7 Hours in Surajkund Crafts Mela 2010

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I spent about 7 hours in annual Surajkund Crafts Mela, hosted by Haryana Tourism at Surajkund in Faridabad, Haryana, India, on Feb 6-7 and loved every bit of it though I could visit only a few stalls and attend just five dance performances. If you want to see everything, stay at Surajkund for 3-4 days. The Mela will conclude onFebruary 15, 2010.

The Indian artisans from Jammu & Kashmir in north to Tamil Nadu in south and Rajasthan in west to Manipur in east are presenting their wares ranging from colorful teacups to carved furniture. Craftsmen and women from six other Asian nations are also displaying their crafts: woolen carpets and rugs, silver jewelry from Afghanistan, local dresses and jewelry from Tajikistan, ready made garments with batik print from Sri Lanka, masks and wall-decorations from Bhutan, pashmina and silk from Nepal, cane and plastic handbags and flowers from Thailand and toys, rugs, durries, glassware and jewelry from Egypt.

The Mela is not just a shopping venue. Besides evening cultural programs in Natayshala, different Indian folk dance performances and / or puppet shows are organized throughout the day in one or other part of the fair. You can enjoy various cultural programs and shop with one ticket of INR 50/- per person. We enjoyed Snow Lion dance fromSikkim, Manipuri dance from Manipur, rope walking and Rajasthani puppet show.

The Mela food court serves a variety of Indian dishes such as missi roti, gate ke sabji, chat, pao bhaji, dosa, bedami puri, paratha, kari chawal etc.

Powerful public address system blared warnings against using plastic but ironically, plastic packaging material was everywhere. Artisans sold their beautiful award-winning creations in plastic bags.

The presence of men and women in khaki and commandos in black carrying sophisticated weapons reminded me of recent terrorist onslaughts disrupting normal life and creating fear among innocent people in different parts of the world. The forces were there to ensure that the same should not happen again.

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