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Submitted By :

Gaurav Pathak
Introduction : India is a country that is world famous for its rich culture & heritage. The diversity of
India is expressed in the book of Late Prime Minister Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru- “The Discovery Of India”.
Country where 70 per cent of population lives in rural settings, the events like melas & haats have a lot
of significance. They use to tie people together & provide them a platform to show their talent , buy &
sell goods. Melas had changed their course too, from an event of fun only to an event that provides a
perfect means for companies to display their products & getting in touch with the rural customers. Each
Mela has his own significance and its equally important then the other whether it be Pushkar Mela or it
be the well known Sangam Mela or be the world famous Surajkund Mela.

Surajkund Crafts Mela -


Rich culture, immense art forms comprising all colors of life, land of spirituality, which is so complete.
We call it-India. India is as special and exotic as any land with such treasure of art and diverse culture
can be. As spring falls in; kissing the winter bliss away Surajkund comes alive with bright colors of Indian
folk traditions and cultural heritage from 1st - 15th Feb every year. See it and believe it, it is not just a
mela, its mini India.

Surajkund Crafts Mela is one of such internationally acclaimed event of our country, which showcases
the fascinating display of exotic culture, ancient crafts traditions and glimpses of a heritage that is
legendary for its vitality. From all over the vast land arrives, the weavers and craft persons along with
folk dancers, theatre troupes, jugglers and road side magicians together attracting thousands of visitors
from India and abroad year after year. The Mela has become one of the important earmark events on
the Indian Tourism calendar, over the last 24 years. The popularity of this mela can be judged by the fact
that the mela was inaugurated in the recent years by imminent personalities like Hon`ble Pratibha Devi
Singh Patil, the President of India, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson UPA and others and all of them have
admired its beauty.

Surajkund is situated in Faridabad, Haryana on the outskirts of the capital city New Delhi, in
India. Nestled amongst sub tropical landscapes ascend with a resort that has been converted into a
perfect setting for a unique mela. The mela, a joint venture of Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Textiles,
Govt. of India and the Govt. of Haryana is an attraction for its settings and for display and workmanship
of artisans from the Indian continent, SAARC nations and the countries rich in folk, craft `n` culture. The
ambience of rural India at its pristine best recreates to provide an empathic flavor of rural Indian
lifestyle. Traditionally every Indian Village is a fully edge to Saintly, a complete economic unit. These
units were simply barter economies; each village has several craftsperson, who specializes in individual
craft to make utility goods for every day need of the villagers; Clothes, shoes, furniture, woodwork,
jewellery, metal craft, drapes, pottery, utensils for worships, paper and much more.

The woman folk developed exquisite handcraft skills within their context of household. However
these villages are neither insular to extra influences nor static evolutionary process naturally beauty
involved from the hum drum of utility. Embarked with the intricate workmanship of Indian Craftpersons;
makes much of India’s collective treasure troves worth seeing feeling and possessing; making it possible
for the enthusiastic to reach out in today’s modern lifestyle; also making it more convenient for
overseas tourist to exercise treasure from various regions of the vast country. Showcasing the rich
heritage & flavors of India, Haryana Tourism organizes this unique fair popularly known as the Surajkund
Crafts Mela. The success lies in an un-intrusive presence of order that ensure modern amenities whether
safe drinking water or clean environment law and order or modern communication amenities, public
connivances and transport facilities. A team of dedicated professionals and efficient management from
Haryana Tourism along with district administration of Faridabad ensures it all. Haryana Tourism commits
more then 1 million rupees to the infrastructure required for making this experience worthwhile and
unique.

