I go to the Kolkata Book Fair again today. It is a pleasant enough trip from our ashram in Dum Dum Park. I walk to the corner of Jessore Road and Bangur Avenue get one of those funny auto-rickshaw-taxi contraptions to the Belgachia Metro station.
From Belgachia, I take the Kolkata Metro to Maidan, the large public park in central Kolkata. (A maidan is any open space used as a park, parade ground, etc.) This particular maidan was created after the battle of Plassey in 1758 when Lord Clive cleared the jungle around the new Fort William to give the garrison's guns an unrestricted field of fire.
Now in it's 29th year, the Kolkata Book Fair (which always begins on the last Wednesday of January and runs for twelve days) has been held at the Kolkata Maidan at the corner of Chowringhee Road and Outram Roads since 1991, and showcases books and products from more than 600 publishers and booksellers.
Perhaps better known as Kolkata Boi Mela, the book fair is organized and hosted by the Publisher's and Booksellers' Guild. The book fair has grown into a major event in the world calendar: it is the largest book fair in Asia, and it boasts the largest book fair attendance in the world!
Over the years, the Kolkata Book Fair has grown to become a great cultural event, the pride of Kolkata and India. It is the most important literary event in the country. As you can imagine, the demand for stalls far outstrips the available space. We are very fortunate to have a stall at this premiere event, to propagate the unique Krishna conception of divinity given in the books of our guru-varga.