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Rajasthan’s Leading Properties Go Green To Follow The Sustainable Route

Once a warrior fort, the management of the heritage property also engages the villagers in tasks like organic farming.

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Famous Forts in India
Amer fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan (Pic Credits : Elene Machaidze)

From plastic straws to copper vessels, handmade lamps and bangles, Rajasthan’s leading hospitality players here are establishing new trends by engaging local artisans to showcase traditional artistry to guests and serving them locally-inspired cuisine amid green surroundings.

“We have initiated the use of paper-made straws; there is no use of plastic bags anywhere in the hotel property and the local-inspired food is being served to guests to ensure the locals have a regular source of income,” Binny Sebastian, General Manager, Bishangarh’s Alila Fort heritage hotel, some 50 km from here, told IANS.

Once a warrior fort, the management of the heritage property also engages the villagers in tasks like organic farming.

organic farming
Once a warrior fort, the management of the heritage property also engages the villagers in tasks like organic farming.

“Our association with the locals is quite strong. Working with them, we take our guests to the local temple. They also visit the artisans’ houses and sip tea there while watching them make pottery and weave carpet. In this way, we ensure that locals get a decent livelihood,” Sebastian added.

“We have started getting regular income since this property came up a year back. We have been showing our art to the guests here which gives us satisfaction as well as an income,” said Nizamuddin, a bangle maker.

Ashok S. Rathore, General Manager of the Rambagh Palace, said: “We have curtailed the use of plastic. There are no plastic straws being used on the property. We serve in glass bottles instead of plastic water bottles.”

This property is also adopting sustainable routes to ensure that the locals get decent income opportunities for their sustenance.

Famous forts in India
Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan (Wikimedia Commons)

“Our interiors are reminiscent of handmade interiors. Our suites are adorned with Thikri art, a rare gold-dipped miniature artwork of Rajasthan. But skilled artists are disappearing and it comes with a high cost of production,” said Rathore.

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Fairmont Jaipur has incorporated the fine craftsmanship and beauty of the local cultural heritage and artisans of Jaipur. The ceilings are hand-painted by local artisans with complex motifs.

“We associate with the local artisans to showcase their talent at the hotel in the form of the evening entertainment, the welcome experience and celebrate the local heritage of Rajasthan,” said Srijan Vadhera, General Manager, Fairmont Jaipur. (IANS)

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Unique Cross-Cultural Experience In The Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival

The Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) will once again merge local folk sounds with global ones for a unique cross-cultural experience

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Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Folk, Festival, Culture
Colors of Rajasthan at the Jodhpur RIFF. Wikimedia Commons

The desert of Rajasthan is home to a plethora of folk arts, and public festivals celebrating these folk forms are growing by the day. One such event, the Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), in its 12th edition between October 10 and 14, will once again merge local folk sounds with global ones for a unique cross-cultural experience.

The Jodhpur RIFF, as it is called, takes place annually at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, and is curated by Divya Bhatia, who feels music events or festivals are “among the few forums left that allow for a joyful, shared experience for all, irrespective of background or social standing. One needs no prior knowledge or understanding to lose oneself in the art form, he added.

Bhatia also gave IANS a sneak peek into the lineup of the upcoming festival. “We have a new thrust on original and contemporary writing in the regional traditions and will be exploring some new lyrics and poetry from Rajasthan and Punjab,” he said.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Folk, Festival, Culture
Colors of Rajasthan at the RIFF. Wikimedia Commons

The festival will also feature a collaboration between Rajasthani and Irish musicians and new work with Ballake Sissoko from Senegal, with the Authentic Light Orchestra from Switzerland and with the master of the Armenian duduk, Emmanuel Hovhannisyan.

Yissy Garcia from Cuba will be at the gala as first woman ‘Rustler’ — an artiste who collaborates with musicians of diverse forms. Ghatam maestro and Grammy-winning Vikku Vinayakram is also scheduled to perform, along with a performance by wonderful Punjabi singer Bir Singh, Afrobrat DJ Jose Marquez and some legendary Rajasthani music.

“Jodhpur RIFF recognises and celebrates our Rajasthani intangible heritage. Moreover, it creates opportunities and facilitates the judicious use of resources for the revitalisation of this heritage – providing inspiration, engagement and livelihood for traditional artists.

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“Today, because of the festival, our international collaborations and presentations across the world, Jodhpur RIFF has become the consistent single largest employer of Rajasthani folk musicians,” said Bhatia.

Does he find folk musicians stable and secure in their practice and livelihood?

“Folk musicians across India can do with much more stability and security. As listeners, I would encourage us to learn about them, discover them, buy their music, invite them to perform for us and attend all their live concerts,” he said. (IANS)