The central stage of the crafts mela is the Chaupal; folk artist dressed in traditional attire draw
heady mix of intoxicating music and rhythmic dance. The vibrant beats of drum, foot tapping music and
swirling scats of dancers attract visitors to the chaupal which forms the hub for various cultural
activities. The mela overwhelms the visitors with its colorful looks, craft persons and their wares;
traditional rural setting enchants charm of their display. People reach out and feel the textures of the
rich fabrics. Visitors also get an opportunity to satisfy their curiosity by visiting ‘Hands on craft’ section
where weavers are seen rolling their fingers on the raw material, transforming it into the finished art
forms. More encouraging is the fact that the craftpersons are no less then state & National awardees in
their respective discipline. Over 400 craftsperson, quite a few from far flung areas of India are proud
ambassador of their regions. It’s a mela, a fair, an experience and much more, of equally and
spontaneously seven hundred visitors who visit this dream fair every year. It is an opportunity to have a
glimpse of heritage of all the states of India which may be seen through the symbolic theme state
structures / gates erected every year, restored by the Surajkund Mela Authority year after year. Each
design has a larger significance; each mural may have deeper contention, each idol, each mask, even the
expression that it carries and its colors are symbolic rooted in some ancient textural reference as if a
great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Glimpses of ancient knowledge handed down from
generation expressed by each new generation in its own interpretation are the core of the art remains
of this country. It is this that makes Indian civilization dynamic and forever in the process of evolution.
The timeless beauty of the folk expressions resolves around the many conflicts of diversity of this
country.

The Dazzling Spectacle

Beneath thatched roof platforms, master


craftspersons carefully display the finest of
handlooms and handicrafts from all over the
country. The event is so colorful and rich in
experience that many a tourist has returned to visit
it again and again. The prices are relatively low
compared to emporia, and some of the stuff can be
amazing.

Shops at the Mela bustle with the brilliance of mirror encasing embroidery, delicate lace work,
folk motifs on terracotta forms, metal and cane-ware, the tinkle of bangles, shimmer of iridescent silks
and the jingle of toys and trinkets. The Suraj Kund Crafts Mela is more than a celebration of crafts. At the
fan shaped open-air-theatre name 'Natyashala' rich folk dances and musical evenings are held
throughout the fortnight.

The Irresistible Cuisine The fun-filled mela celebrations every year, come as a mini food festival.
Some of the popular food traditions arrive from Punjab and South Indian delicacies come in from the
South Indian section. Popular Chinese and snack foods also arrive for the event along with a special stall
where patrons are introduced to the traditional foods and sweet meats of the theme state. The Suraj
Kund Crafts Mela also comes as an event that celebrates the vibrant rhythms of folk theatre. These
entire colorful events flower before the audience in the open-air-theatre named Natyashala.

Artistically Dexterous Crafts

For the mela, some of the most delightful


crafts collections arrive from practically all over the
country. In wood and cane craft come inlay work
from Punjab and rosewood carving, sandalwood
from South India. 'Chikri' woodcraft of Kashmir and
some very fine cane craft come from West Bengal
and North Eastern states. Delicate 'Sholapith' and
'Shital Patti' work come from Assam and West
Bengal.

In embroidery, the Phulkari of Punjab, the 'Banjara' and 'Bunni' embroidery of Gujarat and
Rajasthan, the 'Kantha' traditions from West Bengal and Tripura, lace and crochet from Goa, the 'Suzni'
of Kashmir and mirror encasing work along with the traditional 'Chikan' work of Lucknow delight.

In the section of floor covering the 'Namda'


and carpet of Kashmir, the 'Punja Durrie' of Haryana
and Punjab, the woolen druggets of Mirzapur and
coir and rag carpets of south India fascinate the
visitors.

Oxidized jewellery, seashell decorations and


agate stone work delight as also the delicate gold
work and chunky silver jewellery. Toys in wood and
cane, ply and mud make the young thrill with joy.

The fascinating 'Phad' paintings of Rajasthan, the 'Kalamkari' of Andhra and Karnataka, temple
paintings of Orissa, 'Madhubani' of Bihar are also on display. In the metal section, tribal 'Dhora' work,
classical South Indian metal work, glittering brassware, bell metal and iron craft delight collectors.

