Almost all India travel package deals would open the portals for you to discover the myriad shades of the country. Sometimes it’s the green landscapes in South India, and sometimes the high mountains and meandering valleys of North India. Owing to its cultural diversity and regional variety, the northern stretch of India is popular for festivals and fairs. A prominent name is Surajkund Crafts Mela. A spring attraction in the small town of Haryana. As winter with its nippiness walks away and paves the path for the flowers of Spring, Surajkund Mela with its handicrafts exhibitions and cultural performances sets the land on a festive mood.
The celebrations and fair carries on for a span of 14 days every year. It is a melting pot of all the talented painters, craftsman, artists, weavers and sculptors from across the country. At the same time, you can catch a glimpse of foreign travelers busy shopping for Indian crafts.
Surajkund, which would mean “ Lake of the Sun” is a small sandy town located in Haryana, on the fringes of Delhi. With the onset of the “Mela” (fair) the village gets altered into a hub or a quaint settlement where only artists and craftsmen dwell. The vibrant colors and the art displays create an enticing atmosphere around.
Visitors and tourists can plan a tour to Surajkund from Delhi. It is a pleasant shift from the hustle and bustle of Delhi, to the rural shades of India. Surajkund is situated in Faridabad district, which is at a distance of 8kms from South Delhi. The Surajkund Mela authority is in charge for organizing, planning and hosting the event. Guests can walk in anytime between 9:30 am in the morning to 7:00pm in the evening.
Reaching the venue for the “Mela” is not difficult. You can avail the busses from Shivaji Stadium, ISBT, Faridabad and Gurgaon. Else one can hire tourist coaches or cabs leading to the site from Delhi. In addition to that, there are special trips that are arranged by the Haryana Tourist Bureau at Janpath, in New Delhi. Tourists who arriving Delhi via flight, can hire a car or cab and reach the “Mela” from Indira Gandhi Airport within 35 minutes. From Palam Airport the fair is situated at a distance of 25 kms. For the ones availing rail transport, Delhi is the closest railway station.
This year Uzbekistan has been appointed as the Partner Country of Surajkund Mela 2011. Other highlights are given below:-
- Numerous neighboring countries would be taking part in the fair.
- A conglomeration of artists and craftsperson’s from all over the country, SAAR and other nearby countries.
- Numerous displays of handicrafts and handlooms items.
- A food court exhibiting variety of SAARC and Indian cuisine delights.
- An “amusement zone” featuring various swings and rides.
- Folk dance performances by various colleges and schools everyday 11:00 am onwards.
- A series of choicest of cultural events and programs that would be jointly held by Cultural Affairs Department, Haryana & Haryana Kala Parishad and Ministry of Culture,ICCR,New Delhi, Theme State Andhra Pradesh
- Buyers and Exporters meet at the Surajkund Design Galleries. This was in assistance of DC Handicrafts and DC Handlooms.
The Surajkund crafts Mela is one of the popular Fairs and Festivals in Haryana held annually. Tours to events and occasions such as this is not bereft with delectable cuisine delights. Rather it forms an integral part of the Mela.
Food lovers have much to enjoy and look forward to. For starters there are mini food festivals. You can choose from the sumptuous options in South Indian, Punjab and other North India food varieties. Needless, to say the aroma is tempting for the gastronomically inclined. The famous Payas, Uttapams, Lassi, Ghevar and other fills the platter. For the ones who would prefer an urban salver can opt in for the Chinese snacks and dishes. Along with traditional food delicacies there are sweet dishes and desserts as well.
For travelers having an affinity for creative renditions, there is the very popular folk theater that takes place. This happens in the form of an “open-air-theatre” which is termed as Natyashala. The Mela thus highlights subtle nuances of Indian tradition, festivities, folklore and beliefs.
Evident from the name itself, the Surajkund Craft Mela, exhibits excellent art pieces from different parts of the world. Connoisseurs of wooden art works would be delighted at the sandal wood and rose wood carvings and craft works. You can also get home for yourself “Chikri” which is a famous traditional woodcraft specialty of Kashmir. There are wooden art pieces West Bengal and other North Eastern states. Few famous examples are the “Shital patti” and “Sholapith” that is sourced from West Bengal and Assam.
India is known for its embroidery and other thread works. The fair displays the famous Phulkari works of Punjab. Other than this, there are Bunni and Banjara embroidery from Rajasthan and Gujarat, Kantha stitch works from Tripura and West Bengal, crochet and lace work from Goa and the Kashmiri Suzni work. In addition to this, there is the traditional Lucknow “Chikan” work that is a popular choice amongst tourists.
For women travelers there is an exquisite collection of North Indian traditional jewelry. They are available as chunky pieces as well as in the form of quaint delicate light bangles and trinkets. Most of them are oxidized and have beautiful stone work in gold and silver. Tourists can choose from the traditional brocade jewelry, broaches, nose rings, arm bands, waist bands, necklaces, bangles and loop earrings. There are also the famous Rajasthani tiaras that are put on sale.
For children there are toys made out of cane, wood and ply. Mud toys burnt in fire are rare and are put on sale as well. The price range is affordable, with the exception of a few specialty items that are steeply priced.
If one were to have a huge basket with traditional food, jewelry, cloth pieces, toys, and artworks it would be synonymous to the Surajkund Crafts Mela. The vivacious Indian multitude, skill and craftsmanship of artists, and a distinct cultural ethos are what the “Mela” all about.