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Old 07-21-2017, 05:27 AM
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Default TOP 10 Best of The Mountain Echoes Literary Festival In Bhutan

The Mountain Echoes literary festival is an initiative that brings together writers, biographers, historians, environmentalists, scholars, photographers, poets, musicians, artists, film-makers to engage in cultural dialogue, share stories, create memories and spend three blissful days in the mountains. The festival enjoys the patronage of Her Majesty the Royal Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. In its eighth edition this year, festival is being organized in Thimphu, Bhutan from August 25-August 27 with the inaugural on August 24. And here's why you should definitely attend one of the best literary festivals in recent times.

1. The Destination

Reasons Why You Should Attend The Mountain Echoes Literary Festival In Bhutan This August Mountain Echoes Literary Festival 2017_Aditi Goyal
It's not every day you get to go to Bhutan. And while this one sentence is reason, in itself, for you to visit, I'll elaborate some more. Known as the world's happiest nation, Bhutan is an amalgamation of culture, arts, heritage and enlightenment. From the music to the people, the land has a way of enchanting you. And while you can always choose to visit the country whenever you want, now is as good as any time, only slightly better with one of the most enthralling literary festivals to really stimulate travelers and readers, alike.

2. The Personalities

Reasons Why You Should Attend The Mountain Echoes Literary Festival In Bhutan This August NY Times, Wikipedia & Twitter
Set against the stunning backdrop of the Eastern Himalayas, the ******** and genteel gathering will see the presence of over 40 titans from the world of writing. The list includes prominent Bhutanese, Indian and International names such as celebrated Bhutanese poet Ashi Sonam Choden Dorji; art restorer and author of books such as The Lotus Light Palace of Guru Rinpoche: Visions of the Buddhist Paradise in the Sacred Kingdom of Bhutan, Ashi Kesang Choden T; politician and Commonwealth Writers' Prize winner Dr. Shashi Tharoor; author of The Golden Legend and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Nadeem Aslam; senior ecologist with the Royal Society for Protection of Nature, recognized as a biodiversity ‘Hotspot Hero' by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and author of Wild Lilies and Poppies of Bhutan, Wild Rhododendrons of Bhutan and Threatened Birds in Bhutan Rebecca Pradhan; author and environmentalist Pradip Krishen; biochemist and author Pranay Lal; Phuntsho Namgyel, the first director of Bhutan's Election Commission; author of the acclaimed book Forest for Gross National Happiness; Palden Tshering, former journalist; founder of Bhutan's first literacy consultancy; K Anis Ahmed, co-founder of the literary journal Bengal Lights and author of the best-selling novels The World in My Hands and Good Night, Mr. Kissinger; acclaimed Indian film director and writer Imtiaz Ali; contemporary fiction writer Amrita Tripathi and eminent journalist and Emmy nominated author Barkha Dutt.

3. 8 Years Of Celebrations

Reasons Why You Should Attend The Mountain Echoes Literary Festival In Bhutan This August Mountain Echoes Literary Festival 2017
The festival was established under the patronage of Her Majesty the Royal Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, and the eighth edition of the festival aims to provide a collaborative platform for cultural dialogue and encourage the exchange of ideas, stories and experiences. Festival co-Director and celebrated author Namita Gokhale said, “Over the last eight years Mountain Echoes has established itself as one of the most thoughtful, moving and evocative celebrations of literature anywhere on our planet. The shared narratives of Bhutan and India, and of mountain regions everywhere, expand the space for insights across cultures and geographies.” Eminent Bhutanese author and Festival Co-Director Tshering Tashi added, “Each edition of Mountain Echoes literary festival presents a deeper insight into the literature, arts and philosophy of both nations. The discussion and discourse at the festival inspires both local and global audiences through a diverse range of topics. Over the years, the festival has boosted tourism here whilst also giving the people of Bhutan a window to global literature. 2017 will see an increase in the number of Bhutanese delegates at the festival and we are excited to offer the world a glimpse into our varied cultural heritage through the numerous gatherings planned.”

