A splash of colours, rhythm of drum beats and joy de-vivre merge at Surajkund in Faridabad, Haryana during the first fortnight of each February. The curtains go up on the acclaimed annual Surajkund International Crafts Mela from 1st February onwards, a celebration of Indian folk traditions and cultural heritage. The Mela is organized by the Surajkund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs. For the 31thSurajkund International Crafts Mela-2017, the state of Jharkhand has been chosen to be the Theme State. At least 20 countries & all the states of India will be participating in the Mela.
Occupying a place of pride on the international tourist calendar, more than a million visitors throng the Mela during the fortnight including thousands of foreign tourists. The Surajkund Mela is unique as it showcases the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and cultural fabric of India, & is the largest crafts fair in the world.
History Of the Mela
Surajkund, the site of popular Surajkund Mela is located at a distance of 8 km from South Delhi in Faridabad. Surajkund derives its name from the ancient amphitheatre ‘Sun Pool’ constructed here in the 10th century AD by Raja SurajPal, one of the Tomar chieftains. The place is located in the Aravalli mountain range. This internationally famous marvelous mela launched in 1981 by the Haryana Tourism is a unique fair showcasing folk arts and rich crafts tradition from all regions of India. It provides a very important platform for the skilful and dexterous artists who can easily showcase their talents with their wonderful and magnificent handicrafts items. The typical handicrafts and handlooms look majestic in the rural backdrop. It is a stage where artists from all over the country gather at one premise and definitely it brings the age old Indian cultures into the limelight from many years. The fair is organized by the Haryana Tourism Department to encourage Indian artists.
The Theme This Time
The novelty of the Surajkund International Crafts Mela is that one of the Indian states gets the honour to occupy the position of the Theme State each year. The Theme State was conceptualized broadly with a view to promote and focus on art, craft and cuisine of each state of India every year and highlights the state in totality from its architecture to fine arts and crafts. . Uttar Pradesh will be the Theme State for the 32nd Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2018. The Mela provides a rare opportunity to the Theme State to showcase its handicrafts, handlooms, performing arts, cuisine and its tourist potential to a vast cross-section of people in an impressive manner. UP’s diverse crafts and dance forms will offer a veritable treat for visitors. Get ready to witness UP’s rich culture, tradition and exclusive artefacts made by the artisans that are in great demand throughout the world.
What To Expect
A large number of renowned national and international folk artistes and cultural groups present day performances at both the Chaupals, the open-air theatres, located in the Mela premises. Also enthralling cultural evening programmes are held at the main Chaupal during each of the Mela evening. The Mela is indeed a custodian of the heritage crafts involving use of traditional skills that are fading away due to cheap machine made imitations, and a special section is earmarked for showcasing of these heritage crafts. The fair is unique in the sense that each year the decor is based on a state theme and highlights a particular craft. The look of the entrance, the grounds and the whole setting of furniture, colours, architecture everything will be based on a particular state. Of the total stalls numbering over 400, many will be dedicated to the particular theme craft. This time around, the state of Jharkhand has been chosen to be the Theme State.
Sandalwood and rosewood carving from South India, ‘Chikri’ woodcraft of Kashmir, fine cane craft and ‘Kantha’ traditions from West Bengal and North Eastern states, Phulkari embroidery of Punjab, the ‘Banjara’ and ‘Bunni’ embroidery of Gujarat, lace and crochet from Goa, Chikan work of Lucknow are just a few of the amazing exhibits found here. The prices are relatively low when bought from the mela.
At the open air theatre, ‘Natyashala’, folk dances and musical evenings are held throughout the fortnight. A special stall serve traditional food of the theme state along with other stalls serving food from other popular cuisines like Punjab and South India. The multi-cuisine Food Court provides ethnic cuisines from all over the world, which are immensely popular with visitors. There are designated places for amusement, adventure sports and joy rides to make it a must visit event for the young.
What’s Different This Time
For the 32nd Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2018, the state of Uttar Pradesh has been chosen to be the Theme State. . Also, girl students, freedom fighters and war widows will be given 50 % rebate on the entry ticket to the annual ‘Surajkund International Crafts Mela’, which will be held at Surajkund in Faridabad from February 2nd to 18th. Priority would be given to online payments, digital payments, mobile apps and internet banking system for sale of entry tickets and every other transaction. Adequate amount of POS (point of sale) machines would be made available at the mela. Over 1,000 stalls would be set up in the mela this time round.
Dates: 2nd to 18th February, 2018
Timings: 10:30 am to 8:30 pm
Venue: Surajkund Fair ground, Haryana
Theme State: Yttar Pradesh
Nearest Metro Station for Surajkund Mela: Badarpur
Ticket price for Surajkund Mela: Weekdays 80/- Saturday – Sunday 120/-