Book Fair Programme Highlights

Update: The 2011 Darsana Book fair will be held from 28th January – 06th February at Thirunakkara Grounds.

Starting today, it’s festive mood at Kottayam for 10 days. The stage at the Book Fair venue will see a variety of cultural programmes all through the 10 days. This in fact, is what makes the Kottayam Book Fair stand out from other book fairs all over. You may download the full programme sheet. Given below are a few highlights.


2 pm – Inauguration: Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan
6 pm – Folk Songs


10 am – Elocution, Recitation competition
11 am – inauguration of Aksharam, Achadi, Arivu exhibition (highly recommended)
5.30 pm – Kadathanattu Madavi Amma Retrospective
7 pm – Bhaavanadanam (Documentary)


11 am – Balamaniyamma Retrospective
7 pm – Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattom, Kuchuppudi


10.30 am – Seminar on Script-Writing
5.30 pm – Cultural Meeting
7.00 pm – Gitanjali recitation

1st Dec

10 am – Seminar on Higher Education
4 pm – Educational Seminar
7 pm – Magic Show (Master Richin Kuzhikkadu)


10.30 am – Debate on Literary Criticism in Malayalam
5.30 pm – Kaviyarangu
7 pm – “The Sixth Sense” – A demo video of the invention by Mr. Pranav Mistry, linking physical and the digital worlds. (yes, our show!)


11 am – Lalithambika Antharjanam Retrospective
7 pm – Violin Fusion


10.30 am – Media Seminar
3 pm – Inter-school Debate Competition
5.30 pm – Senior Citizens Meet


10 am – District Development Seminar
7 pm – Kottayam (Documentary)

6th (final day)

4.30 pm – Valedictory Function

Book Fair Round the Corner. And is Packed With Great Stuff.

Update: The 2011 Darsana Book fair will be held from 28th January – 06th February at Thirunakkara Grounds.

With 60 hours to the launch, preparations are scaling high at Nagampadom Maidan. Bare structures of pavilions & stages are setup and the 10-day programme schedule is finalized. Publicity efforts are in full swing with banners and hoardings all over the town and suburbs.

This year, it’s a many-in-one event. An Educational exhibition lasting 5 days from the opening day (27th November till 1st December) and an exhibition on Malayalam Printing & Publishing lasting 8 days (28th November till 5th December) are arranged. The educational fair will see a large number of professional institutions as the participants. And the Printing & Publishing exhibition titled “Aksharam, Achadi, Arivu” is done jointly by Darsana Cultural Centre and Dept. of Publications, M.G. University.

Early responses assure the organizers a grand success. Schools and Colleges have expressed immense interest. And the Media is already abuzz with the event.

The fair will be inaugurated by the legendary film-maker, Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan. The inaugural ceremony will start by 2pm on 27th November (Friday).

More programme highlights to follow. Watch our special tag – bookfair09

8 Great Apparel Brands. Now in Kottayam Town.

More and more reasons to be happy. Eight great branded apparel outlets have been opened in Kottayam Town. The joyous fact is that, 7 of them are international style-icon brands. It’s great to see more of these coming up, adding life and color to our town.

Pepe Jeans
(Sasthri Road)

Levi Strauss Signature
(Sasthri Road)

(Sasthri Road)

(Sasthri Road)

Basics Life
(M.D. Commerical Centre, K.K. Road)

Zapp! Zapp! has been replaced by Arrows
(M.D. Commerical Centre, K.K. Road)

Wrangler & Reebok
Opposite Darsana Cultural Centre, Shastri Road.

Multi-brand mega store chain – MegaMart is now open in Kottayam, above Hotel Aryaas, Baker Junction.

Quality Hotels Spring up around Ettumanoor

Business class hotels are being deployed in a high frequency around Ettumanoor. Within a few months three such hotels were opened within a distance of 10 km from Ettumanoor. And two of them – Zurich International and Vijaya Park – are situated by the side of E.E. (Ettumanoor-Ernakulam) Road with just about 1.5kms separating the both. Third oneĀ  – Hotel Elegance – is at Kidangoor Junction on the Ettumanoor-Pala highway.

All the three have excellent ambience for informal gatherings or get-togethers. A/C & Non A/C Conference and Banquet halls, suites & coffee shops are present too.

