The Surajkund International Crafts Mela: Worth the Hype?
India is a land of many attractions. As its capital, Delhi is a central hub for different states to display their beauty. The India International Trade Fair (read more here) is one such event, and the other is the Surajkund International Crafts Mela. It takes place every February at the Surajkund Mela grounds in Faridabad, Haryana, and attracts many visitors.
It has been organised by the Surajkund Mela authority in collaboration with Haryana Tourism and the Union Ministries of Textiles, Tourism, Culture, and External Affairs for the last 32 years. The aim of this festival is to focus on India’s handicrafts and rural culture that doesn’t often receive deserved credit. The grounds are located in the backdrop of the Aravalli hills and offer a rustic feel. The theme of the fair this year is Uttar Pradesh and the partner country is Kyrgyzstan.
Large crowds visit the Surajkund Mela
Vendors from across the country as well as some international ones, exhibit their wares for sale, on makeshift stalls. You can browse various textiles, heavily embellished clothes, stoles and shawls, various household items, decorative pieces, traditional artwork, jewellery and accessories, toys and other children’s items; at throwaway prices. The real joy of shopping at Surajkund is the process of bargaining with the vendor. Haggling over prices is a time-honoured tradition of Indian shopping.
Mobile ATM’s available on the spot
Apart from it being a shopper’s paradise, it’s also a foodie’s delight; with a selection of delicious street food from all corners of the country. A large area is dedicated to the food court; and this year a separate VIP dining area has been earmarked for paid entry. Traditional forms of entertainment including street dance, magic performances and storytelling; pepper the entire mela. However, it’s difficult to see these performances as they are covered by large crowds. Post 6:00 p.m.; renowned singers, musicians and poets perform at the Chaupal area. There are many animal rides and amusements to keep children engaged. There is an organized parking system, planned ticket system, as well as an announcement booth.
I visited the Mela on a busy Saturday. I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of a village fair, gorged on some yummy Bhel Puri and a gigantic Jaleba; and shopped despite my best intentions not to! Since I visited after a gap of 10 years, I was amazed at how it has maintained its rustic character and appeal.
Giant jalebas being cooked
Shopping to my heart’s content
Its distant location makes it tedious to get to, and the milling crowds can be overwhelming; but if planned correctly and visited on a weekday, it makes for an enjoyable excursion. I certainly had a fantastic time!
The Surajkund Mela is a fun family-oriented excursion!
Days: On till Sunday, February 18, 2018
Timings: 10:30 a.m – 8:30 p.m.
Parking Charges: INR 50
Ticket Charges: Weekends- INR 180 per adult
Weekdays- INR 120 per adult
(50% off for senior citizens, differently-abled persons, serving soldiers, war widows and their dependents. Students get 50% off on weekdays with valid student ID.)
Booking tickets: visit bookmyshow.com here
Fair Rating: 4/5