Trip to Jodhpur for the Rajasthan International Folk Festival 2018

Tripoto
27th Oct 2018
Day 1

Drove from Jaipur to Jodhpur for the Rajasthan International Folk Festival. This happens annually at the Mehrangarh fort and is a showcase of Rajasthani folk music artists along with International art and music collaborations. Its an eclectic display of global fusion music from around the World...in a way that will envelope all your senses and transport you to an entirely different place for all those few days! We are a travel addicted family, and we have travelled looking for some of the most unique experiences the World over. Music holds an important place in our lives and we have discovered some of the most amazing music festivals and performances during our travels. This was the first time we were in Rajasthan during the RIFF and we did not want to miss a chance to explore it! Especially because we were with our toddler, our daughter Arianna who also loves music. We drove our own vehicle and stopped along the beautiful highway for some chai and continued the drive towards Jodhpur.

In the evening after we reached, we headed straight to the Jaswant Thada for a soulful performance by Manesha Agarwal. People from all over the World had gathered for this music festival and the energy was just amazing to witness.

After our first music session, we headed to the Mehrangarh Fort to witness the penultimate day of the RIFF - the folk fusion performances under a moonlit sky in the Fort complex. There were a variety of performances that enthralled the three of us as we sat spellbound under the stars listening to some of the finest folk fusion music from across the World. The evening ended with Club Mehran which was opened by a DJ and kept the crowd going with his energetic beats.

Photo of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Day 2

The RIFF is famous for its sunrise and sunset sessions at the Jaswant Thada where each morning and evening artistes regale audiences with their melodies. These sessions are acoustic and not amplified so the audience is more intimate and the sound produced is absolutely beautiful. We headed to the Chokelao Bagh lawn at the Mehrangarh Fort in the morning after this for a belly dancing bootcamp. This bootcamp was facilitated by the famous Kathak Belly dancer Adah Kyra and she conducted a two hour session with a bunch of women including myself where she gave us an initiation into the basics of belly dancing, posture improvement, the way to align our bodies to music while demonstrating those moves herself and making us repeat them. This was such a beautiful experience for me as I got to connect with a few lovely women at the camp and practised our moves together

Photo of Mehrangarh Fort, The Fort, Sodagaran Mohalla, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Mehrangarh Fort, The Fort, Sodagaran Mohalla, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Mehrangarh Fort, The Fort, Sodagaran Mohalla, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Mehrangarh Fort, The Fort, Sodagaran Mohalla, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Mehrangarh Fort, The Fort, Sodagaran Mohalla, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Mehrangarh Fort, The Fort, Sodagaran Mohalla, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by Deenaz Raisinghani

We spent the rest of the day exploring the majestic fort, its structures, courtyards, and also visited the museum for its exquisite display of artifacts from the royal age. Built by Rao Jodha in 1460, this fort stands tall atop the city of Jodhpur. One can spot the famous blue village and the trademark blue houses of Jodhpur from this fort. Since the RIFF festival was in full swing, there were a plethora of performances from artists all over Rajasthan wearing the most colourful costumes. The warrior dances where both men and women participated were a treat to the eyes. Post this long hike around the fort, we went to the Mehran Cafe for some delicious snacks and rest. This cafe is open to the public through the day and serves some lipsmacking food and drinks and is reasonably priced. Before the day started, we also did not forget to try the famous Jodhpur sweet (Mawa) and savoury (Namkeen) kachoris along with some street style chai. 

Photo of Trip to Jodhpur for the Rajasthan International Folk Festival 2018 by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Trip to Jodhpur for the Rajasthan International Folk Festival 2018 by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Trip to Jodhpur for the Rajasthan International Folk Festival 2018 by Deenaz Raisinghani

After a short rest, we headed back to the Mehrangarh fort for the finale of the RIFF in the evening. This was the most memorable night of the RIFF for me as we had the opportunity to explore some world class global folk fusion. From Spain to Portugal to Africa and then back to India, we were literally spoilt for choice with the music that was performed.  Some of the artists that performed at this fest were the Mangniyar troupe, Wouter Kellerman, Alif, Tanxugueiras, Gene Thummer and so many more. I do not think I have heard better music folk collaborations in India before this festival. 

To anyone who has an ear for good music, and appreciates the diversity of Rajasthan, this festival will leave you asking for more. It runs from the 23rd to 28th of October annually, so do not forget to attend this if you are visiting Rajasthan during this time. 

Photo of Trip to Jodhpur for the Rajasthan International Folk Festival 2018 by Deenaz Raisinghani
Photo of Trip to Jodhpur for the Rajasthan International Folk Festival 2018 by Deenaz Raisinghani
Be the first one to comment