Coke Studio, Photography Competition – Is this really Rajasthan?
When one hears of Rajasthan, stunning glimpses of beautiful forts, gold sand mounds, flamboyant bazaars, majestic camels, splendidly clad natives scroll through one’s mind. We all have at least once dreamt of basking in the golden Thar, swaying with the kalbeliya artists, enjoying the world-famous Rajasthani delicacies. The idea of Rajasthan is so augmented with royalty & good experience, that it is a must-go for most of travel-enthusiasts.
While the Government of India has again mounted big numbers this year with the #IncredibleIndia campaign, the Rajasthan Government has proactively started working towards enriching the experience for citizens & tourists, both domestic and international this year. One hears of Vasundhara Raje taking personal interest in creating a comprehensive event calendar for the entire year ranging from 3-day festivals to single day episodes, with a mix of innovation along with tradition. Glimpses of this planning were recently seen in the SAARC Sufi Festival and the Jairangam Theatre Festival that kept the mood of the city upbeat for almost 10 days in the start of the month of October. What follows next is the much-anticipated Coke Studio event that’s happening on the 17th of October at the beautiful Albert Hall Museum. Coke Studio has found patronage in all corners of the World with the recent addition of Africa. The idea of tweaking music full of soul and soil with modern day beats has found great liking amongst the Gen Y. The festival promises to showcase three of the very esteemed artists Sona Mahopatra, Ram Sampath and Amit Trivedi, who are going to enthrall the audience with a 75-minute performance each. Theatre, sufi and fusion music – what more could the jaipurites ask for!
Rajasthan already boasts of the much-awaited and earmarked Jaipur Literature Festival that happens in the month of January and the Rajasthan International Folk Festival that happens in Jodhpur. Apart from this, the Government is launching a Dastkar Bazaar at the picturesque Parshuram Dwar, an urban haat on the lines of the one we have in Delhi, from 16th October to 8th November 2015. This event holds special significance for it is an effort to boost the Handicrafts sector and benefit close to 6 lakh people who are engaged in various crafts in Rajasthan. If sustained, the Government is also looking at keeping this haat seasonally opened along with creating Street Food Festivals at the same location. Personally, I think it’s a great idea to add to the beauty of Jal-Mahal and paving way for the street vendors who already hang around the lake.
And this is not it. In order to increase the overnight stay of tourists in the state, Rajasthan Tourism is promoting Night Tourism during summers at Amer Fort and is looking to replicate the same in other parts of Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur by the end of this month. In the month of December, Jaipurites are going to enjoy a ‘Heritage Fasion week’. Calling together stalwarts of the Fashion and Design industry, this event aims to showcase traditional weaving, dyeing techniques and printing textile arts from Rajasthan, to invest in layered separates with desi details in embroideries, prints and hints of autumn blossoms on garments. What better way to pay tribute to the rich heritage of the State! What will follow is a sacred music festival next month in Pushkar, an International Photography Festival early next year followed by an International Music Festival in Udaipur.
There have been some major policy changes to encourage tourism at holistic level. The Government has recently launched a path-breaking tourism unit policy that emphasises on ease of doing ‘tourism’. Also, the Government is, for the first time ever in the history of Rajasthan, working on launching a huge, aggressive tourism marketing campaign in the month of November. Buzz is that Ogilvy & Mather is doing the entire PR campaign for both domestic and foreign tourists. We just hope that the Rajasthan Campaign is brought out as beautifully as the state truly is.
All in all, Rajasthan has your travel calendar perfectly set. Once the campaign launches, the arrival of tourists is bound to increase. My advice to you is – it’s time to stop procrastinating, it’s time you pack your bags and witness the raw beauty of this land. After all, it does offer the best of all worlds.