February 2020, still blissfully unaware of the global pandemic already raging, two young women escape Delhi to attend the Sacred Spirit Festival in Jodhpur.
After a night on the train, Shruti and I reached Jodhpur, a city bordering the Thar Desert. February is ideal for visiting Rajasthan: Jodhpur is only blue skies and spring temperatures. Ideal for lazing outside from morning to night.
We chose a modest hostel right in the center of the old town. I highly recommend this modus operandi : our room was adequate and the view of the fort from the breakfast terrace was fantastic. We were then able to spend money where it mattered to us. We opted for a massage and a drink in the fabulous gardens of the Raas hotel.
This is my second visit to Jodhpur and I find the city charming. The center is chaotic and is practically accessible only by rickshaws. Take advantage of the small streets, the bazaar, the view of the Baoli (stepwell) from the Stepwell Café.
Sacred Spirit Festival in Jodhpur- A spiritual musical event
Originally a Sufi music festival (Note : Sufism is an esoteric movement stemming from Islam) the festival has grown over the years. It is now several days of spiritual concerts by artists from all over the world. I heard Korean musicians but also Iraqi singers and saw a whirling dervish. It was fantastic of richness and diversity.
The concerts take place in remarkable places and landmarks in the city which makes the experience even more magical: the gardens, the cenotaph of Jaswant Thada at sunset and the Mehrengarh fort at nightfall. Your festival ticket gives you privileged access to these magical places and the surroundings only add to the depth of the music, even for me who could not understand the words sung in urdu.