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Monsoon melodies

A music and arts festival set in the Western Ghats offers a unique monsoon experience

The itinerary includes yoga sessions. Photo courtesy: Namaha art community
The itinerary includes yoga sessions. Photo courtesy: Namaha art community

Cocooned in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats, its slopes filled with coffee plantations, waterfalls and trekking routes, the sleepy hill station of Sakleshpur has long been a refuge for travellers looking to enjoy the monsoon. Which makes it the perfect venue for the eighth edition of Malanad Calling, a music and arts festival that is all about creating the perfect monsoon experience.

Scheduled for 17-19 August, Malanad Calling is organized by the Namaha Art Community, a Chikmagalur-based non-profit that works with local communities to promote the arts.

“Our vision is to unite all the arts under one roof, and to take it forward as a community," says organizer and community member Abhijith Bhat, whose Zero Gravity Festival initiative is a partner for this edition of Malanad Calling. “In the Malanad region, rain is an emotion. That’s why we do it in the monsoon despite all the production challenges, because we want people to experience what the Malanad monsoon is like."

The three-day camping festival will be headlined by Bengaluru prog-rock veterans Suraj Mani and The Tattva Trip, and the line-up includes experimental electronica act Mind Map, minimal techno producer Lional Lishoy and Indian classical fusion band Kalarava. Alongside music, the itinerary also includes yoga sessions, art workshops and dance lessons. For the more adventurous attendee, there will also be treks and nature walks.

Another unique aspect of Malanad Calling is its ticket referral system. “Till now, artists have been coming to play for free, but this year we wanted to change that," says Bhat. “We are paying a small remuneration to the artists, and in addition to that, we’ve brought in this new concept of a referral. If a person gives a band’s referral code when buying the tickets online, that band gets a direct cut."

Tickets are available at, starting from 2,999

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