Literature festivals are important destinations where conversation is sparked and prominent works of literature are discussed.

The fever of the Jaipur Literature Festival has just abated as the festival was held in a hybrid avatar for the first time this year. Literature festivals are important destinations where conversation is sparked and prominent works of literature are discussed. We look at some major literature festivals across India.

Valley of Words, Dehradun
The non-profit volunteer-driven initiative of The Valley of Words Foundation Trust is a three-day literature and arts festival in Dehradun. The festival sees the participation of writers, critics and audiences from the worlds of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. The festival has had four successful runs and this year the fifth edition is on the program. In 2021 the festival went virtual.

Goa Art & Literary Festival
GALF started in 2010 and is a non-profit volunteer driven initiative. The idea of ​​the festival was inspired by the late Goan poet Eunice de Souza’s ideology that there are ‘different ways to belong’. GALF has brought out writers and artists from the margins. The festival is usually held in December at The International Center Goa (ICG).

Jashn-e-Rekhta is the world’s largest literary festival in Urdu. Held in Delhi every year, the three-day festival celebrates Urdu poetry, Urdu literature, Qawwali and Islamic calligraphy. The festival fosters conversation around films and literature through debates and panel discussions. The festival was founded by Sanjiv Saraf, a businessman and cultural entrepreneur, to promote Urdu literature. It was first started in 2015 by the Rekhta Foundation. Prominent names like Rekha Bhardwaj, Muzaffar Ali, Javed Akhtar, Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi attended the festival.

Kumaon Literary Festival
Kumaon Literary Festival (KLF) is an initiative of NHP Centre, a non-profit organization. The five-day festival was founded by social commentator, innovator, thought leader and jurist Sumant Batra. KLF encompasses initiatives, projects and activities that go beyond the festival. It aims to identify new talent, open avenues for authors and produce translations for a wider audience. The non-profit and independent litfest, the first to be held in a mountain village in Uttarakhand, is a unique retreat and ‘traveling’ litfest in the country.

Orange City Literature Festival, Nagpur
OCLF started in December 2019. The first edition had sessions spread over two days in five sessions. The 2022 edition of the festival is scheduled for November. In addition to poets, writers, journalists and actors, various workshops on literature are part of the festival. Free stalls will also be made available to NGOs at the festival.

Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival
AKLF is India’s first litfest created by a bookstore and is Kolkata’s first literature festival. It reflects the vibrancy, heritage and love of literature of Kolkata. It celebrates music, movies, art and creativity. AKLF 2022 was held in January and all events were free and open to all. Prominent authors such as Devdutt Pattanaik and Dr Shashi Tharoor, and personalities such as Vir Sanghvi, Vani Tripathi, Sandip Roy and Kabir Bedi were part of the 2022 edition of the festival.

Jaipur Literature Festival
The recently concluded Jaipur Literature Festival is one of the largest literary festivals in the world. After a virtual run in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic, the festival returned to the ground in a hybrid avatar between March 5 and March 15. For the first time, the festival was held at Hotel Clarks, Amer. Since its inception in 2006, it has been held at The Diggi Palace Hotel. Author Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple are the festival directors while the festival is an initiative of the Jaipur Virasat Foundation. The festival is produced by Teamwork Arts. Some of the notable speakers at this year’s festival included Abhijit Banerjee, Elif Shafak, Diya Kumari and more.

Bangalore Literature Festival
Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) started in 2012 as a flagship annual literary festival to provoke discussions about literature and life. It was the brainchild of historian and author Vikram Sampath, author Shinie Antony and venture capital investor Srikrishna Ramamoorthy. BLF 2021 was held at Bangalore International Center in December.

Kalinga . Literary Festival
Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF) is an annual literature festival in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The founder and director of the festival is writer-journalist Rashmi Ranjan Parida. Three literary awards presented during the festival are the Kalinga Literary Award, the Kalinga International Literary Award and the Kalinga Karubaki Award. It first started in 2014 to promote Odia literature, language and culture.

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