Bigger, better and certainly more loaded — that’s what the 27th Surajkund International Crafts Mela this year is all about. Well, loaded because of the greater international offerings this time round, due to which the word ‘international’ has been included in the name of this cultural fiesta, spread over 40 acres of land, housing 735 stalls. Therefore, even as Karnataka makes a comeback in the mela as the theme state after 18 years, and the regular participating SAARC nations offer a plethora of goodies from their nations, many global entrants including Afghanistan, Thailand, Peru, and a host of African nations, also make their presence felt with some exquisite craftsmanship.
If you’re looking for accessories, head to the Thai kiosk for some pretty floral head gears. Tiny kukri brooches, prayer wheels, bags and dragon paper weights are the highlights of the Bhutan and Nepal stalls. The dainty silver ornaments embellished with colourful stones and glasswork, and exquisitely embroidered Afghani suits, at the Afghan stall, will certainly catch your fancy.
A few other stuff that you shouldn’t miss out includes the silken fabrics at the Varanasi, Madhya Pradesh, and Mubarakpur (UP) stalls. Check out the nectar fresh honey from Mysore, hand-painted leather wall-hangings from Andhra Pradesh, and the mojris and jootis at the Rajasthan and Haryana stalls. Don’t leave without seeing the entire bounty available at the Karnataka enclosure that has come alive with artisans quietly weaving Mysore silks, folk musical performances, and Gollu dolls from Channapatna, amid replicas of the gates of the Mysore Palace, architectural wonders of Belur, Hampi and the famous monuments of Bijapur.
There’s more to dig into...
But, don’t expect to find anything out of the world at the Food Court! The moong dal, mawa, and pyaaz kachoris, and choorma ladoos at the Rajasthani Babulalji stall are interesting. The Madras cafe, serving crisp dosas and uttapam, is not bad. You could also try the food items being served by the Institutes of Hotel Management of Faridabad, Kurukshetra and Panipat.