The 45th International Kolkata Book Fair 2022 is in full swing, and like every year, it is one of the most awaited events in Kolkata for Bengalis all across the state.
Like festivals, a true blue Kolkatan celebrates the Book Fair in true bibliophile style. Authors, poets, artists, actors, politicians, ministers, everyone joins the event. In fact, some people visit the Book Fair every day throughout its course.
To make the most of the last few days of the 45th International Kolkata Book Fair 2022 — here’s everything you need if you’re planning a visit.
Where is the 45th International Kolkata Book Fair 2022 held and how to get there?
View this post on Instagram
The Book Fair is being held at the Central Park Mela ground, Bidhannagar, at Salt Lake. This year’s theme country is Bangladesh and it is dedicated to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Book Fair is operational between 12.00 pm to 8.00 pm.
Getting to the Kolkata Book Fair is easy, as the state government has shuttle bus services in place, like every year. These bus services are available from the Karunamoyee Bus Stand, which is right next to the Fairground and are operational through 11 different channels across the city. They are:
Channel 1 : Sealdah Station, Mandirtala, Rajabajar
Channel 2: Howrah Station
Channel 3: Thakurpukur, Tollygunge Metro
Channel 4: Jadavpur
Channel 5: Jadavpur
Channel 6: Parnasree, Shakuntala Park, Joka, Gariahat
Channel 7: Garia, Kamalgazi, Baruipur
Channel 8: Barasat, Santragachi
Channel 9: Ultadanga
Channel 10: Dumdum Station, Barrackpore
Channel 11: Bali Halt
Navigating through the Kolkata Book Fair 2022
It is easy to get lost in the fairgrounds, given the area it covers and, of course, a Bengali’s love for books. To make sure that doesn’t happen, Book Fair organisers have a map on the official festival website and have also partnered with Alliance Broadband for WiFi at the fair so that you can access the map on high-speed internet.
Not just that, the official website also features real-time updates and schedules, helpline numbers and more, to make it easy for visitors to go around. You will also find volunteers and police personnel positioned everywhere to help people out.
Apart from that, the city’s electricity board, CESC has also developed a handy app, which is available on the Google Play Store, to help you navigate your way around the book fair.
All the bookstalls at the International Kolkata Book Fair 2022
While at other times, the Book Fair easily hosts over 800 bookstalls, this time the number has gone down to 600, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the Book Fair has seen participation from 580 Book publishers and 200 little magazines. With nine gates on all different sides of the fair, the best way to commute through is on foot.
As always, the collection of books is vast. Whatever you are looking for, there are almost zero chances that you won’t find a book here. Ranging from sci-fi to non-fiction, classics, manga and thrillers to self-help and more, Kolkata Book Fair never disappoints!
There are two auditoriums named after Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (Hall 1) and Sri Aurobindo Ghosh (Hall 2), that are primarily housing English publications. At the International complex, you will find bookstalls from different countries, like the USA, Italy, Japan, Mexico, France and Iran, which have joined the fair for the first time.
This year’s country of focus is neighbouring Bangladesh. Make sure to drop in at the pavilion housing the works from the country. With 50 publishers, there is a wide range of books about the birth of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Liberation War and more.
Going beyond books at the International Kolkata Book Fair 2022
A true Kolkata Book Fair regular knows that the book fair is not just about books but so much more. There are several cultural events and shows that are held throughout the day at the auditorium, including book launches, music events, dance events and more. The open stage Mukta Mancha is another venue for all the cultural activities. This year, the stage has been dedicated to the legendary actor, late Soumitra Chatterjee.
You will also come across stalls selling jewellery, handicrafts and a lot of unique items, hosted by artists from all across the state.
Last but not the least, just like any other event in the city, the Book Fair cannot be complete without food. Food stalls are a regular and a must at any event for Bengalis, and the Book Fair has never disappointed. Offering delicious and pocket-friendly street food and snacks, these stalls are always crowded. Head to these eateries after you have shopped for all your favourite books and end the day on a high note!
The 45th International Kolkata Book Fair 2022 is on till March 13.
All Images: Courtesy Instagram