Keeping its annual date with Delhi, the 31st India International Trade Fair (IIFT) kicked off at Pragati Maiden on Monday. The fair, which has a great assortment of products on display at various national and international pavilions, however, opens for general public only on November 19. And, as Delhiites gear up to hit the trade fair, we get you glimpses from the fair, along with products to watch out for while you are there.
As soon as you enter the fair from gate no. 7, you will be greeted by the Jammu and Kashmir pavilion that has a wide range of products, from Kashmiri Pashmina shawls and dry fruits to paintings. The dry fruit stalls have been put up by the state tourism.
The next pavilion in line is from Bihar and looks a tad different from last year. To up the fashion quotient of the pavilion, students of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Patna, along with various artisans, are presenting a contemporary range of dresses from Bhagalpur. While here, make sure to check out the famous Madhubani paintings.
Gujarat Pavilion, with its ever-popular range of cane and bamboo products, is next. Stalls offering Mina work done in oxidised metal are a major attraction here. “Earlier, this work was carried out in gold jewellery, but now we do it only for décor pieces,” says owner Ganpat Bhai Soni from Ahmedabad.
With an array of handicrafts, sarees, Ganesha idols, footwear and bags from different cities on offer, the Maharashtra pavilion made its mark on the first day. “Our motive is to present products from all the cities, and include lesser known artisans,” says Radhika Rastogi, managing director of Small Scale Industries Department.
Other pavilions including that of Delhi, Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, also have put the very best products of their state on display. While Kerala, Manipur and Punjab display local handicrafts, UP has big life-size posters of the state’s chief minister, Mayawati.
A visit to the International pavilions at hall no. 18, is also a must. Watch out for stalls from Thailand, Indonesia, Afghanistan, South Africa, China and Myanmar among others. While Thailand displays a wide range of products ranging from bags, apparel to accessories, Afghanistan boasts of a rich display of dry and fresh fruits. A stall by Aisha, which displays antique Afghan jewellery, is likely find favour with female visitors. “I collected these pieces from various people in Afghanistan,” says boutique owner Aisha.
The food stall, that serves cuisine from states across the country, is one of the main attractions of the trade fair. On our visit, we noticed that the Maharashtra and Rajasthan stalls were attracting a huge number of customers. Also set up was a special Lahori food stall that found many patrons. The visitors said the food items at this stall were delicious but many felt that the food was over-priced and the quantity served was quite less.
The Delhi pavilion at the trade fair is one of the biggest and the most happening pavilions. This year, Minakari and Zardozi works from old Delhi are the highlight of the pavilion. You can find artisans, live in action, here. As soon as you enter the pavilion, you will see Padma jewels from Delhi selling some of the rarest and precious stones available in India such as star sapphire, star ruby and black star. They have beautiful rings and neck pieces too. Price starts at R1000. A stall selling miniature paintings with Delhi as their theme, is also likely to attract attention. Products made by the Tihar jail inmates are also on sale. The pavilion also has an exhibition on the theme, Delhi 100, that shows Delhi and its progress over the last 100 years. Other stalls include Delhi Kahdi, Fab India and Delhi Memories Souvenir shop.
The Istanbul pavilion has beautiful chandeliers that are made from double glass. The price starts from R1200 and can go up to R12,000
Stone and semi precious jewellery at the Indonesia pavilion. Watch out for the exquisite neck pieces. Price R3000
Mina works such as pen holders, jewellery boxes and a small
Temple for your house are available at the Gujarat pavilion. Price starts at R20
Hand bags made out of water hyacinth, a weed widely grown in parts of Kerala. Price start at R400
Cut glass work pens at R20 was an instant hit at the Maharashtra pavilion
Woollen shoes with leather sole are available at the Manipur pavilion for R500
Home decor items made out of telephone wire at the South African pavilion at Hall no. 18
Watch it live
What: India International Trade Fair 2011
On till: November 27
Opens for public on: November 19
Time: 9.30am to 7.30pm
Where: Pragati Maidan
Entry: R40 on weekdays and R60 on weekends, available at all the 26 metro stations
Nearest Metro Station: Pragati Maidan on Blue Line