Welcome To UtsavaMaa
Dec 28 2019 to Jan 4 2020
"Interweaving talent and insight from both East and West, the Festival blossoms as 3 dynamic days of talks, workshops, yoga, meditations, performances, traditional and contemporary arts and extraordinary adventure, crafted to inspire and embolden women to take environmental and social action within their local and global communities, no matter what their story."
Prepare your body, mind and soul with a relaxing and thought provoking pre-conference from December 28th-30th, before we kick off the festival on New Year’s Eve and roll in to a new year of exploration, inspiration and creation!
Utsava Maa is a transformative all female festival, uniting extraordinary women from across the globe to share, inspire and collaborate in response to the ongoing international repression and violation of the earth and her daughters.
This year’s festival will be enriched by the theme of:
- The Seed -
Within each woman lies the seed of universal creation and infinite power, lying dormant. The germination and growth of any seed to reach its full potential, is dependent on four factors:
Light, water, favorable conditions, temperature
In order to blossom, we require the same care and tenderness. Utsava Maa is therefore designed to reveal, open and nurture the unique, extraordinary seed of potential in every woman.
Light – Illuminating guest speakers, workshops & evolving ideas
Water – Refreshing yoga, meditation, wellness, Ayurveda
Environment – Ritual, rest, reflection, comfort, security, sisterhood
Temperature – Enlivening performances and visual arts
By uniting the western goddess, who transcends national, political, religious, and cultural agendas, with the eastern goddess who emits a Shakti centered spirituality. Utsava Maa brings to light the benefits and pathway to harnessing the eternal feminine power of Shakti, to fulfill our responsibility as the true, irrepressible guardians of the earth, ourselves and womankind alike
Our planet is teetering on the brink of environmental disaster. In the past few decades we have seen unprecedented changes in global conditions and have now entered in to the 6th mass extinction on Earth in roughly 540 million years.
Human activity on Earth has exploited, plundered and polluted our planet; corrupting the very air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the homes which shelter us and the beauty and diversity of all life on Earth.
‘Scientists estimate we're now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day … with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century.’ Humans are no exception to this statistic and we are already experiencing devastating droughts, floods and extreme natural disasters across India and the world.
Planet Earth is our home, our livelihoods, our future and the future of our children, we are inextricably a part of the natural world. These environmental changes impact our very ecology, as environmental changes occur, so too do changes occur in our bodies and minds and the bodies and minds of our children. Humankind faces record levels of disease, air pollution, cancers and mental health conditions, all of which are directly related to mankind’s abuse of and separation from our natural environment
Historically, women ensured the care and protection of her communal environment. There once thrived a natural, mutual relationship between women and the earth, from which food, medicine and materials were taken sustainably, ensuring future crop yields and a fully healthy, functioning ecosystem. This instinctual affinity between women and the natural world has forever been threatened by patriarchy and capitalism. In the past century we have seen our symbiosis slip rapidly as we move further and further from living in connection with the land.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The women of Rajasthan still possess the wisdom of the land, as many indigenous cultures do in many countries. Across the globe women are not only maintaining and sharing their knowledge, but campaigning to protect their lands, families and communities under the threatening pressure of big business. Our sisters are blessed with infinite creativity, strength and resilience. Let’s join heads and hearts to bring the most powerful change yet to local levels. Change hearts and minds first, then change the future.
Illuminating talks and workshops led by women from across the globe will bring to light some of the most pressing social & environmental issues faced by women today. We will be guided in exploring and expressing the light and dark within each of us and develop the confidence to shine in everyday life. Utsava Maa is a platform for every woman to come in to the light, with opportunities throughout for self expression, public speaking, Q&A and debate. This is a platform for every woman to be seen and heard.
We have an extraordinary lineup of speakers joining us from across the globe, come together to share their insights, wisdom and practice. There will be talks from female Gurus, teachers, healers, artists, environmentalists, activists, writers, directors, performers and much much more. We will be revealing the identities of our inspirational line up in the coming weeks, so please pay close attention to out Instagram and social media in the lead up to Utsava Maa 2019!
