Jaisalmer – Desert Festival 2012

Posted: February 8, 2012 in 2011 Winter - India, India

Whist in Jaisalmer I happened across their annual desert festival, a mixture of camel racing, moustache competitions, turban spinning, Rajasthani singing, music and dancing… all out the the Sam sand dunes. It was quite funny really as I had no idea it was on while others had apparently flown across the world specifically to see it!

http://www.jaisalmer.org.uk/desert-festival.html

http://www.jaisalmerdesertfestival.com/Jaisalmer-desert-festival.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gOrP2Lw03g

Jaisalmer is a giant sandcastle with a town attached, an emblem of honour in a land of rough and tumble

Travel about as far north west as you can go, before you get to the Pakistan border and the end of the line – so to speak on the train – you arrive at Jaisalmer, the town in the desert.

The medieval fort (built in 1156 A.D.) seems to grow up into the horizon out of the sand itself surrounded by 99 massive bastions enforced foundations! Within the walls a maze of narrow streets, wandering cows, street vendors selling pashminas and rugs in every colour, leather bags and shoes and sand stone havelis (houses) in various states of disrepair and construction…

First stop Salim Singh-ki-Haveli, the most famous house outside the fort, once inhabited by Salim Singh, the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital of a Royal state. Now 300 years old, despite rather tatty interiors and deterioration of sections of stone work, it still strikes a impressive pose (I think the expression used is curb appeal) on the main thoroughfare to the Fort’s main entrance.

Inside the fort an impressive Jain temples dating from the 12th to the 16th centuries.

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