Rajasthan Musical Expedition

With Sound Travels

Sound Travels arrange these.. the only of their kind in India. taking you off the beaten tourist trail to meet and interact with traditional musicians in their villages and homes for workshops, seminars, festivals and intimate performances.

Explore Indian culture and traditions, discover the stories, the rituals and the people at the heart of traditional India.

Although open to anyone, this is a fantastic option for school and university study groups.

Here is a typical itinerary, which can be tailored to meet your requirements:

Day 1: Devotional sounds of Old and New Delhi.

The three main religions of India’s capital are Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam, and today we’ll experience the devotional music of all three. Firstly for a puja (prayer ritual) at a Hindu temple, then at the famous Sikh Gurudwara of Bangla Sahib, and finally after sunset we’ll hear the captivating Sufi devotional songs of the ancient Muslim shrine of Nizamuddin Dargah.

Overnight in Delhi

Day 2: Drive from Delhi to Churu, Rajasthan (270km). Evening musical show at Churu.

Today we drive out of the big city to the small town of Churu in the desert state of Rajasthan, where we will be guests at the welcoming home of Mr. Jaisingh Rathore. In the evening you will be given an introductory session to the various folk forms of Rajasthan, with  live music on the lawn from local folk musicians.

Overnight in Churu

Day 3: Music in the village of Shimla.

Today we drive a short distance to the small village of Shimla to meet singer Roshani Nayak and her family of musicians and dancers. Musicologist Gopal Singh interprets the meaning of Roshani’s songs, frequently devotional songs to Krishna, and when the mood takes you, you can get up and dance along with the villagers.

Overnight in Churu

Day 4: Chang drums in the village of Pabusar and Derun in Barjangsar. Drive to Jaipur (200km).

Before driving on to the “Pink City” of Jaipur, we make a beeline for the tiny village of Pabusar to see a unique style of dancing with drums called chang. These drummers dance acrobatically while beating their drums with stripped peacock feathers. This blend of song, dance and percussion is traditionally performed in competitions at Holi, the festival of colours.

In the nearby village of Barjangsar we encounter devotees of the Snake God Gogaji who play the derun (a flexible twin-faced drum) while singing and enacting an extraordinary jumping dance. From here we drive on to Jaipur.

Overnight in Jaipur

Day 5: Interactive music session with the Kalbeliya of Jaipur

Today we meet a travelling musical community known as the Kalbeliya – gypsy dancers, snake-charmers and musicians with a fascinating history that anthropologist Vinod Joshi will share with you.

Overnight in Jaipur

Day 6: Morning heritage walk and day to explore the city.

Our morning heritage walk can cover various themes such as palaces and temples, food and spices, or jewelry and artisans, depending on your interests. You then have the afternoon free to explore the old city.

Overnight in Jaipur

Day 7: Sufi music at the Ajmer Sharif. Drive on to Pushkar (170km)

Ajmer Sharif is one of the world’s most sacred Muslim shrines, dedicated to the Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chisty whose direct descendents will be our guides, and start off a show of Qawwali - mystical devotional Sufi songs. From here it is a short drive to our stop for the next few days, the holy lake town of Pushkar.

Overnight in Pushkar

Day 8: Nagara Drum Workshop

Today you will meet one of Rajasthan’s most eminent musicians, Nathoo Lal Solanki, who has stunned audiences around the world. Nathoo is a renowned nagara (twin drums) master and will hold a percussion workshop by the side of Pushkar Lake. Past guests have been amazed at the sounds they can get out of these drums, even people who normally have no sense of rhythm at all.

Overnight in Pushkar

Day 9: Camel safari with music by Bhopa Bhopi

There is a local god known as Pabuji, credited as the first to bring camels from Arabia into India, whose story is told in an epic poem which is memorized and sung by members of theBhopa community. We ride by camel cart to a peaceful spot in the desert to meet two of the traditional keepers of the Pabuji epic. The bhopa (the husband) plays on the rawanatha (desert violin with bells on the bow) and dances and sings along with his wife. The music is extraordinarily haunting and emotive. They perform with the sacred phad – a painted scroll depicting the life of Lord Pabuji – as a backdrop.

Overnight in Pushkar

Day 10: Sunrise on the hill. Return Delhi by train

Early risers can head up the steep steps to the Savitri temple on the hill overlooking the town to witness the sunrise over sleeping Pushkar.

We then have a short drive to Ajmer to catch the Delhi Sr Express (train no. 19263) departing Ajmer at 11:20 and arriving at Delhi Cantt Station at 19:03.

Overnight in Delhi

Day 11: Breakfast and goodbyes.

Breakfast at the hotel and the end of the trip. Transfers for onward journeys or accommodation arrangements can also be made.

End of trip



Drumming in Pushkar Drumming by the lake
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