Each speaker will follow on from their morning talk with an afternoon workshop, inviting the audience to explore the morning’s ideas in greater detail and introduce new found knowledge within their own lives. The festival will play host to a wide range of other workshops covering a broad spectrum of subjects, including: Family constellation therapy, peaceful direct action, self defence, indigenous crafts, public speaking, writing, arts and Ayurveda workshops.
Our workshops aim to instigate new friendships and conversations amongst women from around the world, which will endure long after we go our separate ways. We will harness our individual skills and creativity, sharing and exploring ideas together to develop new social and environmental projects for the future, as well as a support network which will stretch across continents.
Utsava Maa 2019 will be hosting a number of ‘Growth’ Stalls, established to provide relevant information and guidance to signpost attendants to opportunities for action, funding and support on offer from Indian and international organisations.
Some of the organisations featured will include: Kiva, Pravah ICS, Solar Saheli, The Sehgal Foundation, StartUp India, Nirnaya Women’s fund
A woman’s body really is a battleground, we must know how to care for and be kind to ourselves. Reset and be refreshed by wholesome home cooked meals, fresh mountain water from our desert well, yoga classes from a host of international teachers, rejuvenating guided meditations and TLC treatments from our wondrous wellness centre.
FOOD & DRINKS
We will be serving up 3 fresh, organic, home cooked vegetarian meals daily to everybody in attendance. Ingredients are home grown in our lovingly tended kitchen garden and beautiful fruit farm in nearby Rampura. Guests, visitors and volunteers dine together at each meal, cooked and served by male volunteers, under the leadership of our fantastic resident head chef.
Healthy, balanced eating and good hydration are a core principle at the Ashram and essential to maintaining a healthy, balanced body and mind. Learn how a vegetarian Ayurvedic diet can enhance your health and daily life, meet our well loved dairy cows and explore our kitchen garden. During your stay you can expect:
Homemade breads, porridges, regional sweet and savoury dishes, yoghurt, fresh fruits and vegetables and chai tea.
-Lunch & Dinner-
Regional, unique, distinctive cuisine consisting of bread and a mix of vegetable dishes, served as a Thali and accompanied by fresh salad vegetables and a regional desert to delight.
SRIDIVA WELLNESS CENTER
Our resident healers will be providing a full program of treatments throughout the week. book yourself in for a traditional oil massage, steam room session, or hot oil treatment. We offer a variety of massage, healing and Ayurvedic treatments,
Please see our website for further information
Immersed in the desert oasis of Shri Jasnath Asan all worries are left far behind. Lie back in the cool grass and lose yourself watching emerald green parquets play above you, whilst the desert breeze dances through the neem trees and chipmunks chatter from the castle walls. Ritual, rest, reflection and re-connection with nature provide clear perspective on life and a rare opportunity for re-discovery.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN NATURE
‘Shri Jasnath Asan is one of India’s only ecological Ashrams, dedicated to the protection and worship of the natural world. Situated in the heart of Rajasthan, it is a glimmering green jewel in the crown of the Thar Desert, where guests can soak in the desert sun, lose themselves in the sound of bird calls and find peace to fully re-connect with the natural world.’
In this hidden corner of paradise we are safe in sisterhood, community and comfort. Release the anxieties of the modern world and leave your worries behind you. Ayurvedic treatments, meditations, yoga, exceptional food and fantastic company await you, all to allow us to let go and relax. When we can truly relax and trust, our true self is able to shine through and beautiful conversations, connections and creativity blossoms.
REFLECTION & CONVERSATION
Around the 500 year old fort of Shri Jasnath Asan we have created numerous spaces to permit for solitude, reflection and new conversations, as well as ample opportunity within our festival program. After a truly powerful line up of talks and workshops it is critical to digest learning and ideas independently, as well as to develop them collectively. We hope Utsava Maa 2019 will be a springboard for new thinking, friendships and evolving projects and have allowed the time and space for their creation.
Humankind evolved to dance, sing, share and express ourselves, but this is often repressed in our local communities, this unexplored energy can become dormant, leading to unidentifiable frustration, self-doubt and illness. We have therefore cooked up a pulse quickening 5 day program of film, music, dance, art and performances designed to get you hot under the collar, up and active and enlivened to dance, sing, speak out, debate and celebrate life, the natural world and womanhood.
