Great shopping and fantastic performances makes this year’s Surajkund crafts mela a must-visit!
On my second visit to the Surajkund Mela — the last time was eight years ago — I was pleasantly surprised by the great variety of wares on offer. The fair really does have something for everyone: dance performances,cultural events, poetry, and art and crafts from various regions across India and the world.
In its 30th edition, 23 countries are participating in the mela. The theme state is Telangana and around 300 artistes are at thevenue to perform various folk forms like Oggudolu, Chindu Yaksha Ganam and Gussadi.
A family each from Haryana and Telangana, who are living in specially-created amphitheatres called ‘Apna Ghar’, give visitors a glimpse of the ethos and lifestyle of the people of the two states.
Both chaupals have been give a folksy look with decorative ceilings and ornate pillars.
“The admiration people in this part of the country have for traditional art forms took me by surprise. We are usually under the impression that people in metro cities such as Delhi and Mumbai don’t appreciate history,” said D Rakesh, a cheriyal scroll painter from Hyderabad.
Artistes from Japan and China — the mela’s focus countries — and Congo, Egypt and Thailand, among others, are also performing at Surajkund.
Japanese cardboard artist Tamada Taki (32) has already gained many fans on her first visit to India.
“I realize that visitors here are keenly interested in my craft, but then I am finding it a bit difficult to work with Indian cardboard. It is stiffer than what I get back home in Japan,” she said.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Jamshed, the behrupiya from Rajasthan. For those who don’t know, behrupiyas are traditional impersonators and masters of disguise.
Take a look at some of the offerings at the mela, below.