Upcoming festivals and events in Rajasthan

Festivals are what could be another reason for someone to plan a trip to a part of the country which they otherwise would not have put in their travel bucket list. The coming month is when a lot of festivals will be taking place in Rajasthan. This article will tell you about all the upcoming events that you should attend. From literary, cultural to traditional festivals, here are some of the best events that you should know about.

I’ve also listed down when and where will these events be taking place so that you can plan your travel accordingly, or attend the festival if you already will be in that city on the dates of the event. Scroll below to know about these events!



1. ZEE Jaipur Literature Fest: 23-27 January

Source: Jaipur Literature Festival

Jaipur Literature Festival is a renowned literary festival that takes place in Jaipur every year in the month of January. It is a confluence where thinkers, writers, politicians, humanitarians, and other leaders come together where they then discuss relevant issues, a way to engage in dialogue and debate.

It is a festival which is loved by bookworms, where they get to meet their favourite authors, writers, translators, etc, and also indulge in everything a literary lover can gauge into as the festival is in its entirety – an experiential journey.

If you haven’t been to Jaipur Literature Festival before, then here are some highlights about this festival that you should know about:

– Speakers: In the past, the festival has witnessed the presence of Nobel Laureates like J.M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk and others have been well-known names in the literary world like Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, etc. Some of the speakers for the 2020 edition include Dia Mirza, Rana Ayyub, Elizabeth Gilbert, Faye D’Souza, Javed Akhtar, among many others. To have a look at the entire lineup of speakers, you can visit here.

Jaipur Music Stage: Every day of the festival is concluded with a musical night, where different artists perform every night, ranging from World Music, ghazals, to jazz and rock, creating a music festival vibe. This year the line up includes Aabha Hanjura, Parvaz, Lisa Marie Simmons, Garie James, among others. You can have a look at the schedule and other performers here.

Contests and Competitions: Jaipur Literature Festival is also where you get to explore the hidden writer in you, where you can participate in various contests and competitions like Blogging Contest, Writing Competition and Outreach Programme.

– Experiences: Apart from the literary elements, the festival is also known for its overall set-up, with detailed curation of small experiential elements like gourmet lunches, heritage events, morning music, etc.

JLF is a great experience that you must attend to know what the hype is all about. You can either be a part of the festival by buying your pass as a delegate which would give you access to various activities mentioned above or you could register for a general entry or as a student. You can read about the various registration options here. To know about the entire schedule of the festival, you can have a look at the planned itinerary here.


2. Art Book Depot, Jaipur: 23rd – 25th January

Image Courtesy: Art Book Depot

Another festival that you should keep an eye on this weekend is Art Book Depot, which is India’s first Art Book Festival. This is the first edition that is taking place in Banthia Building, Jaipur. The idea behind the festival is to create an independent publishing culture and to bring together independent publishers, gallery presses, bookshops, individual artists. This is where visitors can buy works of different artists – zines, photo books, etc. There also will be different events taking place like book launches, panel discussions, film screenings, panel discussions, etc, which will allow you to engage with different artists.

Art Book Depot is being organized by Far Side Collective and Round Them Oranges, where the prior is an art space in Leh which promotes self-publishing culture, and the latter is a studio and residency space in Jaipur.

There are various exhibitors from different parts of the world showcasing their work at Art Book Depot, so you can expect a diverse range of art books at the festival. To know more about the curated program in detail, you can have a look at their programme here.

To stay updated on Art Book Depot, you can follow them on Instagram.



3. Reth Festival, Jaisalmer: 29th January – 1 February

Image Courtesy: Reth Festival

Another event that is prepping for its first-ever edition is Reth Festival in Jaisalmer which is a creative residential festival taking place from 29th January to 1st February. The festival is about exploring the cultural and heritage side of Jaisalmer along with some contemporary elements like world music nights, making it rich in experiences. Here is what is in store for you at Reth Festival:

Workshops: During the festival, you can choose to learn one of the eight workshops. Here are the different workshops that you can choose from:

1. Mughal Miniature Painting

2. Block Printing and Natural Dyes

3. Sand Animation

4. Phone filming

5. Portrait drawing

6. Film Making and script writing

7. Music workshop

8. Rich Mix: A curated workshop by Art&Found that will offer a blend of experiences. This workshop will take participants to Barmer to visit ajrakh and appliqué studios, and artist studios in Jaisalmer to learn Tie and Dye Leheriya and leather embossing.

Some of these workshops gauge into the traditional artforms and others which are contemporary art forms. These workshops will be mentored by the best in their fields – from local artisans to international artists, this is where you get to learn from those who understand these art forms.

Image Courtesy: Reth Festival

Curated Experiences: Apart from learning one of the many skills, the festival is a curated journey where you will get to experience Jaisalmer in its true essence, with Early Morning music sessions, Yoga, explore the Jaisalmer Fort with a member of the royal family, and visit the artisans market, the festival has a lot on store.

World Music Nights: The festival will conclude with Music Nights which is where you’d see a blend of different artists performing. Expect traditional folk set with fusion elements, electronic music and much more.

Reth Festival looks interesting for those who like experiential festivals and would want to unwind in the beautiful city of Jaisalmer. There are different packages available, depending upon which accommodation you want to stay at. To know more about the festival, you can visit reth.co.in.


4. Desert Festival Jaisalmer: 7th – 9th February

Image Courtesy: Tourism of India

A confluence of dance, music, and attire – this is what Jaisalmer Desert Festival is all about. The festival was founded with the intention to allow tourists an insight into the Rajasthani culture. During the days of the festival, all those who are visiting get to witness and explore the traditions and culture of Rajasthan.

The festival takes place every year in February and happens three days prior to the night of the full moon. It is celebrated in the dunes of the Thar Desert, making the setting of the festival really beautiful. Everything that happens during the festival integrates with the rich culture of Rajasthan. You can expect folk songs and dance performances, local handicrafts by artisans, camel races, turban tying competition, tug of war and a lot more. You can also get some traditional attires, and immerse yourself with the vibe of the festival.

The highlight of the festival is the ending of the same, which is the full moon night and you can expect to be in the Sand Dunes with the Jaisalmer Fort in the background, creating a breathtaking setting for you to remember.

Desert Festival is a great way to keep the traditions, culture, and art of Rajasthan alive. So, if you are someone who loves to travel to explore and learn about different cultures, then you should go for the Desert Festival. There are different packages available for the same, and you can have a look at them here.



5. World Sacred Spirit Festival, Jodhpur: 13th to 16th February

Image Courtesy: World Sacred Spirit Festival

Last on the list is a music festival like no other. World Sacred Spirit Festival is about showcasing the spiritual significance of music, and to create that same emotion through the festival, they have musicians coming from different parts of the world to let you witness how music – no matter which genre or from which part of the world – can be soulful and awakening.

The Festival takes place at the breathtaking Mehrangarh Fort, and this magnificent backdrop creates a beautiful setting for the festival with music reverberating through its walls, for the days of the festival.

For performances, you can expect a diverse lineup, where they have Manganiyar Children, Areej Sufi Ensemble, Ustad Bahauddin Dagar, among many other renowned artists. To have a look at their artists for this year, you can visit them here.

If you are a music buff, then this is where you will have various artists from all around the globe perform in one place, that too in a beautiful setting. To attend the festival, you can either book a day pass or the entire pass for the festival. You can grab your passes here. Accommodation is not covered in the same, and you will have to book that separately if you are not from Jodhpur. They have listed some staying options on their website as well.

To stay updated on the festival, you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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