Karnataka has been finalised as the theme state for the upcoming Surajkund International Crafts Mela.
The official team from Karnataka led by principal secretary of tourism and managing director Karnataka Tourism Development Corporation G Latha Krishna Rao visited the Surajkund mela campus on Saturday to begin the preparations for the mega event.
The visit came after the Karnataka government and Surajkund Mela Authority confirmed Karnataka as a theme state for the fifteen day Surajkund crafts fair, beginning February 1, 2013.
The theme state gets the maximum space in the mela campus for setting up stalls to show case its art, craft, culture and cuisine. It also contributes in terms of expenses incurred on changing the look of venue.
The chief minister of the theme state also remains present at the inauguration of the fifteen day mela at Surajkund apart from other dignitaries.
"It is after 18 years that Karnataka returns as a theme state for the upcoming annual Surajkund mela", Rajesh Joon, official spokesman of Surajkund International Crafts Mela said. "The last time Karnataka was a theme state was in 1994", he added.
The officials said that talks are on with several countries for becoming the partner country in the mela, though the normal practice is that the head of the country who is the chief guest at the Republic Day function in India, becomes the partner country in the mela.
A few months ago, Surajkund Crafts Mela was upgraded as an international event and would now be known as Surajkund International Crafts Mela from next year.
The decision to this effect was taken on the basis of a unanimous resolution passed in the 36th governing body of Surajkund Mela Authority.