FILM SCREENING PRE-CONFRENCE FILMS:
Cotton for my Shroud, Disha Arora - 2011 tries to understand from a grass-roots perspective what is driving Indian cotton farmers to despair and unsheathes the diabolical designs of multinational corporations to control seed supply.
Women and Religion in India - Disha Arora, is a journey of one woman across the country to create a dialogue about the weakening of women's rights under the guise of religion.
A Pestering Journey, K.R. Manoj 2010 - is a documentary film exploring two similar pesticide tragedies in post independent India, Pestering Journey interrogates the legitimate forms and technologies of killing available in a culture.
Guhya, Kirtana Kumar 2000 - is about a journey and a search for different truths. Historically speaking, mother-goddesses date back to Harappa, and pre-Vedic societies that were matriarchal and pastoral or agrarian.
Scribbles on Akka, Dutta Madhusree 2000 - is a short film on the life and works of the 12th century saint-poet Mahadevi Akka. Akka means elder sister in Kannada, the language in which she composed.
I cannot give you my forest, Nandan Saxena & Kavita Bahl, 2014 - is a forest song...a film which enshrines the wisdom of the Kondh adivasis as they live in harmony with their surroundings.The forest is a metaphor to the adivasis of their sovereignty and lays bare the futility of man-nature conflict.
Fragments of a past, Uma Chakravarti - locates the life and work of a woman political activist in her everyday existence, the relationships she lives out at home and in her work and the political affiliations she tries to hold together, even as they are subjected to multiple stresses.
Pooja Nathawat will be exploring ancient classical dance traditions of India. Her performances present a sophisticated vocabulary of unspoken language using the hands, eyes and facial muscles, interpreting and translating the legends and spiritual ideas of the Vedas through movement. Pooja Nathawat is a disciple of Guru shree and KM Jaykrishnan Ambadi , as well as a graduate student from Shree Aacharaya School of fine arts in Chennai.
NIGHTLY PUJA CEREMONIES
Pujas (rituals) with fire, song and drumming will be performed at sundown each night in the asan mandir (ashram temple). All Ashram inhabitants and visitors join in the repetitious kirtan, learn to play the symbols, blow the conk shell, and call out with the deep base of the buffalo skin drums. Burning ghee, coconut and cow dung fill the air with the true essence of the desert. When the heart is set free the dancing begins, rising and spinning with eyes closed, expressing joy and gratitude for another full day of unexpected teachings, blessings and surprises.
Fire dancing is a unique performance distinctive to the desert region of Rajasthan, which expresses the story of Jasnathi of Bikaner. Dancers train for life in order to walk across the hot coals, which reach dizzying degrees. Jasnathi men jump upon the fire, accompanied by the beats of drums. The music gradually rises, as the tempo of the dance increases and the performance becomes ever more extraordinary, until reaching a crescendo where the dancers enter a trance-like state. The dancers perform their actions as if they are blessed with a divine protection.
INDIGENOUS TEXTILE BAZAAR & WORKSHOP
Rajasthan is famous for its extraordinarily expressive, colourful textiles and craft. Utsava Maa will bring together craftspeople from across the region, celebrating and exhibiting a wide variety of unique crafts and exquisite skills. The last two days of the festival will provide the opportunity to lend your mind, heart and hand to traditional techniques and witness some of the master craftspeople of the region at work.
Bringing together diverse skills from across Europe, Undergrowth Collective craft immersive experiences which honor the power of nature and enliven the human senses, inviting the audience to reconnect with the forgotten magic of the natural world.
Click here for more information
ART WORKSHOP AND EXHIBITION
A wide variety of artists will be hosting workshops reflecting the beautiful natural environment at Shri Jasnath Asan and the surrounding desert lands, delve deeper into ourselves and get our creative juices flowing! The week’s workshops will culminate in a collaborative public exhibition at the end of the festival, with opportunities for everybody to submit artwork.
Rajasthan has a special place in every international traveller’s diary. Famed for its desert forts and safaris, brilliant palaces and mansions, spectacular temples and wildlife, Rajasthan attracts people from all corners of the globe. Whether to catch a glimpse of medieval ruins, or behold the dexterity of immaculate craftsmanship, to soak in the old world charm, or be enchanted by colourful bazaars – Rajasthan beckons one and all.
