How many people are there in Delhi who would not have heard of the Surjakund Mela ? A fair number of people would have also taken the trouble to go to the Surajkund complex of Haryana tourism during the time of the mela, attracted by the cultural experience. The Mela also promises to be a great experience of foreign tourists who get a sample of the Indian countryside not far from Delhi.
Reaching there is not difficult, one needs to head onto Mathura road till just before Badarpur border and ask for directions from there. It is not very far from there, and is located in Faridabad district. The Mela is organized ever year from Feb 1 - Feb 15 and begins from 9.30 a.m. and closes at 5.30 p.m. each evening, and has been in existence from 1981; the fair celebrates its 28th version in 2008. The Mela has been the brainchild of Harayana tourism as a way to showcase the cultural experience of the Indian rural area, focusing on a different state everytime, and has been a spectacular success.
The mela has some specific objectives, such as:
1. To create a rural ambience for the foreign and domestic tourist to see
2. To educate patrons both from abroad, urban centres and educational institutes about the fascinating technique and skills involved in craft creation
3. To introduce crafts and craftspersons directly to the buyers and help them find their patrons
4. To Identify, nurture and preserve languishing crafts of the country and save it for posterity
In addition to the culture, the fortnight long celebrations also come as a food festival. Some of the popular food traditions from Punjab come at the Punjabi 'Rasoi'. South Indian delicacies come in from South Indian Section. Popular Chinese and snack foods also arrive for the event along with a special stalls where patrons are introduced to the traditional foods and sweet meats of the selected theme State.
Skilled artisans from all over the country display the rich crafts tradition of India in the typical setting of a rural Indian marketplace. Cultural programmes and rural cuisine are also a part of this colourful fair. The fair also provides a meeting ground for the talented painters, weavers, sculptors and craftsmen form all over India who exhibit their creations and the arts and crafts lovers who flock here to admire and purchase these creations.
Some beautiful photos of the Mela at this link.
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