The Jaisalmer Desert Festival will be held from February 20-22, 2016. The festival will showcase a colourful extravaganza of the art, music and culture of Rajasthan with a message of revival of local arts and folk music together with women empowerment.
“Jaisalmer Desert Festival presents Jaisalmer in its true glory. Not only is it the pulse of the locals but it also appeals to the well-travelled Indian together with international tourists. The festival is a medley of culture, folklore, music, dance, traditional competitions and more, and attracts people across age-groups with a growing community every year. For every participant of this three-day fiesta, the promise is an undiluted taste of Rajasthan and Jaisalmer,” said Shailendra Agarwal, principal secretary, Department of Tourism and Federation of Hospitality and Tourism of Rajasthan.
Celebrated as one of the “must do” things in Rajasthan this season, the entire city, including the stretch of Sam sand dunes, will turn into a montage of vibrant colours, festivities and enthrallment.
“Jaisalmer Desert Festival is not an implant but a homegrown coming together of Jaisalmer’s people in festivity and tradition. It is Rajasthan as Rajasthan is: pure, undiluted; a sensory overload,” explained Nupur Mahajan, CEO, Percept One.
The festival will begin with a ceremonial procession known as Shobha Yatra where local Rajputs and other clans will be dressed in their traditional attire. Men carrying swords atop horses, camels, and elephants will be cheered on as they enter the Dedansar Stadium, one of the main venues of the festival. The Gair and the fire dance are highlights of the festival among other Indian dance forms like Lavani and Kalaripayattu. The Kalabaz or the Nats are a group of local nomads who are popular for their gymnastic acts. The Bhopa’s Langhas and Manganiars will create an enchanting environment with their poignant folk music recitals and ballads.
Folk music is at the very core of the festival and this year performers include the mellifluous Swaroop Khan and the celebrated folk singer Manganiyar Ghazi Khan. Kutle Khan – the voice of Jaisalmer, would make the desert come alive during the grand finale.
The festival will also take a plunge into rendition of old folklore Moomal Mahendra wherein Princess Moomal set herself on fire to prove her love for Prince Mahendra. This year the highlights include “Jaisalmer’s Got Talent” – a talent hunt and felicitation of local artistes and performers from the fields of art and music. Ecelectic food, interesting stalls displaying artifacts, handicrafts and other souvenirs will also be a festival highlight. Desert safari and camping can be also enjoyed at the eve of the festival.