Things to Do in Delhi: Mela Phulkari by 1469 Workshop

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Happy Basant Panchami folks! This festival heralds the onset of spring, and is celebrated with fervour in various states of India. Punjab has a long-standing tradition of festivities to mark this date. Clothing brand ‘1469 Workshop’ hosts an annual art show called “Mela Phulkari” to mark the occasion. Read on to know more about this interesting exhibit, whose theme this year is “#JaagoPanjab”.


The stage is set for a fabulous art show


This quirky clothing brand has been conceptualised and spearheaded by Harinder Singh. He channeled his expertise of 30 years in the clothing industry, into creating a modern brand that resonates with the youth. Now this brand is a wonderful platform to promote Panjab and its vibrant culture, through sale of merchandise steeped in Punjabiyat, organisation of various events, as well as collaborations with celebrities.

Stand-up comedians “Sanu Ki” and singer Himani Kapoor performing at the cultural show


Harinder Singh and his wife Kirandeep Kaur, were keen on publicising the traditional arts and crafts of Punjab. They organised the first Mela Phulkari in 2014, in collaboration with Dr. Alka Pande, an art historian and curator. Now in its sixth edition, this fair has become immensely popular and is a must-visit.

Phulkari literally means ‘making flowers’ on cloth, a metaphor for a young girl blooming into a woman. The female members of the household collectively stitch Phulkari garments for the trousseaus of the young ones, and pass on the craft in the process.

Every year, the Mela Phulkari is curated around a unique theme. This year’s theme “#JaagoPanjab” (the awakening), marks 550 years of Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary. The theme highlights the ‘awakened state’ of Panjab, through which they hope to stimulate a heightened sense of tradition and culture amongst young Panjabis.


Jasbir Jassi takes the stage


Every year, a special cultural show is organised at the India Habitat Center to celebrate Basant Panchami, and flag off the Mela. This function hosts multiple performers in an intimate open-air setting. This year, the line-up included a Bhangra Fitness troupe, stand-up comedians “Sanu Ki”, singers Himani Kapoor and Harshdeep Kaur. The show culminated with a power-packed performance by Jasbir Jassi, who had the entire audience dancing and clapping to his tunes. Gur and chanas were liberally passed around to keep everyone sated.

L-R: A packed audience at the cultural show. Chanas being passed around.


You should visit this wonderful show to educate yourself about Panjabi culture. If you’re already familiar with it, you’ll appreciate the variety and quality of the artistic display.

The exhibits include:

Jewellery painted on jute

A tribute to the village milkman

Massive fans that would’ve been a part of every Panjabi home back in the day

Stunning Phulkari fabrics, digital prints and paintings

Stimulating photography by famed photographer Bandeep Singh

A host of interesting artworks, including those of Arpana Caur

A book that encapsulates this year’s theme through informative and interesting articles, is also on sale. Entitled #JaagoPanjab, the book has a colourful visual design by Harpriya Kaur. I particularly liked the article on the advent of Guru Nanak by Arvinder Kaur, the essay on the traditional symbolism of thread-work on cloth by Gopika Nath, and the personal recollections of Jaskiran Kaur Kapoor.

I highly recommend a visit to the Mela Phulkari, whether you’re Panjabi or not! I’ll be returning with my son soon.



Dates: 9- 17 February 2019

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Venue: Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Center, New Delhi

Entry Free

Contact on email here:

*All photos have been clicked by my friend Harpriya Kaur.

**This is not a sponsored post.


  1. “Mela Phulkari” group show of paintings, sculptures, Phulkari and art installations. this is really interesting post.hope you enjoyed there.

  2. This seems to be a fun event, the pictures look awesome, I so want to visit this awesome fest. Thanks for sharing the details with me and taking me to a virtual tour. How I wish similar fest happened at Bangalore too.

  3. This Mela Phulkari workshop looks so vibrant and is a great platform to understand the Panjabi culture more closely. Will keep a tap next year.

  4. Mela Phulkari workshop seems very interesting and unique. This reflects the Punjabi culture more.. Loving everybit of it through the pics.. Great ..

  5. I am not currently in Delhi but this festival looks pretty amazing. I will suggest this article with my friend who is in Delhi for her work. I am sure she will love this art festival.

  6. The Punjab culture is so rich in itself and getting a chance of having a glimpse of the same here in Delhi is more than enough for me to go to this event, thanks a ton for sharing this article 🙌

  7. This mela completely captures the essence of Punjabi culture. I would surely want to visit this pretty soon for its art pieces, phulkari exhibit and off course to meet great performer like Jasbir Jassi.

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