The three-day festival slated to be an annual calendar event from this year is scheduled from December 12-14.

"What other theme could be a better option than Hindi literature with the festival being held at the land of Surdas itself. Hindi literature has excellent works to boast of, why not promote them on a bigger landscape," Organising Committee Director Harvijay Singh Bahiya said.

"Agra has always had a deeper literary connection, and when all cities these days have literary festivals why the literati of Agra should be left out," he added.
    
The festival will feature a select panel of authors and celebrated personalities including Ashwin Sanghi, William Dalrymple, Anupama Chopra, Rauf Ahmed, Christopher Doyle, Aruna Chakravarti, Bina Ramani, Ravi Subramanian, Maria Goretti, M J Akbar, Ziya–Us-Salam among others.

Apart from focusing on the Hindi literature, the festival will encompass a wide range of subjects ranging from Rabindranath Tagore to cricket, to the 100 years of cinema and the 66 years of independence followed by several talk sessions.

William Dalrymple and celebrated North Indian singer Vidya Shah would also contribute in celebrating the bygone era of India's last Mughals, bringing to life a world of emperors, poets with their dramatic reading and music performance.

“There will be special sessions on the 15the century poet Surdas, a session on Amrit Lal Nagar sahab, on Geetanjali, on Rajender Yadav, the hindi fiction writer who just passed away and also a session on folk theatre," Bahiya said.
    
There will also be a performance of 'Bhagat'. It is an art form which originated in Agra 400 years ago but it got lost. We will also try to revive this art with this performance, he added.

A dash of Bollywood would be provided from Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Shabana Azmi and Farooq Sheikh. Enactment of the award winning play, "Tumhari Amrita" is set to be another attraction.
    
The Festival, whose debut edition was organized in February this year is set to be inagurated by actress Sharmila Tagore and will feature a special tribute to Rabindranath Tagore.
    
According to organizers, there was a time when Agra used to hold stronghold of culture and names like Ghalib, Tansen, Surdas and Nazeer formed part of the lore of Agra.
    
"The festival is an attempt to rejuvenate the embers of that aesthetic spirit which smolder in this culturally and historically rich city," Bahiya said.

(Agencies)

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