisalmer Desert Festival. All the participants wear colourful Rajasthani attire, displaying folk culture and traditions in the best possible way.

Go Dune Bashing

For people who are fond of adventure and thrill, Jaisalmer is the perfect holiday destination. Off-roading and dune bashing are popular activities here. Being situated in the expansive Thar Desert, this place is a perfect setting for such adventure sports.

Always make sure that you hire sturdy sports utility vehicles driven by an expert driver. It is a highly adventurous activity and requires good driving and manoeuvring skills. Other than this, you can also try activities like paramotoring, parasailing, and quad biking in the Thar Desert and experience an adrenaline rush.

Book a Desert Safari

Book a Desert Safari

Are you someone who has always dreamt of enjoying a thrilling safari while admiring the vastness of the desert? If yes, take some time out and book a desert safari. Other than the Jaisalmer Camel Festival, this is one thing that really allures tourists from all over the world. You can choose to stay overnight in the luxury desert camps and make the most of it. This becomes a memorable experience when combined with a bonfire and an authentic Rajasthani dinner.

Shop Your Heart Out

With a number of vibrant local markets, Jaisalmer is a true paradise for shopaholics. From local handicrafts to traditional Rajasthani dresses, from beautiful knick-knacks to décor items, from puppets to jewellery items, you can get almost everything in those street markets. Some popular markets in the city are Bhatia Bazaar, Pansari Bazaar, Manak Chowk, and Sadar Bazaar.

Take a City Tour

Jaisalmer is known for its enchanting forts, ancient temples, ravishing havelis, and a lot more. If you have plans to visit the Jaisalmer Festival, you can also take some time out to visit some major tourist attractions in the city. Here is a list of some must-visit places in Jaisalmer:

  • Sonar Qila
  • Jain Temple
  • Patwon ki Haveli
  • Tanot Mata Temple
  • Jaisalmer War Museum
  • Kuldhara
  • Gadisar Lake

Now that you have all the reasons why Jaisalmer should be your next holiday destination, it is time to plan a trip. Explore Veena World’s extensive range to find a suitable, all-inclusive Jaisalmer package.

December 01, 2022


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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