October breeze. Full moon nights. And the songs of the desert! These words may portray a festive mood but the actual experience is truly beyond words.
Jodhpur RIFF (Rajasthan International Folk Festival) has been our musical retreat for the last two years. This is really a soulful music festival away from run of the mill electronica, rock-metal clones, or mainstream tunes. The curator tastefully brings the best of folk musicians from across the world and into a unique fusion with the traditional artists of Rajastjani folk, the Langas and the Manganiyars. You can imagine a beautiful confluence of west and the east , the Sarangis and the Guitars, Rabab and Jazz, Morchang and Violins! Different artists, languages, instruments and music genres meet and jam on the main stage.
The Maharaja of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh, also the patron of the festival opens the majestic Mehrangar Fort, all day and night for the music lovers during this 5 festival days. Experiencing the gorgeous fort at night and overlooking a twinkling city is an additional high! The venue for different performances keep changing from inside the fort to the architectural landmarks around. Every moment, the reverberating voices of the Langas against the tall walls of the fort, lit by a full moon, truly becomes a goose bum experience. As the music resounds, you find yourself, humming, foot tapping, totally soaked in! And if you are lucky you may get to share a moment with Mick Jagger, the International Patron of this wonderful extravaganza.
But the most amazing part of this festival is the performance at dawn! At midnight we move to Jaswant Thada, a memorial built by Maharaja Sardar Singh, with beautiful and intricately designed cenotaphs and tombs, in memory of the departed. The view of the fort from this vantage point is absolutely ethereal. We wait there until the first rays of the sun shines upon the fort walls. It is a very unique and mesmerising experience where the sounds of Sarangis welcome the rising sun, slowly waking up the sleepy blue city. What you feel at that moment is something you can never forget and is something that will make you come back again and again to Jodhpur RIFF!
[box type=”success” width=”100%” ]Getting there: Jodhpur has a cute little airport, so if you want to fly in, it’s possible. A road trip would be awesome as well. Weather: The Jodhpur Riff typically takes place end of October. The days are warm and the nights pleasant. Where to stay: The old Jodhpur city has plenty of heritage stay options in all price ranges, in case you want to stay close to the Mehrangarh Fort. You could look for Juna Mahal, Cozy Guest House or Pal Haveli. Just search them out.[/box]
14 thoughts on “Jodhpur RIFF: The Songs Of The Desert”
Wow… beautiful pics… the fort looks stunning at night…. I love the drive to jodhpur. Any day.
Thanks Shalini! The music is awqesome too!
Thanks Arun! So is the music.
wonderful post.. spectacular pics
Lovely pics! Have been to Jodhpur many times but it somehow always lures me back.. and this time the reason is the pics here ..Just amazing … 🙂
And you will love the music too!
I have been staying some three hundred kilometres away from Jodhpur since last two years but missed on RIFF both times and now I am moving to a new place again. Thanks for sharing…at least I could enjoy RIFF through your post
You should really try to make it Shoma. It’s totally worth it.
The whole time I was reading the post I was lost in the sands of time with a distant music of Kesariya Balam humming in my mind! Must have been a beautiful experience it seems 😀
How lovely… though the pictures were in dark light, it was mesmoring…having a music fest at night in the fort and the other memorial… I can see how much you enjoyed it… and this is nice too, to know Indians too atleast somewhere keep their tradition and architecture marvels alive… at a time when people talk about bad organization by incharged commetee, Govt. and safety issues, this is just nice to hear…. I enjoyed the veiw of Jodhpur city from the fort, also the other pics… hope we all get a chance to experience this Indian stuff(: … your just great with your writing, information and photography…bang on!!
I have heard so much about his festival!! I wish I could also visit nevertheless your post is like a virtual feel of the festival 🙂