The Bengaluru Poetry Festival – A poets paradise | Attending one of the best poetry festivals in India


The Bengaluru Poetry Festival is a platform that encourages an intriguing interaction – poets, scholars, academicians and ordinary people who, to put it plainly, love poetry and the excitement that goes along with it flock here in large numbers, all ready to have their minds blown. It is one of upcoming events in Bangalore in the month of August.

After two successful edition of BENGALURU POETRY FESTIVAL, the third edition is being conducted on 4th and 5th of AUG 2018 at the Leela Palace Bangalore. The third edition of Bengaluru Poetry festival 2018 will host more than 50 poets from various states, countries, genres, style, and forms.

Experiencing the Bengaluru Poetry Festival

As a newbie in India’s ‘Garden City’ but an age old fan of poetry and all things literary, the Bengaluru Poetry Festival 2017 seemed, to me, a perfect opportunity for both, literary pleasure as well as a bit of exploration.

The festival was housed at The Leela Palace Hotel which served as a perfect setting especially when one was given an opportunity to comfortably sit back and listen to “Gulzar sahab ki shayari aur gazal” amidst refreshingly beautiful greenery and palatial structures, on both days of the festival, that is, the 5th and 6th of August, 2017.

I attended the second day of the festival hoping to catch both, the ‘poet-laureate’ Gulzar as well as Goa’s editor, poet and journalist, Jerry Pinto. However, the traffic scene prevented me from attending a major part of the former’s discussion.

Although I missed a mighty amount of Gulzar sahab’s session, the last few minutes were enough to compel me to feel the passion emanating from his beautiful words – I literally wiped away goosebumps at every pause. An artistically adroit individual, Gulzaar’s words and elocution left the audience speechless. And those who did eventually wake up from this magical poetic trance managed to utter just a single syllable – “wah!”. After his session, he left his seat and walked through an echo of ‘wah’s’ that merely scratches the surface when it comes to quantifying his poetic magnificence.

He was then succeeded by the ever enthusiastic and bombastic Jerry Pinto who never fails to leave his audience in splits. Pinto’s session entitled ‘Why Poetry’ encompassed him reading a number of his poems that attempted to explain the same in verse, starting on a serious note and ending, as usual, with a bang. Well known for ensuring his audiences leave his sessions with the ‘tickles’, this time too, Pinto’s assemblage convulsed with laughter as he truly indulged in “the breathtaking spaces between madness, luminosity and quiet rebellion”.

What persuaded me to leave after his session was the colossal structure of the Hotel. Whilst attempting to pursue my ambitions to explore, I bumped into a number of people who also participated in Pinto’s session, so, I loitered around trying to understand how the other members of the audience received his session. Whilst some were not too sure about how they truly felt, most of the others, particularly the youth, seemed to have loved every moment of it.

The grandeur of the fest probably made Pinto’s session seem out of place, considering how casual it was in comparison to Gulzar’s, but nonetheless, he received an altogether positive response – a standing ovation to be precise.

What’s interesting is that, like every other literary fest, this one too made provisions to sell books – poetry and prose alike (not privileging one over the other). I didn’t think there would be an exhibition of sorts but was ever grateful for the same and extremely satisfied to find a large collection of the works of poets who directly participated in the event, as well as those who are well recognised members of the literary sphere.

I left the main area an hour after Pinto’s session and used this time to finally explore the Hotel. Other than the fabulous architecture and rich draperies, the sound of flowing water adds a tranquil touch to an otherwise intimidating structure. With soothing greenery enveloping the Hotel, the locale fit perfectly with the heart warming yet fiery, thought provoking ambience of the poetry festival.

After attending the Goa Arts and Literary Festival (GALF) as well as the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), both of which left a lasting impression on a budding literature enthusiast, the Bengaluru Poetry Festival seemed like the perfect start to a two-year study cum stay in the centre of India’s tech-industry. Literature has always meant something more to me, something that goes way beyond just reading. It’s the ability to read, recite and feel at the same time that makes all the difference. And when it comes to poetry, it’s all about your expression and ability to impress upon your reader (and/or listener).

The trip to The Leela Palace Hotel proved Bengaluru to truly be a city of gardens, where the air is fresh and the people? – More than just high tech. So if you’re interested in a calming, enlightening experience, stick around in August (4th and 5th) and prepare yourself for a few days of sheer poetic bliss.

For more information, here’s a link to the official site:

Bengaluru Poetry Festival

For updates and Facebook page of Bengaluru Poetry Festival:

Bengaluru Poetry Festival Facebook page