Jaypee Group Presents Mountain Echoes Literary Festival

Dhaka Tribune

June 25, 2016

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On August 26 to 28, Bhutan will celebrate the seventh edition of Mountain Echoes literary festival. This diverse three-day festival is uniquely set against the backdrop of the verdant Himalayas in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. An initiative of the India-Bhutan Foundation in association with Siyahi, Mountain Echoes is a confluence of art, music, literature and new media of both countries, serving as the ideal platform for debate, discussion, and cultural exchange. Its idyllic location and program of events makes it one of the most unique literary festivals and a leading event in the international literary calendar.

Set within a country renowned for its sustainable democracy and proactive stance on ecology, Mountain Echoes will open with a conversation on “climate change and its impact” presented by author Amitav Ghosh, and introduced by ambassador Jaideep Sarkar (present ambassador of India to the Royal Government of Bhutan).

As well as exploring contemporary issues facing Bhutan today, the festival will span the country’s full history, with a conversation on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in Bhutan, the first ruler to unite Bhutan as a single nation. Kuenga Wangmo, Neyphug Trulku and Dasho Sangay Khandu will discuss his journey as undoubtedly one of the greatest figures in the history of Bhutan.

Visitors to Mountain Echoes 2016 can also attend a variety of collateral events, such as an exhibition of artworks by the Jogi family; selections from Jogi Art by Tulika Kedia at the Royal University of Bhutan and an exhibition of photographs by Sudhir Kasliwal, curated by Pramod Kumar KG capturing a vibrant, living Rajasthan, shall be presented.

“Good to Great Gasa,” a photography exhibition by Dorji Dhradhul, will also provide viewers with a glimpse into the history, culture, and natural splendour of Bhutan’s Gasa region. Some of the proceeds of the exhibition will go to the Good to Great Gasa Fund.

Workshops include Elements of a Story, which is a creative writing workshop by Sonam Wangmo Jhalani, Brand Building and Advertising by Piyush Pandey and Sculpting the Spirit, a yoga workshop, by Ira Trivedi. Moreover, a special musical performance will be featured by Indian fusion rock band, Indian Ocean.

This year, the festival also announces the inaugural edition of Bonfire Tales, which is a cultural journey on a motorcycle to the Phobjikha valley in the impressive Black Mountains of Bhutan and then onto the warm climes of Punakha. Participants will be led by actor Kelly Dorji, on a tour specifically designed to provide an authentic experience of Bhutanese culture, discovering sacred religious sites, and centuries-old monasteries and their art, while sampling delicious local cuisine throughout the journey.

Detailed itineraries and costs are available on request. Availability is limited and applications for the tour are now open. To apply, please contact: tamanna.siyahi@gmail.com.

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