All About The Desert Festival - Maru Mahotsav, In Jaisalmer

The second month of the year is the time to take the four-day trip to Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan, to experience its annual desert festival - Maru Mahotsav
Celebratory dance at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. Credit / The Maberhood
Celebratory dance at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. Credit / The Maberhood

February is busy in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, as the city prepares to welcome tourists from across India and the world for its Jaisalmer Desert Festival, also known as Maru Mahotsav. The sands of the Thar shine with the colours of the festival, and echo with the sounds of its music.&nbspThe festival, based on historical, modern and fantasy themes, will formally start from Pokhran on 2nd February, while the official inauguration will take place on 3rd February 2023 in Jaisalmer. It is being hosted by Rajasthan Tourism Department in collaboration with Jaisalmer District Administration. As per the District Collector and District Magistrate of Jaisalmer Smt. Tina Dabi, the themes of the festival have been emphasised on for the benefit of local and foreign tourists. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Tina Dabi (@dabi_tina)

Spoilt For Choice

In&nbspMaru Mahotsav, you will rub shoulders with balladeers, puppeteers, snake charmers, acrobats, and folk dance and music performers as they throng the fete to take to the stage. The bedecked camels, which participate in processions, parades, the much-awaited camel races, and the camel polo match, always steal the attention at the Desert Festival. Overlooking all the spirited activities in the city is the grand Jaisalmer fort, which has witnessed many seasons of the multitude of festivals celebrated in Jaisalmer.

Reeling In The Audience

As far as the events calendar goes, the Celebrity Nights will be the main attraction offered in this festival. You can attend live concerts by music composer-duo Salim-Suleman, then there is also Raghu Dixit, Atrangi, Ankit Tiwari, Shanmukha, Priya, and finally, Salman, of Indian Idol fame.

Attendees can also take advantage of adventure tourism in the form of the Jeep and Camel Safari, which is one of the festival's main features. You will also not want to miss the turban-tying, and the longest moustache competitions. Fun fact In Rajasthan, twisting the moustache upwards signifies victory, and unrolling it downwards points to surrender. These two events, along with folk dance performances, such as the Gair, and the fire dance, have the highest audience involvement.

All In

An occasion that depends on the foreign tourists' direct involvement is tug-of-war. This Indians versus foreign-nationals display match draws loud and long applauses from the crowds, and encouragements are bellowed to each team. The festival's finale is held on the sand dunes of Sam, where under the moonlight and around the warmth of a bonfire, folk artists give vocal, and instrumental music recitals and performances of the Kal Belia and the Ghoomar dances. 

Shoppers, Don't Stop

You cannot depart from Jaisalmer without the mandatory hoard of shopping. Head to Bhatia Bazaar, Pansari Bazaar, Manak Chowk, and Sadar Bazaar. Here you will find a range of textiles, prints, patterns, colours, crafted into saris, dresses, local handicrafts, personal knick-knacks, and home d&eacutecor accessories. Jaisalmer has some excellent leather, and you must pick up some bags, footwear in the regional styles, and of course, the vividly colourful string puppets. A hub of precious and semi-precious stones, the city has some exquisite jewellery created by seasoned goldsmiths, for your choice. Or, you can bring home a souvenir, or two, made from the yellow sandstone of the region. 

The Information

When Mid-February.

Getting There  

By air&nbspJaisalmer has an airport serviced by regular flights, on select days, from all the major Indian cities 

By rail Jaisalmer is connected with Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, and New Delhi through the broad gauge and meter gauge railway tracks.

By road&nbspRajasthan Roadways and private buses, taxis, and rent-a-car services, etc., ply regularly from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur, Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Udaipur, Mount Abu, Barmer, Ahmedabad, and New Delhi.

For more information, check the website. 

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller