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India is fast becoming Asia’s Art & Literary Hub

Jan 27, 2011


India is fast becoming Asia's art and literary hub. India Art Summit and Jaipur Literary Festival are two significant art and literary events that took place back to back this January in India's capital Delhi and Jaipur respectively. Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, is located 281 kilometers from the national capital Delhi in the Western India state of Rajasthan. Delhi and Jaipur along with Agra, where the famous Taj Mahal is located, form the Golden Triangle of India's tourist hotspots.

India Art Summit started in 2009 while Jaipur Literary Festival started in 2006. Since then both the events have been gaining wide popularity in India and abroad. These are two pan-Indian events that bring together art collectors, artists, curators, art-critics, publishers, writers, poets, book-lovers from all over India with many foreign visitors.

This year India Art Summit showcased works of 84 galleries from India and abroad (from 20 countries) under 8,500 square feet of space at New Delhi's premier exhibition space Pragati Maidan from January 21-23. The event had additional attractions such as Sculpture's Park and special Video Lounge besides the exhibition space.

The first India Art Summit attracted 10,000 visitors and this time the event witnessed a much higher turnout.

Jaipur Literary Festival, proclaimed to be Asia-Pacific's largest literary event, ran for five days long at the 19th century mansion Diggi Palace, beginning January 21st. Many luminaries of the literary world were present at the event. Nobel Laureates in Literature Orhan Pamuk & J.M. Coetzee were a great attraction, as were the icons of the Indian film industry Gulzar & Javed Akhtar, Booker Prize winner Kiran Desai, and great literary figures such as Vikram Seth, Ian McEwan among others. The event drew a large crowd of literature lovers.

India is fast becoming the publishing hub of the world with many large publishing houses such as Cambridge University Press, Random House and others setting up their offices in India.

India's burgeoning art market has led to the foundation of an Indian online auction house Saffronart in 2000 on the lines of Sotheby and Christie.

India's art and literary scene looks vibrant and growing at unprecedented pace. This certainly adds to India's traditional soft power that comes from its ancient civilization, dynamic democracy, its amazing geographical and cultural diversity, unparalleled Bollywood and re-energized world of Yoga & Ayurveda.

Photo is of The Forum recording at the 2011 Jaipur Literary Festival, by the BBC World Service.


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