Sundeep Bhutoria

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

In Patna for the Litfest

Patna, Feb 13, 2014: I reached Patna today and was in for a surprise. Despite being a big city and a state capital, Patna does not have a single big brand chain of star hotels as on date.
I checked in at Hotel Maurya which once used to be managed by the ITC Group if I remember correctly. I am in the city almost after two decades and just waiting to set out on a memory trek.
It seems Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has done quite a lot to salvage Patna's lost glory. Patna was one of the oldest cities and a top centre of learning in India during its Pataliputra days. Patna ranks among the oldest of cities and has the rare distinction of being one of the few continuously inhabited places in the world spanning over three millennia dating back to the days of the Mauryas and Guptas. The city is also associated with two of the oldest religions in the world Buddhism and Jainism.
In the evening I went to the Patna Museum - the venue of the Patna Literature Festival 2014 – which is also popular as Jadu Ghar. I found the final leg of the preparation for the Litfest was in full swing. This Museum was built in 1917 during the British Raj to house the historical artefacts found in the region. The imposing building is built in Mughal and Rajput architectural style.
The weatherman has predicted heavy and incessant rains in the next few days as a result the organizers have kept three venues for the Patna Literature Festival 2014 namely The Auditorium, one outer area for parallel sessions called the Buddha Lawns and one more bigger outer area for the evening cultural functions. The Buddha Lawns have been decked up and made rainproof. Another open area will house the press corner and authors' lounge.
The Patna Literature Festival 2014 begins tomorrow. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would inaugurate it.
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