The eighth edition of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) started with a river cruise on board the cruiser vessel M.V. Paramhamsa, which is a four-decked vessel. There is no heritage site more intrinsic to Kolkata than the river whose banks it stands on, perhaps the very reason for Kolkata’s existence . Hence the cruise down the Ganges was chosen for inauguration of AKLF 2017.
AKLF is India’s only literary festival created by a Bookstore and Kolkata’s first literary festival.
The theme of this year’s Literary Fest is “Inclusive society”.
The inauguration too place on the Sun Deck. This is the top deck of the ship. This part has been exclusively created for Nature viewing, sun lounging, Entertainment, Star gazing through Telescopes, night vision Binoculars etc. It can also accommodate open-air conferences with all facilities.
Specification of M.V Paramhamsa:
- Length 55 mtrs
- Breadth 12 mtrs
- Draft 1.5 mtrs
- Speed 12 Knots
- Classed under Indian Registry of Shipping
- All Rooms are River Facing
- Air conditioned with individual controller
- Attached Bath with Hot & Cold Water
- Intercom facility
- Personal Coffee/Tea Maker
- Locker on request
- The suites have extra bed provision
Bar and Restaurant:
- Capacity 80 Pax
- Terrace restaurant
- Cuisines from all over the world
- Live Kitchen to try out local recipes
- Massage Rooms
- Steam cum Sauna
- Juice counter
- Library and TV
- Gift Shop
24hours wireless internet facility
Paramhamsa Deck Plans:
There are 54 ghats (quayside) along the Ganges and all have great history and heritage. Some of them are Bathing ghats, Ceremonial ghats where rituals are performed and then the Ferry ghat which connects the two banks at various places. Many monuments, memorials and markets are there by the river side, to be explored & experienced.
The cruise started from, Vivida jetty, Millennium Park to Botanical Garden and back. It was followed by Lunch on board the vessel.
As we cruised on the banks of Ganga Shri Ashok Saha of Bhromora sang and performed traditional river songs of Bengal and heritage expert G.M. Kapur spoke about Kolkata’s historical spirit of inclusiveness in creativity and culture.
The main venue of AKLF will be St. Paul’s Cathedral grounds – chosen for its welcoming, accessible and inclusive nature. The festival’s closing event will be hosted at St John’s Church, built in 1787. The festival which started today on the banks of the Ganga, will culminate at St. John’s Church with a candlelight vigil in solidarity with the ideal of an inclusive society.
The Festival conversations will also be hosted at Royal Calcutta Turf Club, Tollygunge Club, the campus of iLead & Presidency University, Daga Nikunj and Harrington Street Arts Centre.
AKLF 2017 will introduce for the first time, Plug in, as a tribute to Nobel laureate Bob Dylan, showcasing the best young musicians in Kolkata across genres. Held in the heart of the city at St Paul’s Cathedral Grounds, the music festival will kick off in the evening after 7.30 pm on 15, 16, 17th Jan. The musicians and bands that will grace Plug in will be an eclectic mix of rock, rap, electronic, rhythm, instrumentals and harmony.
Like in past, we hope that it will be an unique festival involving all Kolkatans and a very inclusive one.