Mesmerised by the Mehrangarh Fort, Rudyard Kipling in 1899 wrote : “A palace that might have been built by titans and coloured by the morning sun.” The Mehrangarh Fort is truly an epitome of grandeur and resplendence. Rao Jodha, of Rathore dynasty started the construction of this fort in 1459 and most of the other developments that ensued were done during the reign of Jaswant Singh in 1638 -1678. Since then it defines the skyline of Jodhpur, perched aloft a rocky lone hill, statuesque and impregnable.
With a stellar architectural design, Mehrangarh is an awe-inspiring and splendid fort enclosed by high ramparts. Since the materials required to build it were chiselled from the same rock on which the fort stands, the structure merges with its base, a cliff called Bhakur-cheeria which means the ‘Mountain of Birds’.The ownership still lies with the descendants of the erstwhile royals who efficiently manage the property.
From these intimidating battlements, the vistas of the city far below are breathtaking.Tiny houses painted in blue dot Jodhpur, justifying it the sobriquet, “The Blue City”. Far away, the enchanting Umaid Bhavan Palace overlooks the desert capital.The momentous history, incredible artistic works, cultural heritage and imposing architecture make Mehrangarh a landmark in Jodhpur that beckons visitors from India and abroad. It houses priceless and exotic heirlooms of the bygone era. Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons, the fort is most impressive.
The ideal time to visit this royal grandeur is during the winters when the sun rays are less harsh and the cool winds blow through the dessert. From October to March, Jodhpur reverberates with the sound of folk music and songs. The fort hosts amazing music festivals which must not be missed. These cultural extravaganzas are popular and on the list of every music aficionado and art lover.
RAJASTHAN INTERNATIONAL FOLK FESTIVAL (26-30th OCTOBER, 2023)
Rajasthan International Folk Festival or Jodhpur RIFF as it is popularly known, is a not-for-profit partnership project including two of India’s principal heritage trusts – Mehrangarh Museum Trust and Jaipur Virasat Foundation. The superlative festival has encouraged many local artistes thereby gaining an endorsement from UNESCO as a “Peoples” Platform for Creativity and Sustainable Development.” The Jodhpur RIFF enjoys the international patronage of Sir Mick Jagger, the founder member of the Rolling Stones and the chief patronage of the 36th custodian of Marwar, HH Maharaja Gaj Singh II.
Jodhpur RIFF places the Rajasthani folk musicians at its heart, ensuring their pride, dignity, and a sense of belonging. Their ability to showcase authenticity, as recognized by their peers and elders, is of utmost significance. Simultaneously, these musicians are aware of the artistic opportunities that await them, enabling them to create and collaborate with exceptional artists hailing from Rajasthan and beyond. Jodhpur RIFF serves as a platform that fulfills both these aspects for them, illustrating the importance of festivals like it.
The dates vary every year, coinciding with “Sharad Purnima” – the brightest full moon night in north India. It is during this time that Jodhpur RIFF showcases a number of mesmerising concerts and events, both in the Mehrangarh Fort and its vicinity. For five days, the fort reverberates with the mellifluous music and witnesses rustic dance forms from around the globe. About 250 musicians and artists come together from all over to revel in festivity and fervour. This year the Rajasthan International Folk Festival will take place from the26-30th October.
For more details visit their website – www.jodhpurriff.org
WORLD SACRED SPIRIT FESTIVAL (10-11 FEBRUARY 2024 )
Lose your sense of time and space, and embark on an extraordinary historical and sacred musical journey at the World Sacred Spirit Festival in Mehrangarh. Held every year in February and organized by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, a cultural institution that helms international exchange programs, the festival mesmerizes music lovers with an impressive line-up of artists in an exquisite royal setting.
The Sacred Spirit Festival unites global talent to celebrate the profound spiritual essence of music, transcending barriers of communities, cultures, and faiths. This festival aims to emphasize the transformative power of soul-stirring melodies that inspire and awaken the divine within us. Within the awe-inspiring Mehrangarh Fort, the festival creates a resounding ambiance filled with euphoria, joy, and ecstatic musical strains.
Illustrious singers like Rabbi Shergil, Kavita Seth, Kailash Kher, Sabri brothers, Ustad Shujat Khan, Rock Veda Band, Mati Bani, Char Yaar, and Thagni group have enthralled audiences throughout the years. This extraordinary festival has also been graced by renowned artists from Egypt, Turkey, France, Paris, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Africa, China, and more, who have blended their unique styles with the mesmerizing Rajasthani folk musicians, creating an unforgettable experience for all.The 15th edition of the World Sacred Spirit Festival will take place in February 2024.
For more details visit their website – www.worldsacredspiritfestival.org