Politics & Prose Travel Series

ATA/Politics & Prose Presents:

Jaipur Literary Festival
The Greatest Literary Festival on Earth
January 21-31, 2013

Set on the grounds of the Hotel Diggi Palace, the festival is spectacular in its splendor, hospitality and intellectual stimulation. Now in its eighth year, it has grown from its humble inception with 15 authors into an international media event that this year drew 260 speakers and a crowd of over 120,000.

Join journalist and screenwriter Alexandra Viets on this unique journey to India that will include stops at a number of major tourist sites while also serving as a roving literary seminar. Along the way the P&P group will immerse itself in the riches of South Asian literature with informal conversations about art, film, and contemporary books, including Aravind Adiga’s Booker Prize-winning novel of modern New Delhi, The White Tiger, Rohinton Mistry’s classic epic, A Fine Balance, and other fiction and non-fiction selections. The trip will offer rare access to local journalists and writers and will include a private meeting with festival organizer and prize-winning author William Dalrymple.

The ten-day journey will begin January 21 flying to New Delhi, a vibrant, chaotic, glorious city that fuses the ancient and modern worlds. Here participants will explore the labyrinthine streets of both Old and New Delhi, visit mosques, monuments and forts, and shop at the lively and colorful bazaars. The visit will be enhanced by a guided walking tour with author, broadcaster, and longtime Indiophile Sam Miller, and will also include a picnic in Lodhi Gardens with Rama Lakshmi who has worked as the Washington Post correspondent in New Delhi for more than 20 years.

In Jaipur, there’ll be meetings with featured authors and ample opportunity to explore the stunning landscape of Jaipur itself, including the Amber Fort, City Palace, and small independent bookshops. Politics & Prose will be working with partners in Jaipur to help secure good seating at events and readings once the 2013 schedule is finalized. Past authors have included Vikram Seth, Tom Stoppard, Michael  Ondaatje, JM Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, Ian McEwan, and Roddy Doyle. Find out more…

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India: Discovering The Living Arts

A visit to the studio of R.B. Bhaskeran for talks on Modern Art Movements in India

A visit to the studio of R.B. Bhaskeran for talks on Modern Art Movements in India

India ranks very high on the “life lists” of many travelers, including the group of museum professionals and ATA staff who set out in early June to learn about India’s booming contemporary art scene, which has its roots in a 5,000 year artistic tradition.

India is “exotic” in a way quite unlike any other place on earth. It was a sensory overload, a spiritual experience, and a mystical, bedazzling riot of colors and activity—all at the same time. Braving India’s summer heat, we were rewarded with virtually tourist-free sights and monuments.

Our exhilarating journey to Chennai, Agra and Delhi provided us with an exciting curriculum in the living arts, as well as an introduction to the India’s most important art movements, archeological treasures, and architectural monuments. For eight days, we had the distinct pleasure of discussing art and culture with painters, dancers, musicians and an extraordinary archeologist. We left India hungry for more, knowing we had just scratched the surface of a rich, multi-layered artistic tradition.

There were so many highlights to cherish on this trip!

First, the artists. Kuntal Desai and R B Bhaskeran in Chennai generously opened their homes to us, giving us a very personal look at their work and inspiration. We also visited several artists’ villages, and a state-sponsored artist studio in Delhi.

Then there were the musicians and dancers, who demonstrated the power of oral tradition in India culture, and sang and played beautiful music on traditional instruments.

And of course, we were awe-struck at the Taj Mahal, where we spent two hours examining this most famous example of Mughal architecture. We also spent time at the temples of Mahabalipuram, built between the 7th and 9th century.

To see a slideshow of our tour, click here

To see a few of our trip videos, click here

Academic Travel Abroad’s website

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