Surajkund Crafts Mela, Haryana (Delhi), India, Feb 2010
Every year for two weeks, Surajkund comes alive with bright colours of Indian folk traditions and cultural heritage during the Surajkund Crafts Mela. This year was no different other than the record number of visitors - 1,25,000 in the first week itself which included thousands of foreign tourists to the mega event! The idea behind the Mela is to recreate a pristine rural ambience for foreign & domestic tourists, to educate the patrons of arts and crafts on the skills involved in art creation, to introduce crafts and craftspersons directly to the buyers and to identify, nurture and preserve the languishing crafts of the country. This year Rajasthan was the theme state and also had participations from Tajikistan, Thailand and Egypt.
The 24th Surajkund Crafts Mela 2010 began on 1st Feb 2010 with an inauguration by Mohd. Hamid Ansari, Hon’ble Vice President of India in the presence of Governor of Haryana, Shri Jagannath Pahadia, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Union Minister for Tourism, Housing & Poverty Alleviation, Kumari Selja and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Shri Ashok Gehlot.
Surajkund which is located near Faridabad in Haryana is just about 8 km and an hour's drive from New Delhi. For two weeks, Surajkund comes alive with the rhythm and beats of folk dances, amazing shopping deal, a riot of colors and a variety of food from all over. One can get great deals on clothes, shoes, furniture, woodwork, jewellery, metal craft, drapes, pottery, utensils, paper products and much more. Many of these items are hand made by villagers and used in their daily lives. Some of the best craftpersons & national award winners attend the event. Over the years, more than 200 National and State awardees from various different states of India have exhibited their work in the Mela.
All day, at the Chaupal & later at Natyashala, various dance troupes performed to enthralled audiences. The Kalbelia and Khartal dance of Rajasthan, Ghumar dance of Haryana, Chhaw dance of West Bengal as well as dance performances from Tajikistan (Taji) and Thailand were held in the open air theatre. Some of the best Rajasthani cuisine was served at Choki Dhani.
The Surajkund Mela is organized by Haryana Tourism. Visitors payed Rs. 50 as an entrance ticket for the day. In its 25th year, the mela was first held in 1981 and the popular event is a showcase for traditional Indian arts and crafts with a great offer of live entertainment. For additional details visit: http://haryanatourism.gov.in/surajkund/surajkundmela.asp