Learning Hindustani Classical in San Rafael, California


A lesser known gem of a city from the United State (yes there are still places in USA that Indians can discover and explore!), San Rafael is just half an hour’s drive from the more popular San Francisco, California but a whole world apart. This small city has a charming laidback air.

Not surprising then that after his first fusion concert in the US in 1955, sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan fell in love with and moved to San Rafael. He established the Ali Akbar College of Music here in 1968, which continues to be a school for Hindustani Classical music, a landmark that you can visit during your vacation.

Other than that San Rafael is the kind of place where you slow down the pace of life and enjoy the fine things. Enjoy the Marin Farmers Market, among the best in the country, open on Thursdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. all year round. Or attend the weekly Downtown San Rafael’s Certified Farmers Market Festival that has 150 vendors spread across five blocks every Thursday night from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s a night of great festivity as all of San Rafael gets together to eat, drink and party.

Apart from water sports or chilling by the sea, the design lovers will definitely want to spend time admiring the Marin County Civic Centre here, which was designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright and offers a weekly tour. One of his last big works, it is considered to be among his most unique designs and is a must-see for architecture buffs.



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