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



Mehrangarh Fort

The beautiful Mehrangarh Fort, the setting for the RIFF festival


Why go?

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.


Jodhpur RIFF child

We were a multi-generational group – the youngest was four, the oldest seventy-four


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.


Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

The Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur


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.


Jodhpur RIFF drums

Drummers at the RIFF

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.


Jodhpur RIFF dusk

Concerts from dawn to dusk


The Flying Fox behind the Mehrangarh Fort

The Flying Fox behind the Mehrangarh Fort


If you’re interested in experiencing the RIFF like Mark and his family, please get in touch with us or see our recommended Family Holidays in India

Family Holiday Collection: India

Family Holiday Collection: India