Zurich International will take you by surprise and awe with their stunning illuminations (photos available at their gallery), while Vijaya Park will impress you with the sleek, smooth and homely atmosphere. And Hotel Elegance wins with their great location and imposing structure.

Here are few pics of the three, we managed to shoot.

Kalyan Jewellers Getting Ready for Opening

Update on 7th March, 2010: Kalyan Jewellers Kottayam showroom is now opened.

[Update: Kalyan Jewellers will be inaugurated on 7th March, 2010 by Dileep]
Watch the unofficial promo (45 seconds) we made. (Embedded below)

Kalyan Jewellers is to be opened at Kottayam sometime soon. The brand new showroom is right next to Hotel Arcadia, T.B. Road, close to KSRTC Bus Station, Kottayam.

The showroom structure appears to be ready-for-launch, but there is no confirmation regarding the interiors. It looks short, maybe because of the big guy Arcadia standing tall just by its side. If we are to consider the showroom design and decoration of their other branches it is to be presumed that there’s much more to be done.

International Book Fair – The Mega Event – This November

27th November – 6th December; it’s the 26th edition of Kottayam’s mega event : The Kottayam International Book Fair organized by Darsana Cultural Centre at Municipal Grounds, Nagampadom. Enjoyed by 2lakh+ people, the Kottayam International Book Fair is the oldest and the biggest book exhibition of the State.

  • 1985 : 30 Publishers, 1500+ titles, 3000+ visitors
  • 2008 : 200+ Publishers, 30k+ titles. 2.25 lacs visitors

As clear from this, all aspects of the book fair have been tremendously progressing edition by edition.

For the 10 fair days, Kottayam will be buzzing with book lovers from all districts of erstwhile Central Travancore. And the 10 awesome days will see all cultural leaders of the state in town, for the numerous programmes/meets as part of the fair.

Book fair, for the people of Kottayam, is not just another commercial fete. For many it’s nostalgic. Since this has been happening here for a long period of 25+ years, it is considered a part of Kottayam’s living and a happy time of the year. And this very emotional attachment with the fair is what makes it stand out and shine amidst the innumerable other events. The characteristic feature of the event is that, in India, it is the book fair visited by the largest number of families.

The charm of the book fair doesn’t die out with the event. It continues and every year, it’s rekindled. And this time, we’re here to celebrate it like never before. This is the first book fair for KP (KottayamPattanam) and we’re getting ready to absorb and reproduce the charm & splendour of the event, to the maximum detail possible.

Coming days will see more posts on the event. All posts about the event will carry the official tag – bookfair09

Butterfly Garden Opens, Kottayam Gets More Serene

Kottayam got something great to be proud of – a nice Butterfly Garden. It’s prepared & maintained to the right of the main entrance of the Kottayam Collectorate (Civil Station) and is always open to all (but the time between 10 am and 12 noon is the best time to sight butterflies).

Butterfly Garden is not something new, but the one we just got at Kottayam is indeed unique; it’s the only open-environment butterfly garden in the World that’s situated at a busy urban area (Note that the place is so close to the always busy K.K. Road (N.H. 220)). It is called ‘open-environment’ because the butterflies are NOT put inside some cages or walls. Then how does it work, you ask.

In the specially maintained area, the minds behind this great venture – Tropical Institute of Ecological Sciences – have planted and nourished those plants and shrubs, which play important roles in the life cycle of butterflies. And yes, the butterflies come automagically!

The butterfly garden was inaugurated by Hon’ble District Collector, Mrs. Mini Antony on 31st October, 2009. The garden is built & maintained by the Tropical Institute of Ecological Sciences led by Dr. Punnen Kurian (Zoology lecturer, St. Mary’s College, Manarcadu).

Periodic awareness and demo sessions will be arranged at the garden. School students are the main target audience, since they are mainly the ones who need to understand and love nature. The idea of a butterfly garden is expected to spread wide, with gardens being built in school & college campuses and public sector institutions.

We were present there for the inaugural event, and here are the photos, followed by a short video clip.

Video clip shot minutes before the garden was inaugurated

If you haven’t visited the place, we urge you to make a visit and give a green salute to our beautiful ecosystem.