The Jaipur literature festival- “Of the writers the storytellers​ and the dream sellers

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One would be hard-pressed to find a city like Jaipur that exudes so much heritage, culture, and art during the times of the literature festival hosted every year. My very earthbound brain suddenly generates an ability to curve away from the mundane life and an intellectual feeling is just a byproduct of attending the sessions for 4 days. Being in the top 10 places to visit in India I was never able to see my city from a travelers perspective but the fest is the time where I see people coming from all parts of the world and makes me wonder what is it that brings them here?

Perfect weather of January for basking sunshine, perfect folks of the city to take pride in hosting such an event and the perfect venue-“The Diggi Palace” (Diggi palace accommodation ), decorated like an explosion of colors. Maybe it’s the vibrations of those colors, which create an osmosis of ideas in the mind. Then how can one not become a writer, or at least feel like one?

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Fair enough to make it so colorful because being a “Jaipurite” I understand colors beat like heartbeat within us. We think, dream and dress in colors, colors that my friends from other countries usually shy away from.

Those puppets hanging in front of alleys of forts of Amer, those bangles displayed in shops of Johri Bazaar, those bandhej stoles flowing in the breeze of Bapu Bazaar and the colorful turbans moving in the streets of old city area when you watch them from those terraces and pavilions upstairs, they all scream VIBGYOR.

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To complement this theme parts of the city and the iconic buildings were illuminated with colorful lights owing to the Republic day celebrations.

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One can just attend the literature festival to enjoy the variety of people from bibliographers to philosophers and their attires. Men dressed in crop top and saris, to women peacocking fusion fashion, the intellectuals dressed in khakis and kurtas and the thinkers dressed in rags and pajamas.

We can see every form of possible art and ideas sprouting in the central lawn- an architect sketching a cusp of the arch, a painter painting the colors of flowers aspiring musicians playing the ukulele to launch a music album of his own, budding poets trying to  complete the broken proses, and the rest of us discussing controversies stirred in the sessions. Even the festival bazaar was full of unusual ideas from camel milk soap, Chantilly stoles and artisans ice creams everything was speaking art.

Few things to remember for the fest:

  • Do an online registration, which closes four days prior to the festival.Jaipur Literature Festival
  • Take a cab to the venue rather than self-driven cars to avoid parking hassles.
  • Start your day early to avoid the crowd and if you really want to listen (it gets seriously crowded after 1Pm)
  • Attend the alternate events of music and theatre, which happen in the evening and are pre mentioned on its official site.
  • Grab a seat early morning if you want to attend few consecutive sessions in the same venue.

And  being done a week after when I am trying to hold onto the more transfigured form of me from the wisp of the wind of day to day life, all I could say is a visit to Jaipur is recommended not only because of its monuments, its colorful bazaars, its scrumptious food but also to be a part of Jaipur literature festival.

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Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan

Being brought up and lived in Rajasthan I had  never thought that after traveling so much all across the world, a trip itself in Rajasthan would  be my inspiration for my first travel blog.

Driving down from Jaipur to Kumbhalgarh was  an experience in itself. The way my familiar landscape of flat lands  and wide desert laden vistas changed after the district of Beawer  to rugged mountanious terrain, winding roads and small green meadows miraculously appearing in between those rocky mountains with colorful little villages perched on a top of a small hills was so amazing.

As soon as you enter the town of Kumbhalgarh what you do not  expect to see is this  pristine sparkling lake which was the focal point of many resorts of the town .The town is very touristy with no main markets or housing population as such but only Resorts and Hotels-some near the lake and some over the mountains.

So if you avoid typical tourist seasons(which I couldn’t) the town would by very quiet peaceful and serene.

The first sight of the Kumbhalgarh fort and you are awestruck by the sheer size of it …and its not that I have not seen forts before, but the size of the guarding wall (the second largest wall after “The Great wall of China”) which was 46 kms long hosting a Marathon on it every year makes you feel ..”Yes this would be the place where the brave warriors of Mewar like Maharana Kumbha and Maharana Pratap would surely come take refuge and win the wars when there own political forts were besieged by Mughals”. Yes, it does lives upto its reputation of undefeated “at least by the sight of it”.

The light and sound show in the evening at the fort is must see because you are enveloped by the most beautiful canopy of stars over you as soon as the light go out the folk Rajasthani music in the background and even the cheesy narration of history all sets the mood at the right note.

Trek to Parshuram Mahadev temple is highly recommended for the most secluded and underexplored views away from the regular hustle and bustle of the tourists.

Being totally unprepared for the trek we just set off with some local recommendation to visit that place. I Had been walking on the fort all day already tired, and in the evening we set off for the trek.

It was around 1.5 kms steep downhill one way in the middle of the forest, no handrails no, support and no sport shoes for me. After you arrive at the temple platform and ascend to some 200 solid stairs, enter in a narrow cave where the Shiv Linga there was some calcite deposit of the cave itself.

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While coming back the sun had already set.

Dark and chilly trek now steep uphill in the forest, without lights, with no battery and signals in cellphones and in those dark moments all we could think of was the bears and leopards that had become man-eater, seemingly present around us. It looked like a “No Man’s Land” at that time of night. The very thought that no one else was going to come and look for us over there was petrifying enough to cloud the logic in your brain..nevertheless convincing ourself to take “one step at a time” and not thinking too much about the completion of journey was the keyword for that moment, and of course we came back safe and sound but in retrospect today sitting in the comfort of my living room is making me think that why don’t we think like thison-the-way-to-parshuram for life in general.

Things would be so less complicated and there would be clarity in our minds for at least that particular moment which we are in to.