We travel for positive vibes, to meet people that we have never met anywhere else, to learn something new, and come back inspired. ‘Malanad Calling’ gave us all of that and much more!

People posing - Malanad Calling
So excited! Picture credits: MTAB

When 4 of us left for the festival Malanad Calling, we seriously didn’t know what to expect. The original location of the festival had changed due to heavy rains, and people had put up this festival at the new venue in less than 4 days.

A car by the highway - Malanad Calling
Road trip! Picture credits: Kartik Vadera

Thursday 16th August, we reached the festival venue (Kuppe village, Hassan) around 8 PM. The drive was so captivating and refreshing. We all needed it. The organisers were struggling to set up everything in time and the rains were not helping at all. We finished our humble yet very tasty dinner and decided to retire for the day.

Day 1 

Malanad Calling, a music and art festival for the artists, by the artists!

The festival was going to start in the evening, so we decided to go for a drive in the afternoon. The roads in Hassan are so beautiful. No buildings, no noise pollution, no unnecessary honking, just serenity and peace of mind. We took a pit-stop for lunch and while coming back found a hidden gem!

People seated on a rock surrounded by greenery - Malanad Calling
This breathtaking view! Picture credits: Kartik Vadera

This spot was so miraculous that we didn’t feel like getting up from there for a long time! Sometimes, don’t you wonder, life would have been so much simpler in villages? No rush, no stress, no timelines, no competition, just simple, peaceful life…sigh. The entire village was in front of us. The sun was about to set. It was just magical!

People on a roadtrip - Malanad Calling
Old friendships, new destinations. Picture credits: MTAB

By the time we reached back, we started hearing some sweet music. The fest welcomed all kinds of music, from Karnatic to instrumental fusion, and from psychedelic to electronica. It was a feast for people who love listening to experimental music. Bands like Mind Map (Experimental Psybient), Iyers Filter Coffee (Garage Rock), Anireekshita (Classical Fusion), and Space is All We Have (Space Rock/Ambient Rock) were just too amazing to handle.

The night got very trippy with all the music and the vibe was just perfect. As if it wasn’t enough, fire artists with fire hula hoop and poi made it more magical! Their performance was so breathtaking, we did not blink even for second in the fear of losing out something amazing!

Shadow of Musicians performing against the tent - Malanad Calling
Musical nights! Picture credits: Kartik Vadera

Day 2

A big pool of talent!

The next morning, we again went for a short drive, explored the village and found some good local food. Back at the venue, they had some amazing workshops lined up for all of us – Slack-lining, poi performances, painting and Didgeridoo (an Australian tribal instrument). We just stood there looking at them and wondered. What are we doing? Why didn’t we think of learning any of it, too many questions, unanswered!

Performances under a tent - Malanad Calling
Mad mad music – Picture credits: Kartik Vadera

The staying and eating arrangement was humble and yet the food was so yummy! All the local flavours played their role perfectly. We found another amazing place to just sit and chill! The campsite itself! It was right next to a small lake. The entire evening, we sat there and soaked in whatever we could.

And then, just like that a bunch of artists came to the exact same spot and started to jam. When all talented musicians come together, they can create magic, anytime, anywhere! We had only heard of it but witnessed it for the first time. The music was soothing, so were the instruments. we got introduced to instruments like Handpan (hang drum) and Didgeridoo. The rhythm coming out of these instruments was at some other level. It was soothing, relaxing and yet so melodious. We couldn’t ask for more.

Tents at a campsite - Malanad Calling
Travel goals and friendship goals! Picture credits: Kartik Vadera
Tents at a campsite - Malanad Calling
Picture credits: Kartik Vadera
Person sitting by the lake - Malanad Calling
Some moments are just perfect! Picture credits: Kartik Vadera
A jamming session - Malanad Calling
Jamming session! Picture credits: MTAB

That night came with some extra-ordinary performances from musicians and artists. The main performance got over by one, then came the jamming session again, which went on till 5 AM in the morning. Although not many of us could survive that long, but the ones who did, enjoyed every bit of it.

Artists performing - Malanad Calling
Just mind boggling performances! Picture credits: MTAB

There was a tattoo artist with his caravan! His mission is to go to the Tattoo Convention in London with this caravan and have a road trip of his life! Such goals!

Three people sitting by a beautiful lake side - Malanad Calling
Peace! Picture credits: Kartik Vadera

Day 3

Something changed!

It was time to pack up and leave! But our hearts weren’t ready to leave such a free atmosphere, friendly people, extraordinary art and nature. Who would like to come back to something completely the opposite of this? Nevertheless, we enjoyed the road trip back. From every experience, we try to learn something new. The people and their art inspired us so much and filled us with some much needed positive energy. Somethings will change in the way we think, approach, react and create!

A polaroid of people - Malanad Calling
Such memories! That’s what travelling does to you! Picture Credits: Kartik Vadera

Sometimes, when you are put in a situation which isn’t very comfortable and you don’t know what to expect, you enjoy even more! Staying in campsites and using common washrooms is not something that everyone will be comfortable with and that’s precisely why it goes in our special travel experiences.

A happy group of people - Malanad Calling
A happy group! Picture credits: MTAB

Hats off to the entire team for putting this together and making it such a special experience for each of us! We can’t wait for the next ‘Malanad Calling’! Thank you Camp Monk, Zero Gravity and Motor Cycle Diaries for creating such a fab experience for all of us!

You can check out all the organisers here –

Motorcycle Diaries Sakleshpur

Zero Gravity Festival

Campmonk

Video coming soon!

Read more: Did you know about Malaysia’s annual music festival held in the rainforests?

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