27 January, 2021

Just A Literary Venue

Jaipur’s reading habit hasn’t improved

Just A Literary Venue

Four days before the Jaipur litfest, Diggi Palace is a work in progress, with hammers, sandpaper and brushes furiously applying finishing touches. In response to the growing megawattage of the festival, the property has been spiffed up and equipped with better amenities, like a cafe and toilets for every venue. Owner Ram Pratap Singh concedes the place is now a household name thanks to the world attention on it for five days each year. But this scion of one of Jaipur’s oldest families insists he’s no money-grubbing hotelier: “The tariff was last revised four years ago, following major renovation; there are no plans to raise room rates now.” However, at nearby Arya Niwas, COO Chetan Bansal is openly enthused about how great for business the fest is: “Hotels start bookings three to four months in advance.”

Jaipur’s bookshop owners, though, tell a different story, one that raises questions about how deep the litfest has really percolated in the city it’s adopted. Owner of the popular Bookwise,...



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