Surajkund Crafts Mela brings for buyers, an opportunity to reach to this treasured heritage. For the
visitors coming from abroad, it is a great chance of getting wholesome feel of India that would
otherwise take a lot longer to achieve. An opportunity to take the slice of this culture to their homes
abroad beyond many seas and for others, it is an opportunity to imbibe the spirit of fun bone home and
goodwill. Surajkund mela provides a platform and brings an opportunity for the tiny tots to explore their
potential in activities like Kite Flying, Face Painting, Rangoli, Drawing & Painting, Folk Dance
competitions. More then five thousand children represent their schools / colleges every year and sweat
it out for suitable rewards. Cultural shows and theatre performances at Natyashala, an open air theatre
includes lightening Folk Dances of Rajasthan, North East, Haryana, Punjab, Utter Pradesh, Madhya
Pradesh besides not to miss, cultural shows of Republic of Tajikistan, Thailand and Egypt. Best of best
craftpersons, National & State awardees, brings out their best to get Kala Mani, Kala Shri and Kala Nidhi
for their outstanding crafts at the closing ceremony. The Surajkund Crafts Mela welcomes the whole
world to this spontaneous and spectacle celebration of Indian folk and culture.

A Journey Into Surajkund Mela 2009


Madhya Pradesh, ‘The Heart of Incredible India’ was the theme state for that year’s Mela. Surajkund is
the annual fair that showcases the finest handlooms, handicrafts, authentic fragrances and flavors of
rich Indian cuisines. As winter turns into spring, a caravan of three hundred and fifty national and state
awarded craftsmen from every corner of India find their way to Surajkund. In 2009 more than forty
craftsmen from SAARC Nations, Thailand and Egypt participated in the Surajkund Crafts Mela. At
Surajkund Mela, the artisans’ delicate hands create the most beautiful pieces which have fascinated
many through ages. A vibrant feature at the Surajkund festival was dazzling performances by various
states. Folk dances such as Bhangra (Punjab), Gidda (Punjab), Brij Ki Holi (Mathura), Siddhi Goma
(Gujarat), Kal Belia (Rajasthan), Bihu (Assam) Panthi (Chhattisgarh), Been Sapera (Rajasthan), Ghoomar
(Rajasthan) was performed all day long at various stages set up in the mela ground.

Highlights

• Showcasing the crafts of more than 350 national and state awardees known to be a visually captivating
riot of colors intrinsic to Indian art and craft.

• Colorful crafts from SAARC nations, Thailand, Brazil, Egypt and other neighboring countries.

• Exporters – Craftsmen interaction meet organized by Development Commissioner, Handicrafts,


government of India.

• Sculpture Workshops for sculptures on White, Black and Yellow Stone would be prepared.

• Replica of Bhimbetka caves – landmark of Madhya Pradesh.

• Besides the famous cuisines from Madhya Pradesh, the aroma of delicious food items from states
throughout the country like Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana can be enjoyed along with Chinese and
Continental dishes.

• Various ethnic dresses, the traditional Chanderi and Maheshwari sarees were displayed.
• Competitions in kite flying, painting and rangoli was organized for children.

• Performers from different States performed throughout the day in the mela area.

• Daily evening cultural programmes at the Natyashala by renowned artists.

• The cultural teams from the theme state – Madhya Pradesh, and the teams selected by NZCC Patiala
would be participating.

• Theme based fashion show by famous models.

• Daily visit of Dignitaries, Foreigners, Ambassadors of the various countries and star celebrities and
icons from various fields.

One might get curious and ask, why Surajkund? Why not a metro city or a popular destination? Well, the
main idea behind the ‘mela’ is to let people enjoy the festivities away from the hustle and bustle of the
city life. Surajkund Crafts Mela is the place where you can get a sneak preview of the rural India.
Surajkund lies in the Faridabad district just 8 kms away from South Delhi. The Mela is hosted by the
Surajkund Mela Authority every year from February 1-15. The colourful festivity is open to visitors from
9.30 am to 7.00 pm. Surajkund Crafts Mela is an infinitely rich and enchanting event. Surajkund has a
vast circular stepped pool, with the ruins of a Sun Temple on a raised platform. It dates back to the 10th
century and is attributed to Suraj Pal, the then chief of the Tomar Rajput clan. The annual Surajkund
Crafts Mela is organized under the aegis of the ministry of tourism, government of India. Come
February, and all roads leads to the blissful time at the majestic unforgettable aura of Surajkund Crafts
Mela.