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44th Edition of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival turned out to be one of the biggest offbeat cultural festivals of the year by witnessing a 1 lakh + audience


Rajasthan geared up and prepared for a ceremonious welcome to embrace tourists on the occasion of its annual cultural festival- Jaisalmer Desert Festival 2023.

JAISALMER, India, Feb. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The 44th Jaisalmer Annual Desert Festival, 2023 took place in the Hindu month of Magh (February) from the 3rd to the 5th of February, three days before the scenic view of the full moon in the beautiful city of Jaisalmer. The festival was celebrated in picturesque and rustic dunes and exhibited a show of splendor and extravaganza that showcased the inherently rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan that was woven into every detail of the city’s beautiful landscape. The crowd of 1 lakh + people was astonishing, especially considering that the ratio of locals to tourists was almost 70:30.

The dunes came to life during the three-day-long festival that hosted folk dances and folk music performances along with a plethora of other cultural delights. The festival housed enchanting performances by eminent musicians and playback singers. Indian maestros and artists like the composer duo Salim-Suleiman, Ankit Tiwari, Salman Ali, Shanmukha Priya, Raghu Dixit Project along with celebrated folk singers like Tagaram Bheel, Gaji Khan Barna and Bhutte Khan Nimbla & Group set the environment ablaze with their surreal performances. The festival gave a platform to more than 300 folk musicians to present their distinctive musical contributions. The festival also hosted one of the youngest and fastest-rising electronic acts by the Atrangi Project.

Starting from Shaheed Poonam Singh Stadium, the festival began with a ceremonial procession – Shobha Yatra on the 3rd of February. This was followed by unique and new activities such as Astro Tourism, Live Clay Portrait Show and Photography Exhibition. Apart from that, the performance by Salim-Suleiman, was the main highlight of the cultural evening that experienced 35K to 40K footfalls. Besides, the most unique activation- Astro Tourism saw more than 35 people participating in the workshop that spanned over two different evenings, since this kind of activity was taking place for the first time in Rajasthan.

Events like the Mr. & Mrs. Jaisalmer competition, the Horse Racing Spectacular, and the Moustache Competition held the audience’s attention. The Panihari Matka Tournament, the Moomal Mahendra Competition were two more events that attracted participants’ interest. One of the peculiar activities that tourists enjoyed was the turban-tying competition, which attracted both residents and visitors with equal zeal. An unusual and enjoyable performance, Camel Acrobatics by BSF, highlighted the talents and prowess of both the camels and their riders. It was a monument to the BSF’s Camel Contingent’s perseverance and commitment, as well as to the long history of India’s border security force. One of the most thrilling parts was the Air Warrior Drill, a demonstration of weapon handling abilities in which the Air Warriors show off their proficiency with weapons while moving quickly and accurately. Also, the festival goers had the chance to participate in a camel safari, Kalbeliya dance, and Jaisalmer folk melodies near the Khuri Dunes. The festival also served as a crucial platform to celebrate the skillful artistry of the handicrafts community and saw an exotic handpicked handicraft collection at the Handicrafts Bazaar by a self-help handicraft group from Jaisalmer.

The ‘I Love Jaisalmer Foundation’ created the warm-hearted ‘Dine with Jaisalmer’ programme, an immersive cultural luncheon experience produced during the Desert Festival and supported by the community that comes from the rural areas of Jaisalmer. The initiative welcomed visitors into their homes and hearts. The 22 families who came forward to create the culture named ‘Dine with Jaisalmer’ hosted over 200 tourists including 40-45% foreigners.

While talking about the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, Ms. Tina Dabi, District Collector & District Magistrate of Jaisalmer, said, This year’s festival was bigger and better than ever before with experiencing the highest number of footfalls with an exciting lineup of activities. Our festival is distinctive because it is a bazaar with many cultural components, which I think distinguishes us from other cultural events that take place in the other cities. As a travel destination, Jaisalmer offers everything a visitor might want, including forts and havelis, heritage, art, culture, architecture, museums, spiritual travel, astronomical travel, exciting adventures, and the greatest hospitality with luxury. Jaisalmer is the third largest district in the country and the largest district in Rajasthan that has dunes, the Rann, a lake, and a national park all present in one place. We always strive to provide an experience that can be cherished for a lifetime, and we have been successful in doing so.”

About the Jaisalmer Desert Festival:

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival takes place every year in the Hindu month of Magh (February) and is set in the backdrop of the beautiful dunes of the Thar Desert. The extravagantly beautiful festival is celebrated for three days with enthusiasm and fervor and is infused with high notes of the abundant Rajasthani culture and tradition. The event sees heavy attendance from tourists over the globe, who come to experience the regality of a culture so rich and abundant. The event is an exquisite and colorful mix of art, music, and cultural grandeur from one of India’s most possessed jewels- Jaisalmer.



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