What is it about books and travel? Authors do book tours to promote their new releases, tourists follow the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes in London and Lisbeth Salander in Stockholm. Publishers bring out tomes that connect your favourite writers with their favoured theatres of action (James Joyce and Dublin, Harper Lee and Alabama). Then there are literary festivals, such as the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival, which started Thursday and is on till Monday, at the heritage property Diggi Palace, with a visiting honour list that includes Hanif Kureishi, Wole Soyinka, Mahasweta Devi and Vikram Chandra.

Tran-quill: The old gate at Galle is one of the city’s tourist sites. Galle Literary Festival

If you can tear your eyes away from the literary action, the festival also offers architectural tours of Galle Fort, cycle tours inland, rainforest walks and whale-watching opportunities. The world heritage site has a range of accommodation, from the Amangalla (www.amanresorts.com; upwards of $300 or around Rs14,000 a night) to guesthouses (Beach Haven www.beachhaven-galle.com; upwards of $7 a night). Sri Lankan Holidays has some great four-night packages for anyone looking to attend the festival from India: ex-south India, deals start from Rs13,799; ex-Mumbai, they start from Rs17,299, while ex-Delhi, they begin from Rs18,299. All packages include return economy airfare, twin-sharing accommodation and return airport transfers. For details, visit www.galleliteraryfestival.com


The eco-ing green

Biking trails: Go exploring on a cycle. Tandem Trails

Tandem Trails also lends Trek 3700 mountain bikes, helmet and gloves to those who may want to try out their pedal-power before making any investments. Right now, their eco-focused weekend outings are in the vicinity of Bangalore, from Nagarahole and Titimati to Wayanad and Bheemeshwari. For those looking for longer sojourns, they have a Karnataka-Kerala-Tamil Nadu “Green Triangle" trip, a Shimla-Manali- Kaza-Spiti Valley excursion and a six-pass Manali-Leh road map. Costs usually hover around Rs300 a day for the short trips. For details, visit www.tandemtrails.co.in or call 09481603270.