Go Now: The Rajasthan International Folk Festival in Jodhpur

Stirring musical performances at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort.  
Jodhpur RIFF
Set in and around Mehrangarh Fort, performances at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival often have scenic views of Jodhpur city. Photo: Jodhpur RIFF/OIJO

Jodhpur’s handsome Mehrangarh Fort comes to life with soulful music at the annual Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF). The five-day music fest takes place at various venues within the sandstone fortress: in the gardens, by the shimmering water tanks, on stages with sweeping views of the blue city. This year’s edition takes place between October 13 and 17, 2016 and will be attended by over 250 Rajasthani musicians, and some of the world’s finest folk artists.

The decade-old festival—championed by the Jodhpur’s erstwhile Maharaja Gaj Singh II and The Rolling Stones’s frontman Mick Jagger—puts the spotlight on traditional and modern Indian folk music. The line-up includes performances by sarangi player Lakha Khan Manganiyar, Scottish saxophonist Brian Molley and his jazz quartet, and Greek lyra players Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma. Performances start at dawn, as the sun’s rays light up the fort and last well into the night, when its walls gleam in the moonlight.

The music is rousing, but the festival is also a great time to explore the breathtaking Mehrangarh Fort. Steeped in myth and history, the fortification was built in the 15th century, and has one of the country’s finest museums. Examine its collection of textiles, armaments, and Mughal miniature paintings, for an intimate look at the lives of Rajasthan’s infamous royals.

The Guide

Where Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

When Oct 13-17, 2016

Passes Early bird festival pass for ₹10,000; ₹4,000 for a day pass; free entry for children under 12. Buy them here.

Schedule Visit www.jodhpurriff.org.

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    Fabiola Monteiro is Features Writer on National Geographic Traveller India's web team. She loves beaches, blue skies, and baking, and is most centred while trying a new cake recipe. She tweets as @thefabmonteiro.

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