Each February, the World Sacred Spirit Festival brings together eminent musicians from all over the world to explore the sacred through different forms of art from music and chant to dance and poetry. A festival of Sufi-inspired devotional music set in the magical and prestigious sites of Ahhichatragarh in Nagaur and Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.
It takes place first at Nagaur Fort or Ahhichatragarh, a gem of Rajput-Moghul architecture whose walls enclose numerous palaces and pleasure gardens that provide an idyllic setting for a Sufi festival.
The Nagaur festival is open only to those staying within the fort, in the camps or at the Ranvas hotel, and targets a fairly well-off audience. You’ll have to book at least six months in advance.
The World Sacred Spirit Festival then opens in the imposing Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.
Mehrangarh Fort is undeniably one of the loveliest forts in Rajasthan and is often, and rightly, described as “magnificent”.
The programme is practically identical for both festivals. The line-up in 2015 included Li Daiguo (a talentuous chinese artist), Pt. Kushal Das (sitar), Françoise Atlan and Sukhdev Prasad Mishra (carnatic violon and Andalusia songs), Nour Ensemble (persian tradition and polyphony), Cherifa (the voice of Atlas mountains), Mandingo Ensemble with Ballaké Sissoko (cora), The “Shye Ben Tzur Rajasthan Express” with guest star Jonny Greenwood.
The World Sacred Spirit Festival is a mandatory cultural stop for visitors to Rajasthan, for its dream setting as well as its top-notch programme.
“Over the years, World Sacred Spirit Festival has become one of the awaited music festivals that stages artists from across the globe and that satiate the sacred music desire of the music enthusiasts.” (Sting, festival patron)