Venue: Surajkund Grounds, Haryana
Surajkund Crafts Mela, it has been reported, broke the record on Sunday, 10 February in terms of highest number of visitors – a whopping 1,42,000 (as reported by The Hindu). Yes – that is one lakh and forty-thousand people on a single day. We were among them and are happy to be part of history of this fair.
Surajkund in Haryana is a reservoir built in 10th century. Every year from February 1–15, a colorful traditional craft festival of India is held in the vicinity of Surajkund. This fair was first started in 1987 and 2013 was the twenty-seventh unbroken event. Traditional craftsman (artists, painters, weavers and sculptors) from all parts of the country participate in this annual celebration. Additionally there are cultural programs and regional food stalls. The fair is held with a different theme every year, mostly focusing on a particular state. The fair is visited by lovers of arts and crafts from all over the world.
This year, the theme state is Karnataka. Additionally, there is significant international participation and we saw stalls from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, South Africa, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and so on.
This time of the year is the onset of spring and the weather is just right for an outing such as this. The undulating topography adds to the charm of the event. Over the years, the fair has shed its puritan craft specific character and has developed a general appeal with an artsy flavour. The aesthetically done up fair ground – with various colourful canopies, festoons and other ornaments that are installed during the fair, can not but permeate the mind uplift the spirit.
We are happy that notwithstanding the daunting traffic (for the last 5 kms or so, we drove at the speed of 5 km/hr), we made it to the fair and had a most colourful time.
This is indeed India at her best.