Established in 2001 by Mahesh Babu and Nandini Mahesh, founders of the events company Banyan Tree, Ruhaniyat is an annual celebration of sufi music. The festival will begin in Mumbai on Saturday, November 23 and make its way to Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune. For the complete schedule, see here.
The artist line-up
As a rule, Ruhaniyat showcases the talents of actual practitioners of sufism and traditional forms of music. Expect music by folk singers, kabirpanthis, warkaris, qawwals, shabad singers and performers from countries such as Morocco, Iran, Spain and Senegal.
The Nizami Brothers and group will perform qawwali; Abdeni El Gadari will croon soulful Moroccan Gnawa songs; Mir Mukhtiyar Ali and group will pay homage to the fifteenth century mystic poet Kabir; Avdhoot Gandhi and group will sing bharud and abhang; Mehdi Emami and group from Iran will perform traditional Iranian music; Parvathy Baul (pictured above) will showcase Bengali baul music; Spaniard Pere Martinez will perform flamenco music and N’Faly Kouyate, an expert player of the kora (a Mandinka harp) from Guinea will collaborate with Parvathy Baul and Mir Mukhityar Ali for an Indo-African fusion performance.