For those wanting to celebrate and soak in the heritage Indian crafts there is good news. The 31st edition of Surajkund International Crafts Mela starts from Wednesday amid tight security.
To be inaugurated by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the carnival is a 15-day affair.
Over 20 countries are participating in the event with Egypt as a partner country this year and Jharkhand as the theme state. Every year, one country becomes the partner country and an Indian state is selected to set the theme of the mela.
“The Surajkund Crafts Mela was upgraded to an international level in 2013. This year more than 20 countries are participating. Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Tunisia, Mongolia and South Africa are the first timers,” said VS Kundu, additional chief secretary, Haryana Tourism and chairman of the Surajkund Mela Authority said at a press conference on Tuesday.
With Jharkhand being the theme state, it will showcase its unique culture and rich heritage, said Rahul Sharma, secretary Jharkhand Tourism.
Artists from Jharkhand have constructed a permanent commemorative gate replicating the Maluti Temple in the state. Apart from it, there are five temporary gates displaying the state symbols of Jharkhand.
Hundreds of artists from Haryana, Jharkhand and countries such as Egypt, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan will enliven the mood of the visitors with their performances.
“The mela ground is spread over 40.5 acres and houses about 1,010 work huts for craftspersons and multi-cuisine food court consisting of 36 food stalls,” said Sameer Pal, managing director of Haryana Tourism Corporation.
Pal said the visitors can relish mouthwatering cuisines, including authentic flavours from Jharkhand, Haryana, and Punjab along with Lebanese and Chienese food. “We are expecting about 15 lakh visitors at the mela,” Pal said.
For those short on cash too, there is reason to cheer. “To ensure 100% cashless transactions, Dena Bank, the official banking partner has been asked to provide 100 point-of-sale machines, a dedicated bank branch with two ATMs and 6 mobile ATM vans. E-wallets have also been roped in to ensure hassle-free transactions this year,” Kundu said.