DANCE, SOUND & LIGHT SHOWS IN RAJASTHAN
With its glorious and extensive history, it should come as no surprise that Rajasthan has a vibrant art and culture scene, one which truly does justice in capturing the way India celebrates life. Various dance forms, styles of music, songs and plays have evolved or survived since the age of the royal courts in ancient Rajasthan.
Here's a list of the many cultural shows you can treat yourself to in this dynamic and colourful land.
SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW (SON ET LUMIÈRE) AT AMBER FORT
A spectacle of great visual delight, the Amber Fort & Palace Complex in Jaipur, hosts a breathtaking son-et-lumière. The Amber fort has been home to 28 kings of the Kachwaha dynasty until their capital was moved to Jaipur.
The sound and light show at Amber Fort is a glorious attempt in reviving the pride, history and traditions of Amber. The show highlights the local legends, folklore, and celebrates the maestros of folk music, who, to this day, continue to give Rajasthan its unique identity. The show has been set in a spectacular location, with a brilliant view of Amber Fort & Palace Complex in the front, the rising Jaigarh on the left, and magnificent hills behind it.
October to February -6:30 pm (English)/ 7:30 pm (Hindi)
March to April - 7:00 pm(English)/ 8:00 pm (Hindi)
May to September - 7:30 pm(English)/ 8:30 pm (Hindi)
*Please note: From 1st to 10th October there will only be an English show at 8.30 pm.
SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW (SON ET LUMIÈRE) AT KUMBHALGARH FORT
Elegantly nestled atop the craggy hills of Aravalli, the beautiful Kumbhalgarh fort plays host to one of Rajasthan's most brilliant light and sound shows. The evenings here are brought to life with this spectacle of lights and sounds, which narrate the secret history hidden behind the stone façade of this majestic fort.
The locals here claim its wall to be the second largest in the world, after the Great Wall of China. However, the only way to validate this statement is to make your way here, ideally around 6:45 PM, and see for yourself, while enjoying the beautiful spectacle.
RAJASTHAN INTERNATIONAL FOLK FESTIVAL (A.K.A JODHPUR RIFF)
A real delight for those who have a ear for folk music, the Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) held in Jodhpur sees more than 250 musicians and performing artists attend the event. These artists make their way here from all over India and the world to celebrate Rajasthan's rich musical heritage.
Treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind folk music festival that is an amalgamation of international and local folk music to produce a stellar production set against the backdrop of the majestic Mehrangarh Fort.
This annual festival was started in 2007 by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and the Jaipur Virasat Foundation, two of India's leading heritage trusts, collectively called the TRIFF Society. The society has taken up this initiative in a bid to promote the tradition folk music and art form and they accomplish this task with great aplomb by arranging an assortment of events like a jazz night, a Rajasthani night, gypsy dance performances, traditional dance forms and even early morning ragas.
What's more, this event is planned to coincide with Sharad Purnima, a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day in the lunar calendar.
MTV's Coke Studio is known for its brilliant live studio recorded performances by music legends. On 17th October 2015, Coke Studio, held at Jaipur in the backdrop of a magnificently illuminated Albert Hall enthralled people with a spectacular line-up of musical talents such as Amit Trivedi, Ram Sampath and Sona Mohapatra. It was attended by over 10,000 people.
RAJASTHAN FASHION WEEK
Known as the original fashion capital of the country, Jaipur hosts the Rajasthan Fashion Week where many Indian and international designers showcase their immaculate creations. With a motto of 'a flash of colour with a dash of glamour', the Rajasthan Fashion Week has established itself as a strong brand across the fashion industry since its inception in 2012. Promotion of Khadi, Kota Doria and other textiles is one of the highlights of this event.
MUSIC IN THE PARK
Music in the Park is an exclusive event held every second Saturday of the month at Jaipur's Central Park for all the music lovers of the city. The event features performances by stalwarts from the field of classical and semi-classical music such as Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain and Smt Shubha Mudgal to name a few.
KATHAK PERFORMANCE (EVERY FULL MOON NIGHT OF THE MONTH)
Kathak, one of the eight Indian folk dance forms was embraced by Rajasthan as the popular Jaipur Gharana of Kathak. This luminous narrative dance form is showcased as a part of night tourism on every full moon night in Rajasthan. Men and women clad in traditional kathak outfits - authentic Mughal dresses for the men and lehenga - choli for the women - display their rhythmic patterns and controlled foot work. The beautiful movements and the eclectic sound of ghungroos promise a mesmerizing evening to all the spectators.
WINDS OF MUSIC SHOW
The Palace of Winds, home to the most attractive spectacle known as the Winds Of Music Show, is a must for every visitor. Essentially a theatre show, it is a fantastic blend of history, anecdotes, music, dance and special effects. The crystal clear acoustics and the portrayal of every nuance of Rajasthani culture is the highlight of every act. Traditional acrobats, young men and women performing unimaginable stunts, ghoomar, fire dance and the Kalbeliya tribe showcasing their moves are some of the performances that one gets to experience at the Hawa Mahal Music Show. The stage also graced by well-known artists such as the Gulabo troupe, Paveen Mirza, Desert Music, Kailash Rana, etc. to further promote the rich, flourishing and well-admired culture of Rajasthan.
BIRD FAIR AT UDAIPUR
The Rajasthan Tourism and State Forest Departments come together annually to organize a three-day Bird Fair at the majestic banks of Lake Pichhola in Udaipur. The lakes and wetlands of Udaipur are home to a vast array of bird species that welcome environment enthusiasts and tourists to explore more than 200 odd species. This benefits eco-tourism and puts forth an opportunity for avid bird watchers. One can spot various local migratory species all along the year. However during the winter season many migratory birds hailing from the Himalayas, Central Asia and Europe comes to Udaipur. The Bird Fair is an attempt to make Udaipur as the globally renowned 'Bird Watching Centre'. This year the fair was held from 22nd to 24th Jan.