Join the Rajasthan Musical Expedition (12 days from £1650 pp)
Follow in the footsteps of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones on a musicial pilgrimage to India.
Songlines Music Travel has created a unique itinerary to northern India (departs 2 October 2014), to discover some of the country’s leading musicians at workshops and seminars, and culminating in the famous Jodhpur RIFF, the Rajasthan International Folk festival, of which Sir Mick Jagger is a patron.
The festival will take place in the spectacular surroundings of the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.
Travelling by road and rail, the trip provides the chance to enjoy spectacular landscapes, history and architecture along the way and, throughout, the group will be accompanied by musician and anthropologist Georgie Pope and Gopal Singh.
From Delhi, the first destination – reached by rail – is Bikaner, with highlights including a tour of the markets and havelis (traditional houses), with Gopal Singh, a local who has fought hard to help protect the city’s unique heritage, and a visit to the studio of the extraordinary miniature painter Mahaveer Goswami, whose work is influenced by the Japanese miniaturists.
The next stop is Pokhran, to the west of Bikaner, to spend time at the home of renowned singer and percussionist Khasem Khan and his extended family of Langa musicians, who perform special songs at the births, deaths and weddings of their patrons.
Heading further west into the desert towards the golden city of Jaisalmer, the group will then meet the famous sarengi player Lakha Khan and visit the lake at Phalodi which is renowned for its colony of thousands of cranes.
Following a visit to the stunning sandstone edifice of Jaisalmer Fort, there will be a meeting with the Manganiyars – the musicians patronised by kings and now famous throughout the world.
On day seven of the itinerary the pilgrimage is complete with arrival at Mehrangarh Fort to witness India’s most spectacular music festival - the Rajasthan International Folk Festival – which commences with a concert in Jodhpur City’s main square.
During the four days spent enjoying the festival, there will be plenty of time to explore the city and to quiz guide Georgie Pope, who worked at the festival for three years.
A stunning dawn performance marks the end of the festivities before transferring to Jodhpur airport to start the journey home.
* Songlines Music Travel is a joint venture between Songlines magazine, the leading World Music publication and The Tailor-Made Groups Company, one of the most experienced specialised operators in the business.
The expert tour leaders on each trip are handpicked by Songlines Music Travel.