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Bringing the desert to life at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Men in traditional dress dance as locals look on at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Translated as the ‘Land of the Kings’, Rajasthan is India’s largest state and certainly one of its most intriguing. Jaisalmer, seemingly one of its most paradoxical cities, is set so deep in the remote Thar Desert that one would expect utter isolation. But instead, Jaisalmer is one of Rajasthan’s best-loved tourist destinations and the scene of one of India’s most colourful festivals –The Jaisalmer Desert Festival.

Attracting crowds of colourfully dressed Rajasthanis and others from all over the country and beyond, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival is held annually around February. A celebration of Rajasthani culture, you’ll see parades, camel races, turban-tying competitions, hear traditional Rajasthani music, see fire dancing and much more over three days. There’s also a moustache contest – fittingly called the Mr. Desert Competition. Lively parades weave through the city and head up to the gates of the town stadium where the festivities continue.

As a showcase of traditional Rajasthani life and culture, you can’t do much better than the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. Rounded off with a surreal folk-singing performance on the moon-lit dunes of Sam, this festival promises to be a lot of fun – and a great opportunity to see Jaisalmer in party mode.

Visit the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, which takes place between the 5th and the 7th of February 2012.

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