Jodhpur RIFF & ITC Hotels : A Lavish Musical Extravaganza

As you all are aware of the recent trip of CoupleOnBike to Welcome Hotel Jodhpur from the ITC hotel chain through the latest updates, captures, videos and much more. We are here with lot more words on the enthralling experience (which will actually be one difficult task) as no words can well describe the impression this trip has left on my mind.

Welcome Hotel Jodhpur, property of ITC Hotels, was one of the sponsors of Jodhpur RIFF so many of the artists who were to perform at the festival were their guests.

We were invited to be the part of Jodhpur RIFF from ITC Hotels but for some reason I had to go alone. Was Rajni there on the trip, I assure it would have been a much more wonderful experience. Nevertheless, traveling moves your soul and I couldn’t resist the opportunity coming my way. I had the gut feeling that it is going to be a blast!

So, I started my journey on the bike. It was a full moon night and you can well imagine how beautiful it was to ride at this time.

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When I reached the hotel, I saw all the arrangements were made well in advance. Unexpectedly, the fellow at the front desk of the hotel was from Jaipur and during our conversation we came to know that we have a common biker friend.

I had a conversation with the General Manager Mr. Avinash Deshmukh over the phone who helped me in deciding the day’s itinerary. I chose to attend the Jodhpur Riff’s evening and late night program.

So, now I knew I had the day to relax and enjoy my sabbatical time. The first thing that I noticed while entering in the room was how spacious it was with all the basic amenities already placed and huge 40″ flat screen TV to enjoy all the programmes I follow.

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Another thing that made me in love with Welcome Hotel Jodhpur is the view I was getting from my room. Let the picture do the talking.

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The kitchen staff prepared the special breakfast that included famous Mirchi Vada, Pyaz ki Kachori of Jodhpur besides other delicacies. The name of the restaurant is Chinkara which serves beautiful delicacies from all around the world.

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Later, I dozed off as I was awake throughout the previous night. Being a freelancer, I have this benefit of working from anywhere. I always carry my laptop along and after a good sleep, I worked for a few hours later to get ready for the evening’s event.

Then the hunger pangs in my stomach reminded me of lunch. At the restaurant, I met two bloggers who too were there to attend Jodhpur RIFF on behalf of ITC hotel. In between the Mr. Avinash Deshmukh, General Manager of the Welcome Hotel Jodhpur came to meet me in person and we had a good conversation. He was glad to hear our travel stories and was all ears.

Remember AMRA KUNDA, I talked about in one of the Instagram posts (during my stay). This was the delicacy that was specially recommended by the executive chef, Mr. Akshraj Jodha (one of the gem kind of a person).

Amra Kunda was not the part of the menu and specially prepared for us. It is inspired from Jodhpur cuisine and is made up of Aamras, ChainaMurki and Rabri which all-together were blended in perfect proportion to satisfy our taste buds.

A photo posted by CoupleOnBike (@coupleonbike) on

After lunch, Mr.Mohit, the Assistant Manager, helped us in getting acquainted with the property. Nearly 40% of the hotel property was covered with lush green plants. The two villas with private plunge pools, two bedrooms and living area along with the small kitchen left us dazed.

The hotel features two banquet halls, gymnasium, spa center, three restaurants huge swimming pool for adults and a small one for kids.

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One restaurant namely Sholla : Delicacies of the Desert Serai is up on the cards and is anticipated to be open for the guests anytime soon. The best part is that it will have special Rajasthani cuisine.

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In the evening, I collected my Jodhpur RIFF event pass from the reception and a car was arranged for us.

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Also, we got a chance to visit the market where we had various types of Egg Omelettes at a renowned shop near the Clock Tower.

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After this, we went to attend the Jodhpur RIFF.  It is the popular event that is being organised since last six years. Its a five days event where artists from around various corners of the world come together under the same roof to perform.

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Jodhpur RIFF, if you all know is a not-for-profit partnership project involving Mehrangarh Museum Trust and Jaipur Virasat Foundation. Endorsed by UNESCO as a “Peoples” Platform for Creativity and Sustainable Development”, the festival brings together creative geniuses together to create spell binding aura.

  • HH Gaj Singh of Marwar-Jodhpur is the Chief Patron of Jodhpur RIFF
  • Sir Mick Jagger is the front man of the rock band
  • The Rolling Stones is International Patron of Jodhpur RIFF.

We headed to Mehrangarh fort where performances were taking place in Old Zanana Courtyard. We got the chance to enjoy Söndörgö – a fantastic band from the interiors of Hungary, playing lesser known, traditional and popular tunes of the Serb-Croatian communities living along the Danube, coupled with gypsy and Balkan tracks from elsewhere.

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Not surprisingly, they played 17 instruments among them and styles of music that are hugely spellbinding, but little known and quite different from the traditional Hungarian repertoire.

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Söndörgö presents a remarkable collection of foot tapping and melodious music at Jodhpur RIFF 2016.

A video posted by CoupleOnBike (@coupleonbike) on

The moonlight was adding to the beauty of the overall event. Superb music, nice fellow people along, soothing moonlight and everything was in sync to make the moment awe-striking.

The other performance was by Bixiga 70 which is one of the most widely sought after groups in contemporary instrumental music from Brazil.

The artists mesmerized the crowd with their African and Brazilian music including Samba and Reggae, with Carimbo and ethio-jazz.

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Fundamentally though it’s the horns that dictate the pace, and this is where Fela Kuti’s Yoruba influence is most obvious. The horns on can blast out with serious swagger. A tight backing of trombones and saxophones were giving irresistible danceability.

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Bixiga 70 performance was so electrifying that the whole crowd was dancing near the stage.

A video posted by CoupleOnBike (@coupleonbike) on

To conclude the event, there was RIFF RUSTLE in which festival appoints an artist as ‘rustler’ who then rustles up musicians from the the festival to participate in this performance.

This is an interesting concept in which festival giving various artists from all around the corner to perform on stage with each other, most of who have never met before or may rarely meet again.

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This year, rustler were Ben Walsh, one of the world’s most innovative drummers who created fusion music with Rajasthani artists. The fusion between international and Indian artists left the spectators mesmerized.

A video posted by CoupleOnBike (@coupleonbike) on

The night was so enthralling and with music all around we actually forgot the time. It was 4 AM when we headed back to our hotel.

Now that is what we call ‘A day well spent’!

Yogesh Mankani
No words describe me best than a hardcore biker. My mind, body and soul sync in when I am on my bike. Each time I set out on my journey and when I come back, I am a totally different person. It's really difficult for me to pen down my feeling when I am on my bike. Who cares about the destination. For me it's all about ride!

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