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London, SW8 5PZ
United Kingdom

+44 7940 506551

Kashfi Halford is a film maker, camerawoman, photographer and Drone/UAV pilot. Clients include the BBC, Al Jazeera, The Guardian and the Times.


A film maker and photographers adventures around the globe...

The desert festival in Jaisalmer

Kashfi Halford

The desert festival is held annually in the beautiful golden city of Jaisalmer on the edge of the great Thar desert in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is a 3 day cultural festival extravaganza, exhibiting the best of this remote desert city.

The festival commences with a huge ceremonial street parade through the city, known locally as Shobha Yatra, women in beautiful colourful clothes, Rajputs and other clans atop fancy decorated camels, dress in traditional attire, dancing women, with whirling dresses, men on stilts, it's a spectacle to behold.

Men carrying swords atop camels from different clans arrive at the Shahid Poonam Singh stadium, which is one of the main venues of the festival.

At the stadium several contests get under way, one of them for 'Mr Desert' where men are judged on their traditional attire, their turbans and most importantly their mustache!

A desert festival wouldn't be complete without a game of camel polo... apparently the Jaisalmer breed of camel is known for it's speed and agility. The polo club and the border security force compete in a tough match. Many of the camels look exhausted after the game, with some literally collapsing to the floor and refusing to get up.

The annual camel race is a big event...

The sun goes down on the final day, and the local music begins, with musicians singing of romance and tragedy of years gone by.

The festival comes to an end on the third day when it coincides with the full moon, known as Poornima in Sanskrit. Families relax in the dunes, enjoying camel rides and chatter.