Jaisalmer Desert Festival- History, Cultural Events, Activities & More

Jaisalmer, located in the heart of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India, is home to one of the unique cultural events in the world: the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. It is a three-day event in February every year in the Thar Desert. It offers an immersive experience of Rajasthan’s vibrant and colourful culture and music under the twinkling stars. 

From activities and entertainment such as traditional dances, this festival attracts tourists from all over the world. And with the huge influx of tourism, the local economy has seen a significant boost, resulting in improved infrastructure and living conditions. 

So if you’re looking for an exciting and culturally immersive experience, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival is the place for you! Mark the dates in your calendars and read further to know everything about the 2024 Jaisalmer Desert Festival!

Table of Contents

History And Significance of The Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Jaisalmer Desert Festival

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival holds a special place in the hearts of the locals who take pride in their heritage and traditions. This grand festival is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to bask in the glory of Rajasthan’s rich culture, arts, music, and folklore. For three days, the city of Jaisalmer bursts into a vibrant celebration where people dress up in their finest Rajasthani attire and engage in cultural activities such as parades, turban-tying and moustache competitions, and talent shows.

Amidst the festivities, one can witness the soulful melodies of traditional Rajasthani music and the colourful sight of locals dressed in bright, ornate costumes performing elaborate folk dances. There’s a seamless amalgamation of past and present, where people celebrate old customs enthusiastically and embrace new trends with open arms.

Indeed, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival is a time when the people of this city come together to rejoice in their collective history and cherished traditions. It’s a warm invitation to experience the enduring beauty of Rajasthan and all the joys it has to offer.

Music, Dance, And Entertainment At The Jaisalmer Desert Festival

From stunning music and dance performances to other exciting entertainment options, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival is a must-experience for all. Let’s see what you can experience while enjoying this 3-day festival. 

Rajasthani Folk Music And Dance

The festival features numerous Rajasthani folk music and dance performances, including Ghoomar, Kalbelia, and Bhavai. The performers dress in colourful traditional attire and showcase their talent with musical instruments like dholak, harmonium, and flute. There is also plenty of local folk music to be heard, with traditional instruments including the dhol and nagara and international music.

Rajasthani Folk Music And Dance

Puppet Shows

Puppet shows are an integral part of Rajasthani culture, and visitors can witness skilled puppeteers performing traditional puppet shows at the festival. 

Puppet Shows

Kalbelia Dance Performances

The Kalbelia dance is a traditional form of Rajasthan, performed by the Kalbelia tribe. The dancers dress up in traditional black attire and perform to the beats of the ‘poongi,’ a wind instrument made from a gourd. The dance is a UNESCO-listed intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Camel And Jeep Safari Rides

The festival allows visitors to take a camel ride through the desert. You can enjoy the desert scenery while watching views in an open jeep.

Desert Safari and Camel Ride

Hot Air Balloon Rides

The hot air balloon rides offer breathtaking views of the desert landscape and are a unique way to experience the festival.

Hot Air Balloon Rides at Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Adventure Sports

For the adventurous at heart, the festival also offers various adventure sports like parasailing and boating at Gadisar LakeThere are also a variety of other activities and competitions, such as tug-of-war, pottery making, and matka phod. You can also enjoy a photography exhibition ending with a night full of fireworks in an empty, deserted sky.

Adventure Sports at Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Food And Cuisine At The Jaisalmer Desert Festival

The Jaisalmer Desert festival is not only a celebration of culture but also a gastronomical delight. Visitors can indulge in various Rajasthani delicacies, including the famous dal baati churma, a dish made of lentils, wheat balls, and sweetened crushed cereal. Other popular dishes include ker sangri, gatte ki sabzi, and Laal Maas, a spicy mutton curry. These flavorful dishes are must-tries rajasthani cuisine in Jaisalmer while you’re in the area. 

Dal Bati Churma
Ker Sangri
Laal Maas

Plus, there are a variety of street food stalls and food vendors throughout the grounds offering everything from samosas to kachori’s, juices, to cool shakes. No matter what type of food you want, you can find it at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. So if you find yourself in Jaisalmer or are planning to visit Jaisalmer in February, don’t miss the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. It is the best time to visit Jaisalmer.

Shopping And Handicrafts At The Jaisalmer Desert Festival

This festival has something for everyone, from street stalls selling handicrafts, souvenirs, and local textiles, to artisan workshops where visitors can learn about traditional handicrafts. From melas (open-air markets) selling silver and stone jewellery to traditional Rajasthani textiles such as bandhani, block prints, and patchwork quilts, there is no shortage of unique shopping experiences. For those looking for unique souvenirs, stalls sell traditional metalware, pottery and antiques. 

Shopping And Handicrafts At The Jaisalmer Desert Festival

But it’s not just shopping that makes this festival so special. You can learn the intricacies of tie-dye, weaving, block printing and more. Visitors can also attend pottery workshops to learn about traditional techniques like wheel-throwing and glazing. Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind shopping experiences or to take part in a traditional cultural program, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival is a must-visit event.

Accommodations And Logistics For The Jaisalmer Desert Festival

Accommodation Options

  • Camping in Jaisalmer and Luxury tents are a visitor’s favourite as they offer comfortable amenities and traditional Rajasthani decor.
  • Budget-friendly hotels in Jaisalmer, but there are also high-end options for those who enjoy a little luxury.
  • For a unique and authentic local experience, consider staying with a family in their homestay.
Luxury tents

Transportation Options

  • Buses run regularly between Jaisalmer and nearby cities like Jodhpur and Jaipur. 
  • Taxis are readily available, and Jaisalmer Taxi Service offer packages specifically for festival-goers. 
  • Many visitors rent a car or hire a driver for added convenience and flexibility.

Tips For Attending The Jaisalmer Desert Festival

  • Make sure you dress comfortably in clothes and shoes that work in the desert climate.
  • Remember to pack the essentials – sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat – to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Stay hydrated by toting a water bottle with you at all times.
  • Remember to respect local customs, like dress codes and etiquette.
  • Follow the festival’s rules, which include no littering or public drinking.
  • Brace yourself for the crowds and noise – this festival can get pretty wild!
  • Bring enough cash with you, as ATMs might be far away.
  • Make sure you book your accommodations and transportation in advance.
  • Pack some warm clothes, too – desert nights can get chilly!


Are you ready to experience the vibrant fusion of music, dance, and adventure at the next Jaisalmer Desert Festival?

Immerse yourself in Rajasthani culture, indulge in delicious cuisine, shop for handicrafts, and enjoy camel rides, hot air balloon rides, and more only at Jaiselmar. 

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