In the going winters and retreating monsoon rains, you have yet another opportunity to witness a gigantic Cultural Fest, The Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2018. It is yearly held, away from the industrial rush and daily traffic. You can shift your focus from regular stuff and Mall runs to this altogether different environment.
Surajkund, the host of International Crafts Mela, is located in Faridabad, at a distance of almost 8 KMs from Delhi. Apart from Indian states, the craftsmen from various other countries also come there to display their unique pieces of art. Celebrated in the month of February, it is an impressive one day getaway for the residents of Delhi/NCR. The Surajkund Mela not only showcases the diversity in the art, handicraft and the cultures of India but is also declared as the largest crafts fair in the world.
The place witnesses millions of visitors every year and when we visited there, we came to know the reason for this huge success. Starting from the beginning, if you go by car, there is the parking facility available at every gate of the Mela and even inside the premises. Though the parking fee is bit on higher side(Rs 100 for Weekends), for a place visited only once in a year, it can be easily adjustable. The Weekend tickets are priced at Rs 180 per person and for Weekdays, its 120 per person. The timings of the Mela are from 10:30 AM to 8:30 PM.
The security system at the entrance is very good and as you enter and if you are with the kids, the volunteers from the Haryana Government would proactively come to you and take the entire information of your child along with the photograph and would make the child wear the band with the helpline number, which is a very nice initiative.
This year, Uttar Pradesh was the theme of the Mela and you can experience the handicrafts from all over the state. There are separate sections for all the states and countries, which makes it easier if you want to see the crafts of a particular place. The shops were clean and well organized, marked with the numbers, which makes it easier to locate a particular shop if you visit the same again. I found the quality of almost all the products on a higher side and so was the price. However, if negotiation or bargaining is your forte, you can definitely convince the shopkeeper to give you the product on somewhat reasonable price. You will definitely get a lot of variety in all the products which you will not get in the local markets.
Apart from handicrafts, the dance and puppet shows from all over the states could also be seen. You can also enjoy the performances of renowned singers and performers from 6 PM onwards.
Next comes the most important section i.e. the Food Court. You can enjoy the delicacies from the various places of India like Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, UP and many more. The small stalls were also there offering Momos, Kulfis, Bhelpuris, Chinese Food and soda drinks. The prices of the food items were reasonable and the taste was worth trying.
There is a separate section for amusement and joy rides, which is an attraction not only for the kids but also for the grownups. Though I found the prices of the rides to be on a bit higher side, you cannot give it a miss, especially if you are with kids.
In addition to the traditional toilets, the environment friendly e-toilets are also arranged. The whole premises is under the surveillance of CCTV cameras.
On a concluding note, if you have even the slightest interest in the handicrafts and the traditional culture of the country, this place is a must visit with the family.
Do let us know, how was your experience if you have already visited the fest in any given year?