The Sherp looks at all the various activities that can be a part of itinerary if you were to attend a music festival in Rajasthan.
Rajasthan does not only make for a grand festival destination, but it also proves to be the ultimate travel experience. With its diverse geographical offerings, its palatially royal history and its vibrant culture, attending a music festival in Rajasthan reaps several benefits. First, you get to experience the best kind of music in an expanse that’s distinctly different than every other clichéd festival arena. And second, you get to experience quintessential Rajasthani culture, which happens to be a pure touristic delight.
Throughout the Indian festival calendar, four prominent festivals take place in Rajasthan. It begins with Jodhpur Riff lighting the torch at Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, followed by the cultural melange at the Pushkar International Balloon Festival; in comes the independent musical gathering of Music in the Hills at Mandawa, which is later succeeded by the avant-garde roundup at Magnetic Fields at Alsisar. The season then bears completion with the literary gathering at Jaipur Literature Festival and the desert roundup at Ragasthan.
Each of these festivals bear exposure to diverse creative platforms, styles and artists. And each of these festivals are tenaciously located in some of the richest belvederes of Rajasthan that offer other intrinsic attractions. We take a brief look at all the activities that can keep you busy when in attendance at any of these festivals.
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Overlooking the picturesque city of Jodhpur is the Mehrangarh Fort, that is located on a cliff in grandesque magnificence. Of the Palace, Rudyard Kipling once said, “A palace that may have been built by titans and coloured by the morning sun.”. The fort is a tall testament to ornate Indo-Aryan architectural style and houses several historical legacies. The colossal structure proves to be quite the backdrop for Jodhpur Riff, the festival that deservedly brings the best of folk music from around the world.
Flying Fox at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
If you find yourself at Mehrangarh Fort in anticipation of the folk geniuses chosen from India and elsewhere, steal some time to play flying fox with the fort serving as the cushion. The Observer rated it as “History with an adrenaline sweetener”. It’s a zipline adventure sport between forts as you gaze at the historically rich platter thar Jodhpur has to offer.
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, Jodhpur
The Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park is an expanse of green and brown that lies at the very foot of Mehrangarh Fort, serving as a green ecological colony of an otherwise rocky terrain. While indulging in musical abyss at Jodhpur Riff, you will be largely forgiven for taking a stroll in the rock park. But while there, do seek to understand the intelligent eco-tourism employed by the overlooking bodies, in an erstwhile dry state. Check out more on the fort here.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
For raconteurs of luxuriously royal India, there isn’t anything that gets better than the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. Known for its intrinsically detailed design and the luxurious hospitality, the Umaid Bhawan Palace would be the proper recourse for anyone making it to Jodhpur Riff, as you relive the experience that was exclusive to the Maharajah of Jodhpur.
Temples at Pushkar, Pushkar
When in Rajasthan for the Pushkar International Balloon Festival, you must make time for the several temples that line the cultural expanse of beautiful Pushkar. Religious or not, these temples are a semblance of the great Indian architecture mingles with India’s spiritual sentiment, as true devotion, vibrancy and tradition dominate these temple grounds. From the hilltop view of the entire city of Pushkar at the Gayatri temple to the elaborately constructed Brahma temple, each bear a message of fortitude to the India of old.
Albert Hall, Jaipur
The Jaipur Literature Festival is easily one of the most coveted intellectual and literary events in the country; proving to be a meeting point for young, upcoming and established writers and readers from around the world. While in the capital city of Rajasthan, allow yourself to be amazed by the grandiosity of the antiquated wisdom of Jaipur. And while at it, begin an excursion with Albert Hall. The Albert Hall Museum is home to some of India’s most desiderated artefacts and historical items, along with knowledge of local artisan art and craft.
City Palace, Jaipur
The City Palace in Jaipur is an unmistakable structure, that has gone on to represent Rajasthan’s grandeur in several pictorial elements. The palace that houses the Chandra Mahal and the Mubarak Mahal, aside several other buildings, is an inescapable testament of Rajasthan’s royal lineage and patronage.
Desert Safari at Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer
Ragasthan, a festival of independent music; and an active curation of several genres across the spectrum, is a distinctive experience that takes one to the sand dunes of Jaisalmer, to experience the quintessential desert experience. While there, the Desert Safari organised by the Sam Sand Dunes is an absolute must. From camel safaris to Rajasthani folk music, the safari is an artistic induction into Rajasthan’s cultural space.
Silk Route Art Gallery, Jaisalmer
When on a trip to Rajasthan, shopping local crafts and artistic relics must be a part of your itinerary. If yes, then you must make your way to the Silk Route Art Gallery which houses some of the most exclusively hand-made items, that are physical manifestation of Rajasthan’s local skills of art. And by purchasing the choicest items here, you will not only be in possession of the most authentic kind of work, but will also have done your bit in promoting colloquial craftsmanship.
Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur
The Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest national parks located in India, situated in the Sawai Madhopur district, and is a deserving detour for any of your festival excursions in any part of Rajasthan. The early morning safari at the National Park is enough to relinquish any cravings of the wildlife, especially with the frequent spotting of the great Indian tiger, majestically within reach, thereby amplifying the thrill of the experience.