Surajkund International Crafts Mela opens in Haryana

One of the largest crafts fair in the world turns 31

Tourism

February 3, 2017

/ By / Kolkata



Rich showcase of regional and international crafts and traditions

Rich showcase of regional and international crafts and traditions

The 31st Surajkund International Crafts Mela, organised by the Surajkund Mela Authority (SKMA) and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs, is celebrating Indian folk traditions and cultural heritage from February 1-15.

A splash of colours and rhythm of drum beats merge at Surajkund in Faridabad, Haryana during the first fortnight of February every year. More than a million visitors throng the Mela (fair), including thousands of foreign tourists and it has also occupied a place of pride on the international tourist calendar. The Surajkund Mela is unique as it showcases the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and cultural fabric of India.

The event was inaugurated by Manohar Lal, Chief Minister of Haryana in the presence of Ram Bilas Sharma, Haryana Tourism Minister; Amar Kumar Bauri, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Jharkhand and Hatem Tageldin, Ambassador of Egypt to India amongst other dignitaries.

This year, the state of Jharkhand has been chosen to be the Theme State and Egypt is the Partner Nation with at least 20 other countries. All the states of India are also participating in the Mela.

The Mela provides a rare opportunity to the Theme State to showcase its handicrafts, handlooms, performing arts, cuisine and its tourism potential to a vast cross-section of people in an impressive manner.

Rahul Sharma, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Jharkhand said, “It is a big opportunity to promote the culture and heritage of the state to the global audience. Visitors can get to know the Jharkhandi architecture, dance, music, festivals, art and craft better. A Fashion Show will be organised by the state on February 11.”

According to an official spokesperson, countries like Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Tunisia, Mongolia and South Africa would be the first timers at the Mela. To enliven the visitors’ mood, scintillating performances would be presented by international folk artists from Egypt, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The Mela has partnered with online portal BookMyShow for booking entry tickets and Mobikwik for hassle-free payment. “To ensure 100 pc cashless transactions, Dena Bank, the official banking partner has been asked to provide 100 point-of-sale machines, a dedicated bank branch with two ATMs and six mobile ATM vans. The offline ticket sale is also strengthened to ensure convenience of visitors with minimal waiting time at the gates. The number of ticket counters at mela grounds has been increased to avoid queues. As a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, the Surajkund Mela Authority provides 50 pc rebate on the entry tickets to differently-abled persons, senior citizens, serving soldiers, war widows and their dependents,” said Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, and Vice Chairperson, Surajkund Mela Authority, VS Kundu.

“The Mela ground is spread over 40.5 acres and houses about 1,010 work huts for craftsmen and multi-cuisine food court consisting of 36 food stalls. We are expecting about 1.5 million visitors at the Mela,” said Sameer Pal, Managing Director of Haryana Tourism Corporation.

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.

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