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Jaipur Literary Festival

The Jaipur Literary Festival was started in the year 2006. This annual event is the biggest literary festival in Asia and as the years progressed the participation and registration for the festival have grown multi-fold.

The objective of the festival is not only to celebrate Indian writing but also international writing with many of the big names in both fiction and non-fiction writing gathering for a taste of Jaipur and the festival. The festival takes place in the month of January every year and the permanent venue is the famous Diggi Palace hotel. The hotel, formerly a palace, with its gardens and audience halls provides the perfect ambience for India's prestigious literary festival.

JLF attracts new and established writers as well as the book loving public from all over the world to participate in the numerous talks, debates, readings and workshops conducted during the festival. JLF, normally lasting five days is indeed a celebration of the best in literature in India and all over the world.

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The Beginning of Jaipur Literary Festival

The first ever Jaipur International Literary Festival was conducted in 2006 as part of the Jaipur Heritage International Festival. By 2008, the festival has gained enough publicity and recognitions that it became an independent event.

The Jaipur Literary festival is co-directed by writers Namitha Gokhale and William Dalrymple. The festival's humble beginning in 2006 has given way for increased audience participation in the later years.

2006 -2008

These were the beginning years of the Jaipur Literary Festival and both writer and audience participation were not something to be boastful about. In 2006, there were 18 writers, who included the British Indian novelist Hari Kunzru, Shobha De and William Dalrymple. It drew only a crowd of about 100 but next year, things were better. JLF 2007 had the celebratory names like Salman Rushdie and Kiran Desai as attendees and hence the audience participation and media coverage were also intensified.

2008 and after

From the year 2008, JLF is conducted as an independent event and both the writer and audience participation has increased considerably. Writers from all fields and book lovers from the United States, Britain and Canada visited JLF to meet, listen and participate in the event.

The year 2012 was controversial year for Jaipur Literary Festival for the participation of Salman Rushdie. The controversy surrounding Rushdie in fact helped the festival to garner international attention and heightened international media coverage. The place also became a platform for debates regarding freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It also became a venue for discussing the plights of modern India with respect to religion, politics and other social elements.

The Pink City, with its palaces and festivals attracts large number of tourists every year from all over the world. One of the prominent places to visit in the Indian subcontinent, Jaipur provides the best place to conduct a literary festival. The success story of Jaipur Literary Festival is a symbol of the city's ability to find new ways in bringing visitors, not only entertaining them but also enriching them in a way no other city in India is able to do.


This year JLF 2013 will be a major attraction for the cricket lovers and the Bollywood fans. For the cricket lovers ‘Corner of a distant playing field’ will be a major attraction, as Rahul Dravid will be addressing the audience on the third day of the festival. He will be talking about his life, cricket and his experience with the Rajasthan Royals.

  • For those Hindi cinema lovers Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Prasoon Joshi, Sharmila Tagore and Jaideep Sahani will be attending the festival. A special evening talk show is programmed in which Sharmila Tagore actor celebrity will be talking about her life and Bollywood in “An evening with Sharmila Tagore”.

Various sessions will bring the major Bollywood celebrities together on the discussion platform on Indian cinema, where social activist and actor Shabana Azmi, Celebrity writer Javed Akhtar, Director Prasson Joshi and Sharmila Tagore will talk about the different facets of the Indian Cinema. On the first day, to begin with Sharmila Tagore will pay tribute to the prominent writer Sunil Gangopadhaya and will be reading some excerpts from his book ‘Remembering Sunil Da’.

  • Javed Akhtar who is a regular on the fest will be engaged on the talk show with Rachel Dwyer on the topic ‘Bollywood and National Narrative’.
  • Shabana Azmi, Prasoon Joshi will be in conversation with Sanjoy Roy who is the director of the fest, on the session titles Women and sensibility which will be covering topics like ‘Sex and Sensibility; Women in Cinema’.
  • On the 4th day of the fest, a session will be conducted titled ‘Picture abhi baki hai; From page to screen’ Where Jaideep Sahani, Neelesh Mishra and Gaurav Solanki will be giving perceptiveness on script-writing.
  • ‘Lok Geet, Folk Geet: Bollywood ki nayi Sanskriti’ will have Prasoon, Sheen Kaaf Nizaam and Smita Tiwari talking about country music and making it big to fame.
  • Also this festival will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary to the James Bonbds films, hence a session will be featuring Sebastian Faulks and Ian Flemming’s biographer Andrew Lycett.

This time the Jaipur Literature Festival is been conducted on much larger scale and wit more addition of elements. The JLF2013 is scheduled for 24th-28th January, and possibly many eminent authors and speakers will be attending the Festival. Another venue has been added for the event that is the lawns of Clarks Amer for the musical night shows.

  • Sushila Raman and Miya Mary will be spreading the gloriole of Sufi music; also Anglo-Saxo will be presenting the rock music combination for the festival.
  • Vincent Segal, from France with a Rajasthani musician will be presenting folk combination and fusions.
  • Nathu Solanki, Chugge Khan and other Rajasthani musicians and Dancers will be wrapping the audience in the glorious tunes of Rajasthani folk.
  • Clarinet, drums, violin, Nagada, Kartaal, morchang etc will be spreading the enthralling tones of Rajasthani folk all around the Event.
  • The major attraction for the musical night will be performers from Coke Studio- Pappon and Shilpa Rao.
  • Children Choir in the Singing category and Caravan Group in the Flamenco Dance will be another International attraction.
  • Draping Losling Monks will be presenting Buddhists musical notes through which they will be presenting the Buddhists philosophy in the morning musical show.
  • Sayeda Hameed, Zakiya Zaheer, Rene Singh with the help of Pietik journey will depict the journey of “Manjum” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
  • Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan will be present a performance to Honor Lt. Ahmad Amjad Ali Khan.

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