By: Mark Dummett, Journalist
Children: Freddie, 6 and Emma, 4
Family Adventure: Taking his family to the Jodhpur RIFF (Rajasthan International Folk Festival) in the Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
The Rajasthan International Folk Festival takes place every year over a long weekend in November. We went in 2012. Most of the musicians were from across Rajasthan, but some came from further afield, and collaborations between local and foreign artists were among the highlights. We saw an Australian didgeridoo player jam with a local group. It could have been awful, but was in fact a lot of fun.
We were a multi-generational group – the youngest was four, the oldest seventy-four, and we all enjoyed it. I think this is great occasion to experience some fascinating – and entertaining – music.
That said, being a fan of folk music is not essential. The star of the festival really is the location – the Mehrangarh fort, which rises above the city on a huge rock. Even without the festival, this is one of the most atmospheric and interesting places to visit in India.
During the festival, the fort remains open for tourists during the day, and musicians play in various courtyards and gardens. Nothing was specifically designed for children, but there was lots to keep them occupied and interested. At night, a series of more formal concerts are held, and you need tickets for most them. Fortunately we had a babysitter, so could enjoy the music, and the bar, in peace.
The best part:
The free concert held on the first night in the old market square below the fort. The atmosphere was wonderfully friendly and fun.
Three things you should definitely do:
1. Dawn and dusk concerts on a terrace overlooking the city
2. The audio-guide tour of the fort is surprisingly well done. We made the mistake of only getting one headset and the children fought over it for the rest of the day.
3. Not one for the kids but the adults (including the 74-year old) all enjoyed the Flying Fox zip wire.