Jaipur Literature Festival – A guide

If you have been thinking for years about attending the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival, then now is the time to make the most of your long weekend. Tis the tourist season in Jaipur and foggy mornings and sunny days shall welcome you to the the largest free literary festival in the world. It is a five day festival and happens in January, every year with much pomp and fare, inaugurated by Rajasthan’s Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje.

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Traditional folk dancers from Beawer welcome everyone at the front gates
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Distinct Rajasthani flavour to the proceedings

The schedule is choc-a-bloc with various sessions being simultaneously held in the

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Little delights splashed everywhere; just be curious enough to look

myriad halls. I list them : Char Bagh, Front Lawns, Mughal Tent, Baithak, Durbar Hall and Samvad. Making your way around might prove to be a hassle, for that I will attach a rough map right at the end.

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The beautifully decorated pathway before the entrance

Around quarter of a million people are expected to attend and listen to approximately 380 speakers.

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Entry for school kids is free on some days of the JLF. What a brilliant way to get young minds interested

 

Some Helpful Tips for people attending JLF 2017

 

Parking : Parking at Diggi Palace (Venue of the JLF in C Scheme) is quite an issue, in spite of volunteers and staff trying their best to make it a smooth affair. You simply cannot accommodate a thousand cars in space meant for two hundred. A good idea is to ditch your own car and simply arrive here in a cab. Ola and Uber work fine in Jaipur.

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Well organised and the security is top notch and very helpful too

Must attend sessions : Identify in advance what session(s) you want to attend and make sure you get a seat at least twenty minutes in advance. The Ruskin Bond session began at 1110 hrs and the seats were full much earlier, people quietly stood and listened to him as he recollected his childhood experiences and regaled many with his wit and humour.

A session titled ‘The Pity of Partition’ recounts one of the greatest migrations of human history (India-Pakistan), though the works of Saadat Hasan Manto. William Dalrymple is here too & travel buffs will be thrilled to hear Colin Thubron speak. Listen to some crazy experiences of Steve McCurry as he talks about life ‘Beyond the Afghan Girl’. Basharat Peer, the Kashmiri journalist who scripted Haider is a speaker too, at the JLF.

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Click some pretty doors away from the hustle and bustle of the festival
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Jaipur Literature and Fashion Festival, eh!

Registration : Online registration is the easiest and simplest. You just have to collect your badge from Tent No. 1 if you have already registered online. If you haven’t, then a 100 rupee expense will get you a badge and pass from Tent No. 2. For delegates and other people Tent No. 3 shall do the needful. The volunteers are well informed and very helpful; I was pleased to interact with them.

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Like a palace; the interiors of Durbar Hall are the most striking and opulent

Evening parties : Although there are many parties to attend and afterparties too; they are all mostly by invitation. There’s a musical evening every day at Clark’s Amer, after the sessions are over. The Rambagh Palace is a venue for most private parties but you need to call up influential people and get invited!

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A full house to listen to Ruskin Bond, loved by children and oldies alike

Fashion : It is time to bring out your burberry trench coats and trendy woollens not only to blend with the fashionable crowds but also to keep the cold at bay. The weather is pretty chilly in Jaipur right now. Oh and bearded men are swooned upon (I can’t ignore the ladies).

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A cute little café to sit and collect your thoughts

Toilets & conveniences : Although there is a toilet near the café, it was full even with the limited crowd in the morning. I found another one which is kind of hidden near the Front Lawns and is cleaner and better. (Shhh)

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Little delights splashed everywhere; just be curious enough to look

Cafés & restaurants : You are spoilt for choice with this one and tea lovers can rejoice with a glass of Kulhad Chai at Diggi Chat near the Front Lawns. Find your quaint corner to sit down and nibble between sessions, there are many food options around the lawns between the session halls.

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I promised you that, in the beginning 🙂

I had a lovely day at the JLF today and shall be around for all the five days. It is a haven for book lovers in a charming city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 Comments Add yours

  1. hackernewbie says:

    Everything looks so colorful!

    Have a wonderful time !

    Like

    1. A must attend literature festival in India, except when it is very crowded on Sundays. Thanks Rajiv :))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hackernewbie says:

        I was very eager to attend the one that happened in Bangalore in Dec but then had to go to Goa on those days 😦

        Like

      2. I think the one that happens in Jaipur is really interesting and knows the winning formula.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. hackernewbie says:

        Yes, and the guest-list too is pretty high-profile.

        Like

      4. Hahahah, for high profile parties!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Swati says:

    wow, nice read with beautiful photos! did you get a closer shot of Ruskin Bond? envy you totally and awaiting more updates on this. sounds like an awesome next 5 days in tow.

    Like

    1. Thank you Swati. It was a pleasure listening to him in the various sessions. Didn’t bother going close though. 🙂

      Like

  3. pc73 says:

    perfect timing!!!

    Like

    1. Hehhe, practical experiences shared. 🙂

      Like

  4. Jaipur Lit Fest remains on my “To Do’ list – nice to virtually ‘attend’ and will definitely make it there one of these years!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its a lovely little festival, yes you must Carissa. Jaipur is home for me, so much to see here. 🙂

      Like

  5. confabler says:

    nice post!
    I and my friend are planning on visiting the jlf 2017. Would you be kind enough to answer a few queries?
    1. We were confused do we attend as volunteers(chance to meet writers and editors) or through General registration?
    2. Is it worth attending it for 5 days or 2-3 days?
    Thank you in advance

    Like

    1. Hey! Please accept my apologies for the delayed reply, I was on the road and seem to have missed seeing this earlier. Thanks 🙂
      1. It is unlikely that you will be able to register as a volunteer, the registrations for that get closed quickly.
      2. It is worth attending for the entire duration, it is only on the weekends that the JLF gets really crowded. Advised to find your own happy space then. :)) Maybe we will bump into each other here in Jaipur. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. confabler says:

        It’s all right. I figured you must be busy from the beautiful posts you put up recently.
        Thanks for the answers.appreciate it.:)
        Yes maybe our paths will cross. it is a small place after all.
        Enjoy your travels and keep safe.
        Happy diwali in advance. -jia

        Like

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