Book lovers, literary enthusiasts, and literature festival wanderlusters, here is some great news for you. If you are looking for the next big literary travel destination to immerse your bookish mind, we have just the right suggestion for you.

Pack your bags and plan your next trip to the crowning jewel of the Himalayan Kingdom, for The Land of Thunder Dragons has something in store for you. Come this August, the 13th edition of Drukyul’s Literature and Arts Festival (DLAF) is all set to take place from August 3 to 5, 2024, at the Royal University of Bhutan in Thimphu.

This reputed and much talked about festival is organized under the esteemed patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, and this annual fete of all things literary promises a vibrant celebration of literature, culture, and art.

A Cultural Extravaganza Under Royal Patronage

DLAF, which was formerly known as Mountain Echoes, was founded in 2010 as a Bhutan-India initiative under the guidance of Her Majesty the Queen Mother. Over the next couple of years, the festival has become much more evolved and has now become a prominent platform that showcases literary talent of both kinds – Bhutanese and International.

For travel enthusiasts who also love all things bookish, the festival is also a great opportunity to travel to the Himalayan kingdom which is also called the ‘happiest place on earth.’

This year the festival has been launched with the aim to preserve and also bring about an era of evolution and a positive change. According to the organizers, the DLAF 2024 will explore the theme of Mindfulness, which is inspired by Bhutanese values of compassion, harmony, and self-awareness. This theme will be the guiding light around which all the activities and events will be planned.

The esteemed guest list of 2024

India’s favourite Politician-author Shashi Tharoor, famous novelist Shobhaa De, Turkish Ambassador Firat Sunel, and bestselling author Ashwin Sanghi are among the eminent names taking part in the upcoming 13th edition of Drukyul’s Literature and Arts Festival (DLAF). Further, the list of speakers also features former diplomat and author Navtej Sarna, poet Tishani Doshi, children’s author Roopa Pai, Ambassador of France to India Thierry Mathou, Korean writer-translator Anton Hur, Nepalese billionaire Binod Chaudhary, and Bhutanese poet Kinley Rinzin Dorji among others. People attending the festival can expect some engaging panel discussions and workshops, immersive readings, and many more exciting things.

Past Editions

In the past editions too, we have seen many famous literary names participating in the festival. These include renowned figures such as Ruskin Bond, Pico Iyer, Vikas Swarup, Markus Zusak, Padma Lakshmi, Vikram Seth, Kabir Bedi, Kunzang Choden, and Pawo Choyning Dorji, all of whom have enriched the festival with their insights and literary experiences.

DLAF is a one-of-a-kind venture that marks Bhutan’s entry on Asia’s literary map. It is an initiative that stands as a testament to Bhutan’s commitment to nurturing a literary culture and promoting global literary conversations.

You can learn more about the festival on the festival’s official website.

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