By Lipakshi Seedhar: The 34th edition of Surajkund International Crafts Mela started on 1st February 2020 and is organized by the Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs. A fortnight-long fair was first hosted in 1987 and since then this fair is hosted annually at Surajkund, Faridabad.
Each year, one of the Indian States gets the honor to occupy the place of the Theme state of the Surajkund Mela. This year, Himachal Pradesh was chosen as the theme state. The Mela focuses on the architectures, arts, crafts and cuisines of Himachal Pradesh. A huge number of artists from Himachal are presenting different folk arts and dances daily at the Mela. A replica of Bhim Kali Temple and Maheshwar Devta Temple also become the main attractions this year. All the other Indian states are also represented at the fair selling a variety of stuff from jewelry to clothes to keychains to utensils or just showpieces.
Uzbekistan is chosen as the partner nation this year. The nation is famous for its handmade ceramics, needlework, silk cloth and miniaturist paintings. The same are being showcased at the fair. Also, more than 20 countries set up their stalls this year and the visitors can buy a lot of stuff from these stalls, like the Gorilla statues made of rosewood at the Uganda stalls or the women at the Swaziland stall selling out handmade beaded jewelry or the lemongrass oil at Vietnamese stall or the fridge magnets at the Thailand stall. Each day is packed with a lot of national and international performances at the chaupals all around the Mela. Different cuisines from different states of India are also presented at the Mela.
The Mela also highlights the importance of saving the earth from the alarming rate of climate change and the need to plant more trees. Also, the Mela Authority placed E- toilets at regular intervals for the convenience of the visitors. Inaugurated by President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, the fair will go on till 16th February.
The tickets are available online as well as at the venue and are priced at ₹120 on the weekdays and ₹240 on the weekend with a 50% discount for students carrying their ID cards, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and defense people ( Photo: By Ashok Verma):.