All the reasons why this year’s Surajkund Mela is a must-visit!

  • Danish Raza, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 06, 2016 11:15 IST
The Turkmenistan stall at the 30th edition of the annual Surajkund International Crafts Fair has been drawing huge crowds. Available at: Stall no. FC 29. At least 23 countries and all the states of India are participating. (Abhinav Saha/ HT Photos)

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.

Various items at the Turkmenistan stall. (Abhinav Saha/ HT Photos)

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.

See: Colours of Surajkund Mela

Both chaupals have been give a folksy look with decorative ceilings and ornate pillars.

Cheriyal painting on decorative plates by D Rakesh from Hyderabad Available at: Telangana Apna Ghar . Price: Rs 2,000 onwards. (Abhinav Saha/ HT Photos)

“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.

Sampath Kumar Sirimilla, master weaver from Hyderabad displays saris from his Gopika collection that features ­Rajasthani and Warli motifs on hand-woven silk. Available at: Stall 175; Price: Rs 8,000 onwards (Abhinav Saha/ HT Photos)

Japanese cardboard artist Tamada Taki (32) has already gained many fans on her first visit to India.

Read: Online shopping portals get active at Surajkund fair

“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.

An Oggudolu performance. (Abhinav Saha/ HT Photos)

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.

Ethnic ware from the Chhattisgarh stall. Uday Ram Jhara from Raigarh, who specialises in the brass craft called Dhokra, has returned to the fair with his collection after five years. Available at: Stall no. 944. Price: Rs 50 onwards (Abhinav Saha/ HT Photos)

A creation by Japanese cardboard artist Tamada Taki . Available at: Stall no. 32. Price: Rs 8,000 onwards (Abhinav Saha/ HT Photos)

Brass items from Chattisgarh. (Abhinav Saha/ HT Photos)

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