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Surajkund crafts mela begins on Friday, Uttar Pradesh is the theme state for the first time

Over 1,500 police personnel have been deployed for security at the inaugural ceremony of the Surajkund International Crafts, which begins Friday.

delhi Updated: Feb 01, 2018 23:48 IST
Prabhu Razdan
Prabhu Razdan
Hindustan Times
Surajkund mela,faridabad,crafts fair
Over 1,500 police personnel have been deployed for security at the inaugural ceremony of the Surajkund International Crafts, which begins Friday.(File photo)

Over 1,500 police personnel have been deployed for security at the inaugural ceremony of the Surajkund International Crafts, which begins Friday.

Launched in 1987 to showcase richness and diversity of the handicrafts and cultural heritage of India, the mela has attained international stature with about 29 countries participating this year, said Vijai Vardhan, additional chief secretary (tourism), Haryana, at a press conference on Thursday.

Uttar Pradesh, which is the theme state for the first time, is focusing on religious tourism, rural tourism and spiritual tourism apart from showcasing its art, culture and heritage in the mela. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will inaugurate the mela on Friday in the presence of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

“Over 1,500 police personnel have been deployed for the mela, which include five DCPs, 7 ACPs, and 14 inspectors,” said Vikram Kapoor, DCP headquarters, Faridabad. A contingent of UP police reached the mela grounds on Thursday in view of the UP CM’s visit.

“A lot of enthusiasm is being shown by the participants from foreign countries, which include participants from this year’s partner country, Kyrgyz Republic,” said Sameer Pal Srow, managing director of Haryana Tourism Corporation.

The mela ground is spread across 42.5 acres and has 1,071 work huts for craftspersons and a multi-cuisine food court, consisting of 36 stalls.

Special bus service

During the mela, special bus services will be available to Surajkund from ISBT Delhi, Shivaji Stadium, Gurgaon and Faridabad.

The officials said that Special Mela express buses will offer smooth connectivity from the far flung areas of Haryana to Surajkund. Also, a bus service from Ballabgarh to Tughlakabad Metro station via Surajkund and Tughlakabad Metro station to Ballabgarh via Surajkund, Badarpur Metro station to Surajkund and back will also be available every 30 minutes.

“Metro services are also available from Central Secretariat till Badarpur via Sarita Vihar and Mohan Estate. A free ferry service for visitors has been extended throughout the mela period from the nearest areas of Faridabad and Delhi Metro stations in the vicinity,” an official said.

The 32nd edition of the international crafts mela will showcase ghats of Varanasi.

The mela will showcase religious tourism circuit — such as Ayodhya, Mathura, Kashi apart from the art, culture, and heritage of UP.The mela will remain open over the weekend.

“Surajkund International Crafts mela provides an opportunity for the artists and craftsmen from the world over to showcase their countries’ rich diversity, cuisine and traditions,” said Rashmi Verma, secretary, Union tourism ministry.

Surajkund derives its name from an ancient amphitheatre constructed in the 10th century AD by Raja Suraj Pal, one of the Tomar chieftains. This is a unique monument as it was built to worship Surya, the Sun God and it resembles a Greek amphitheatre.

First Published: Feb 01, 2018 21:34 IST