Utsava Maa will play out across the tranquil, leafy campus of Shri Jasnath Ashram, a 16th century medieval fort built by the king of Udaipur and blessed by the yogis of the Nath tradition. Situated in the tiny village of Panchla Siddha, It is one of the oldest educational, social, and religious Yoga institutions in Rajasthan– the trading hub of ancient India. The site has a modern yet classical presence, offering the pursuit of inner peace and exploration. Spread out over five noise-free acres, the Ashram boasts several temples, beautiful kitchen garden, newly built guest house with areas, dining hall, yoga studios, Shridiva Wellness Centre, library and much more.
Accommodation is split between our large communal tent and newly built guest house, where guests can choose between a single bed in a private room with ensuite, or a single bed in a shared dormitory, with a communal bathroom. The guest house features a rooftop relaxation area, sitting room, basement cinema and small kitchen where guests can independently prepare drinks and snacks during their stay.
Utsava Maa will close on January 3rd with an extraordinary evening’s camel trek across the desert, to an oasis of calm amid the sand dunes, where dinner, dancing and luxurious camping beneath the stars await you. With your spirits uplifted and creativity freely flowing it is time to set out in to the desert in pursuit of adventure! But your journey need not end there… After the festival we have laid on a tour of Rajasthan, Yoga Lifestyle Workshop and Camel tour to Bikaner Camel Festival.
Post Festival Tour of Rajasthan
We depart from the Ashram after the Goddess has left. On the way to the Blue City of Jodhpur we will stop in Osian, an ancient town with the beautiful Satia Mata Temple. After a visit of the Temple we will get on our camels to enjoy a 2 hours ride through the Rajasthani dessert. During the ride we will not only get an interesting insight into the traditional life of the local people, but experience also beautiful landscapes and end the ride with a traditional lunch at a farmer’s home. Afterwards we continue to Jodhpur where we get a first glimpse of the Blue City.
After a Yoga class on the roof top of our hotel and a relaxed breakfast, we start with our Sightseeing Walk through the Old City. At the beginning we walk up to the majestic Fort Mehranghar. An audio guide takes us through this beautiful Fort. Later we continue through the narrow lanes of Jodhpur with its pictures Blue houses, have a Lassi at the best Lassi place and experience the busy clock tower market. In the evening Rekha and Rishi await us in their home for a fun and educational Indian cooking evening.
Today we drive to the holy City Pushkar. This city has more than 400 Temples. The most important of them is the Brahma temple: One of the few of its kind in the whole world. We visit the temple and will have a nice flower ceremony at the holy ghats of the Pushkar lake, before we have some free time for shopping.
Today we will go Rajasthan’s capital: The Pink City Jaipur. Pink is the colour of hospitality. In the 1876 the whole old city got painted Pink to welcome the Crown Prince Albert Eduard. Before having an awesome dinner with life music on one of the best roof top restaurants in Jaipur, we will visit the Amber Fort- Amber used to be the former capital and the Fort is truly a visit worth
The early morning cycle tour through Jaipur is one of the highlights of the entire trip. We take small lanes, visit the vegetable wholesale market, have a look how the professional carving the marble, trying sweets in one of the oldest sweet shops and having a traditional breakfast at a family’s home. Later I the day we visit the other sights of Jaipur, namely the City palace, Jantar Mantar and the Wind palace.
After a 4 hours drive we reach Agra. We will visit the Taj Mahal and then enjoy a nice homemade dinner at our homestay.
Another 4 hours drive and we reach Indias capital. The afternoon we use to visit the famous Dilli Hat market for some final shopping. We will visit the India Gate and Cannought place and will have a last stroll on Indian streets.
It is time to say good bye. There will be a transfer to the Airport. Tour ends here
✓7 nights in Double room with breakfast
✓All transportation in private car/ mini bus with driver
✓Tour guide for entire trip
✓2 hours camel Safari with Lunch
✓Cooking class with dinner
✓Holy Ceremony in Puja
✓Bicycle Sightseeing Tour in Jodhpur
✓All entry fees for mentioned documents with private local guide
✓Wherever possible: Yoga classes
X Not mentioned meals and drinks
X Price per person min 4 people: 60000 rs /750 €