4. The Variety

Reasons Why You Should Attend The Mountain Echoes Literary Festival In Bhutan This August Phub Tshering and Sonam Penjor
With an intensive schedule spanning 3 days and 7 venues in the heart of the stunning nation, the 8th edition of the festival will see acclaimed names from across the globe such as His Eminence Kyabje Khedrup Rinpoche Ugyen Tenzin Thinley Lhendup, Markus Zusak, Ashwin Sanghi, Padma Lakshmi, Jerry Pinto, Pawo Choyning Dorji, Prayaag Akbar, Devdutt Pattanaik and Khenpo Sonam Bumdhen converge to exchange ideas, stories and experiences during the 3-day literary extravaganza. The Mounatin Echoes Literary Festival is all set to embrace and explore globally relevant issues such as environmental conservation, natural history, spirituality, and the global evolution of textiles and design traditions, amongst others, thereby bringing together a range of expertise and perspectives on stage throughout the three days. The venues are Auditorium, Royal University of Bhutan, Tarayana Centre, Taj Tashi, India House, Nehru Wangchuck Cultural Centre, Clock Tower and Mojo Park.

5. Amalgamation Of Art & Culture

Reasons Why You Should Attend The Mountain Echoes Literary Festival In Bhutan This August Atsara
The festival will kickstart with a welcome Dance of The Drums. Her Majesty the Royal Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck and Khenpo Sonam Bumdhen will then pay tribute to the legend whose immense influence in moulding the Bhutan of today is indisputable, Zhabdrung. There will be talks by Ashwin Sanghvi and Jerry Pinto on how literature continues to inspire new and independent genres of writing. There will be poetry recital and writing sessions, fashion designers, Abraham & Thakore showcasing their latest collections. On the second day, the Rapa dance, conversations with Shashi Tharoor, a discussion of Bhutanese architecture in all its majesty and grandeur and Padma Lakshmi and Barkha Dutt engaged in conversations.

6. A Holistic Learning Experience

Reasons Why You Should Attend The Mountain Echoes Literary Festival In Bhutan This August Mountain Echoes Literary Festival
From spiritual enlightenment to artistic exposure, the festival promises to capture one and all with a vast range of interests. The festival promises to celebrate untouched beauty, unexplored ideas and unstoppable voices. India's famous illusionist and mentalist Neel Madhav will be talking about his mind-boggling art and tops it off with a performance. His Eminence Kyabje Khedrup Rinpoche Ugyen Tenzin Thinley Lhendup will guide those seeking mindfulness on making Buddhist practices a relevant and real part of their lives. And Imtiaz Ali will be talking about contemporary cinema. The festival wil have something for everyone to take back—memories, included.

7. Adventures With Kelly Dorji

Reasons Why You Should Attend The Mountain Echoes Literary Festival In Bhutan This August Urvi Bhuwania
In association with Mountain Echoes and Terton Travel Bhutan, visitors will also have a chance to enjoy in Bhutan bonfire tales with the one and only Kelly Dorji. Ease into the annual literary festivities with a special journey lead by Actor Kelly Dorji. Ride motorcycles or drive in cars into the warm subtropical temperatures of Punakha. Visit religious sites, examine centuries old monasteries and their art and gorge on local cuisine. Make the climb up to the world famous Tiger's Nest Monastery in Paro (Taktshang) and return to the Capital in time to attend this year's edition of Mountain Echoes refreshed, charged and spiritually enhanced.

8. Travel Therapy

Reasons Why You Should Attend The Mountain Echoes Literary Festival In Bhutan This August Aditi Goyal
As I said, when I started off, you can visit any time of year. But, something about the well-timed Mountain Echoes festival, in the picturesque locales of Bhutan will ensure that this one time, you will never actually leave the destination. You will make memories, learn about cultures, arts, people and experiences. You will take back photographs, experiences and hundreds of memories, along with stories to tell friends and families. But, you will be leaving a piece of yourself behind in the lands of Bhutan till you return again.

Photo: Mountain Echoes Festival (Main Image)
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