On 8th February, 2014, I managed to make a visit to SurajKund International Crafts Mela. Strategically located in Haryana, the demographics is huge and covers all corners in the most distinguished ways. This time, the theme was Goa (Sri Lanka was another attraction), so as you enter, you are welcomed by Goan music playing in the background and life size banners mentioning their welcoming note. Before entering, you are supposed to have an entry ticket worth Rs 70. From entrance, starts an extravagant trip to handiworks, food and people beyond boundaries. Despite that the theme was Goa, handicrafts and food came from all over the country. So eloquent and so magnificent! Talking about Goa in particular, the state offered incense sticks, cashew nuts and other handicrafts. You could find engraving done the Coconut shell. Some of the interesting items from other places I came across were:
1. Marble handicrafts from Pakistan – Each item was huge in price and cost. Marble clocks to showpieces, one could find a huge assortment. I am sure that the quality was at par as the marble was genuine and the intrinsic creativity done was well justified.
2. Hand woven shawls from Odisha – So deep and so inherent in creation. Available in different colors, designs and prints, the craftsmen had a lot to offer. Also, there were craftsmen from the state who were offering statues made of marble. They ranged from Rs 85000 and reached sky.
3. Wood and metal work from Madhya Pradesh – I salute the ability to carve such statues made of wood and metal. The craftsmen put huge effort in researching and conceiving a concept which clearly shows up at best.
4. Apparels from Punjab – The state has always been known for its Patiala salwar kameez and a host of other cotton dresses. I purchased couple of salwars and Phulkari dress material from one of the stalls. And, the cost was nominal.
5. Paintings and jewelry from West Bengal – Art remains incomplete without mentioning Bengal. Artists brought hand made paintings made from Jute. Inspirations were taken from flora and fauna and they were worth your drawing room. I also bought a pair of Jute earrings which are definitely different from the other collection I have.
Coming to food, there was immense. To start with, we religiously savored Kala Khatta (flavored ice), followed by bhelpuri, makkhan malai (a speciality from Kanpur), kachories (both sweet and salty from Rajasthan), soya kathi chap and similar more. I recommend, try out dishes which you haven’t before. Sri Lanka was a striking aspect in that matter. We tried Kutty Rotty Egg which was made from flour gram and a good amount of spices. It was hot.
In a nutshell, the experience was good. I recommend people to have time and patience while touring through the Mela (fair). Looking at the fact that it is heavily crowded during weekends, enough precautions should be made while carrying children. If you are one of those who breathes art and culture in and out, Surajkund is the destination.