December 20, 2006

Sawai Gandharva: answers to a first-timer’s questions

I had a lot of researching to do before my Sawai trip, and it wasn’t easy finding answers to practical questions. I was doubtful till the last minute about whether I would get tickets at all.

Here are some answers to questions a person going to attend Sawai Gandharva for the first time would have.

1. Is there a Sawai website?
Yes, there is... but it may not always have answers to your questions.

2. When is this festival held?
In 2006, it was held 7–11 Dec. As I understand, it is usually in the second week of December, ending usually on a Sunday.

3. Where is it held?
Since a few years the New English School, Ramanbaug has been hosting this festival. This school is quite close to the railway station.

4. Where are tickets available?
In 2006, they were available in some specified places in Pune from 1 December. The announcement about this was made in Pune newspapers and radio a week or so earlier. So you need help from a Pune-ite to get tickets. Also, only two tickets are given per head. However, tickets for Bharatiya baithak can be bought at the venue every day.

5. Are tickets available online?
Not that I know of.

6. How much do the tickets cost?
Rs 350 for the Bharatiya baithak; Rs 1600 season ticket (4 days) for chairs.

7. Any hotels close by where one can stay?
We were advised to stay in Hotel Shreyas (Apte Road) an affordable place, with a restaurant attached. It is not too far away from the concert venue. For the five-star hotel types, there is the Meredian, bang next to the railway station.

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