The fort city of Jodhpur is only second to Jaipur when it comes to unmissable destinations in the sandy state of Rajasthan. From flamboyant karigari of artisans to the towering Mehrangarh Fort, there is much to see here, especially in the autumn months that make the weather delightful.
It is at this very place that the cultural and musical legacy of Rajasthan comes together with Jodhpur RIFF ((Rajasthani International Folk Festival). Jodhpur RIFF is a not-for-profit roots music festival endorsed by UNESCO as a "Peoples" Platform for Creativity and Sustainable Development&rdquo. With former royal Gaj Singh as its patron, Jodhpur RIFF features a series of spectacular concerts and events based in and around Mehrangarh Fort, where 250 performers from all over the world enthral visitors over a period of five days.
This year, the festival will take place between 6 and 10 October, with concerts and cultural performances marking the event which is being held after a gap of two years.
Mehrangarh Fort The Stunning Venue For Jodhpur RIFF
Touching the skyline of Jodhpur is the Mehrangarh Fort. Called the &lsquocitadel of the sun&rsquo this towering structure, perched on a perpendicular cliff, contains some of the finest palaces as well as priceless relics that are preserved in its museum. Mehrangarh Fort plays the venue for Jodhpur RIFF other venues for the events include Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, Veer Durga Das Memorial Park and Jaswant Thada parking lot.
This Year&rsquos Lineup
Much like the previous editions, this year, too, will witness an interesting line-up of artistes. These include folk singer Sumitra Devi, Padma Shri Anwar Khan Baiya, Padma Shri Lakha Khan, an exponent of the sindhi sarangi and khartal and dholak masters from the Langa and Manganiyar communities. Every year, the Meghwals of Marwar herald in the first dawn at Jodhpur RIFF.
International artists at Jodhpur RIFF include jazz and contemporary band Arifa Emlyn will present soulful spellbinding sega grooves and contagious, exuberant moves, all the way from Mauritius and artist Arifa will lend her exuberant presence on stage with some Balkan and middle eastern tunes and beats Other names include Israeli singer-songwriter Riff Cohen and Brazilian DJ Maga Bo.
A Year Of Firsts
Jodhpur RIFF will present its first-ever focus on the unique Khasi music traditions from Meghalaya. Facilitated by musician and associate professor Dr Mebanlamphang Lyngdoh from the Martin Luther King University in Shillong the session will explore the musical traditions and instruments of the Khasi people, indigenous to the hills of the northeast.
Jodhpur RIFF will also play host to a solo concert by Yurdal Tokcan, often cited as the finest oud player in the world today. This year will also see an Indie Roots Afternoon, organised to let young, independent singers and songwriters share their work with Jodhpur RIFF audiences and artists alike. It will feature singers Bawari Basanti and Harpreet.