Ragasthan is a multi-genre music festival set amidst the sand dunes of the Thar Desert in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The performances take place across three stages: Birakha is for singer-songwriters and spoken word artists; Morio for rock, pop and folk music; and Ammara for electronic music.
Over 100 different acts have performed at Ragasthan’s three editions so far. They include singer-songwriter Dhruv Visvanath and Prateek Kuhad, folk and folk-fusion artists Mame Khan and Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe, rock bands Parikrama and Peter Cat Recording Co. and electronic music producers Dualist Inquiry and Nucleya.
Among the features that distinguish Ragasthan from other festivals are no overlapping set times, the absence of on-stage sponsor logos and advertisements, and a ban on plastic and sale of bottled water. The Birakha stage runs from 1 pm to 4.30 pm, Morio from 5 pm to 9 pm, and Ammara from 10 pm onwards.
In addition to the performances, the events and attractions include workshops, art installations, all-night open-air cinema screenings and adventure activities such as biking, paintball, parasailing and zorbing.
Another unusual aspect is that the festival does not take place at regular intervals. The first edition was in 2012, the second in 2014 and the third and most recent instalment in 2018.
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How To Get There
How to Reach Jaisalmer
1. By Air: Jaisalmer is not directly connected by air with any part of India. Jodhpur Airport, located about 300 km away from Jaisalmer, is the nearest airport to the desert land. The airport connects Rajasthan with all major Indian cities. From Jodhpur Airport, tourists can hire cabs to reach Jaisalmer.
2. By Rail: Jaisalmer is served by both broad gauge and metre gauge railway tracks. It can be reached through direct trains from New Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur. The luxury train ‘Palace on Wheels’ is also available. Upon reaching the station, visitors can avail of auto-rickshaws and private taxis to reach their destinations.
3. By Road: Jaisalmer has a well-maintained network of roadways. Deluxe and ordinary buses of Rajasthan Roadways and many private operators connect Jaisalmer with Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Barmer and Mount Abu.
- Camping area
- Charging booths
- Food stalls
- Free drinking water
- Gendered toilets
- Licensed bars
- Parking facilities
- Unisex toilets
Items & accessories to carry
1. Light, breezy clothes and sunscreen for the warm days and winter wear such as woollens and thermals for the nights. The temperatures can range from 18°C to 6°C and may even drop to 0°C on a rare day.
2. A sturdy water bottle, if the festival has refillable water stations, and if the venue allows bottles to be taken inside.
3. Comfortable footwear. Sneakers (a perfect option if it’s not likely to rain) or boots (but make sure they are worn in). You need to keep those feet tappin’.
4. COVID packs: Hand sanitiser, extra masks and a copy of your vaccination certificate are things you should keep handy.
Jaisalmer-based multi-genre music festival Ragasthan was co-founded in 2012 by Anshuman Jeswal, Keith Menon, Smriti…
A. N. Chambers
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