Surajkund means "Lake of the sun"built in the background of Aravalli hills .It said to have been built by the Tomar Suraj Pal Singh of Tomar dynasty in 10th century. This fair was first started in 1987. Traditional craftsmen from all over the country participated in this. Its foundation was laid by the great Sufi saint and scholar Hazrat Mir Syed Ali Hamdani.
Surajkund international craft mela is organized in Faridabad Haryana every year in the month of February where artisans from all over India come to showcase the richness and diversity of Indian handicrafts, handlooms and cultural fabrics of India and sell their goods. This year due to pandemic situation in the country it was held in March.
This unique Mela gives a feeling of mini India .The fair offers a wide variety of handicrafts ranging from duppttas, suits, sarees, bedsheets, jewelleries, footwear to furniture, showpieces, paintings, papad, chutney, pickles, dry fruits and what not.
I have been fortunate enough to visit the craft mela every single year. I personally love art and craft work and for me it's always a great experience to visit such a place which is full of great surprises. Every time I explore something new here .This time I came to know about Bluepottery art form from Rajasthan which I wasn't aware of .
I love sarees and fell in love with the Indian traditional handloom sarees through this mela and came to know about the wide variety of handloom sarees from different states of India .This time in a Gujarat stall my friend and I saw beautiful sarees of different styles and patterns. We asked the artisans about it, he told us that it's a bhujodi saree from Kutch in Gujarat and also explained to us how it is made , how much time it takes and what kind of thread is used etc.It was very interesting to know and my friend and I immediately bought one saree each .He also told us that this saree has good international market .
Every year I buy at least 2 kalamkari sarees from Andra Pradesh stall because the collection and variety of these sarees which I find in this fair I don't find it anywhere else .I always love the display of colourful Phulkari duppttas from Punjab and Banarasi duppttas and saree from Uttarpradesh and always end up buying a few .My daughter loves to buy footwear, jewellery, and accessories from this mela.
Most of the artisans in the mela are either national awardees, state awardees or different category award winners .Artisans from various countries also participate in this Mela and showcase their countries culture and heritage. I also enjoyed the beautiful live performances of well known folk dancers and singers from different countries and different states of India at the 2 different choupals in the mela ground. If any visitor is not interested in shopping they can enjoy these cultural performances the entire day .There was amazing nukad natak performance also.
There is also a food court where cuisines and dishes from all over India were available. My friend and I tried different cuisines every time and this time we enjoyed authentic Rajasthani thali with daal bati and churma .
This time we also found stalls of rasgullas, rajbhog and some tasty biscuits made with sugar free (stevia) .I got atleast 2 dubbas of each of these for my health conscious husband.
I usually go there during week days at morning hours when it is not crowded and I can explore the stalls conveniently. It's a good place to get information about Indian craft and handlooms. I got nostalgic seeing the bioscope , which is probably found only in this mela now a days and took me to back to my childhood days .
It's a great mixture of national and international culture at one place.Everything here is very well organised and neat and clean .I found many washrooms in the mela which was very neat and clean. There were many ATM machines at the mela site which helped us to withdraw money and do shoppings . This handicraft mela is a good platform to promote artisans and their crafts from all over the country, thus also helping in reviving the heritage and crafts of India .
It's a one stop destination for everything unique and it's a must visit place to enjoy different cultures.