Activities in Jaisalmer
you enjoy the slow rhythmic pace of the camel, the
camel safari of Jaisalmer is an absolute
must. Most camel safaris are organized in the winter,
when the weather is cooler, since safaris during the
summer months are simply impossible. If at all you
decide to take up a safari during the summers, make
sure it’s a night one, and enjoy the unique
experience of roaming under the stars at night. Most
safaris are organized on routine tracks, and vary
from one to three days. En route, the tourist gets
to stop at temples, shrines and villages to get the
real feel of Rajasthan . For those who
are less adventurous , there
are short camel rides in and around Jaisalmer,
which offer a classic view of the havelis
Events in Jaisalmer
Once a year
during the month of February, the sands around Jaisalmer
begin to breathe with the radiant colors, music and
laughter of the Desert Festival. Dressed in brilliantly
hued costumes, the people of the desert dance and
sing haunting ballads of valor, romance and tragedy.
The fair has snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats
and folk performers. Camels, of course, play a stellar
role in this festival, where the rich and colorful
folk culture of Rajasthan is on show. The festival
reaches its finale with an enchanting sound and light
show amidst the sand dunes on a
moonlit night . The Jaisalmer
fort provides an
ethereal backdrop to this annual desert
Shopping in Jaisalmer
While you traipse
along the colorful markets of Jaisalmer, you will pick up
a whole lot of souvenirs, from the intricate stonework of
Jaisalmer, to the skillfully carved wooden boxes that reproduce
the intricacies of the stone carvers in wood. Tie-and-dye
fabrics, mirror-work, unique embroidery patterns, typical
Rajasthani silver jewellery, brilliantly hued traditional
rugs, hand-woven blankets and shawls with typical Rajasthani
weave are also good keepsakes to look out for. The items
made out of camel leather are a must-have.
Jaisalmer is famous for its embroidery, Rajasthani mirror
work, rugs, blankets, and the finely cut antiques. Just
outside the fort is Manak Chowk, the marketplace of Jaisalmer.
The market is famous for bargaining of local products. Jaisalmer
is also a good place for buying exquisitely embroidered
garments with mirror work in a brilliant mosaic of colours,
traditional rugs, blankets and shawls, silver jewellery,
stonework, carpets made from camel hair, and colourful silk
and cotton cloth.
Cuisine in Jaisalmer
When you travel to Rajasthan, be sure not
to miss out the opportunity to try out the palatable Rajathani
cuisine. This ‘land of kings’ is a treasure
house of culinary delight, both within the palaces and outside.
In the early days, preparation of food in the royal kitchens
of Rajasthan was a very serious matter ad was raised to
an art form.
In Jaisalmer, cooks use minimum amount
of water and prefer instead, to use more milk, buttermilk
and clarified butter. Dried lentils, beans from indigenous
plants like Sangri and Ker, also savour the taste of various
chutneys made from local spices as turmeric, coriander,
mint and garlic. In addition, besides these spicy flavours,
also try out the distinguished popular specialty, sweet
Ghota and Boondi laddoos.
Festivals in Jaisalmer
city of Jaisalmer puts on a festive look a few days
before the spring full moon, when musicians, dancers
and performers from all over Rajasthan start moving
in a colourful camel caravan towards the golden city.
The otherwise bleak landscape is splashed with vibrant
colours marking the opening of the Desert Festival.
The 12th-century fort of Jaisalmer, built in yellow
sandstone, provides a fairytale background. Over the
years, the desert dwellers in their solitude have
woven a fascinating tapestry with threads of music
and rhythm. The Desert Festival is a commemoration
of their heritage . It is a treat of a
lifetime to see the art forms against a
landscape that has nurtured them for hundreds of years.
With the arrival of the artists a delightful series of programmes
begins in and around Jaisalmer. Through the winding lanes
of the fortified town to the sand dunes, and even the rivers
of abandoned villages, the music casts a magical spell.
Drifting at sunrise, it reaches its zenith under the umbrella
of the star-studded sky. Though it is mainly a festival
of performing arts, there are several other events that
give a glimpse of the desert culture.
Camels are an integral part of Rajasthani life. The camel
fair confirms this fact. Special efforts go into dressing
the animal for entering the spectacular competition of the
best-dressed camel. Interestingly, there is a folk song
to describe the making of the camel’s necklace—the
. Camel owners vie with each other for winning the
camel races. To add some more fun and colour, the camel
show has two unique events—the camel polo and the
Other interesting competitions that happen are the moustache
and turban tying competitions, which not only demonstrate
the glorious tradition but also inspire its preservation.
Keeping the moustache twisted upwards meant keeping the
pride intact while drooping moustaches conveyed complete
surrender. Tying a turban is not only an intriguing tradition
but an art as well. Varying styles of tying the turban and
the colours describe the caste, region, and also the occasion.
Throughout the day, the visitors can come face to face with
the desert craftsmen. Delicately embroidered skirts, hand-woven
shawls, rugs, carvings on wood and stone, camel decorations,
embroidered leather bags, ethnic silver jewellery and terracotta
are brought in from all over the desert.
Although the basic design of the festival remains the same,
each year there are a few new events. Some of the most spectacular
and memorable shows of past festivals have been the dream-like
pageant, “Blood, Blade and Romance” on the sand
dunes, recreating the legendary past; the camel tattoo of
the Border Security Force, which has a highly trained camel
corps to guard the western border; and the pulsating folk
ensemble of a hundred musicians.
Getting There & Away to Jaisalmer
is well connected by the flights to and from New Delhi,
Jodhpur and Jaipur. The Jaisalmer Airport is in the
cantonment area, which is 5 km away from the city
center and is managed by the Indian Air Force. It
is operational only from September to March, the main
There are daily
trains to Jaisalmer from Jodhpur, which is well linked
to all the major cities by the network of trains such
as Agra, Jaipur, New Delhi, Mumbai and many more.
The Jaisalmer Railway Station is just a 10-minute
drive from Gadi Sagar Pol.
of roads and luxury coaches connect Jaisalmer to all
the major cities of Rajasthan such as Bikaner, Jaipur
and Jodhpur. The main Bus Stand is situated near the
Railway Station, but all the major buses are available
from a Bus Depot situated at the city centre.
Getting Around in Jaisalmer
For local transport, unmetered jeeps and auto-rickshaws
are available near the railway station. One can also hire
a bike for the day from Gopa Chowk
. However, being
the small city it is, Jaisalmer is best explored on foot.