Every year the Suraj Kund Mela is a highly anticipated event and in spite of the rising anticipation and expectation of the people, the Mela never disappoints. Spread across 43 acres in Surajkund, Faridabad in Haryana State , the Mela is known for showcasing the rich cultural and artistic heritage of India. Attracting a large number of Indian and international visitors, this is organised by the Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with union ministry of tourism, textiles, culture and external affairs.
The 32nd Suraj Kund Crafts Mela being held this year between 2nd to 18th Feb 2018 is expected to have more than a million visitors, thousands of whom are foreign tourists as has been the case in the previous melas too.
Every year the Suraj Kund Mela honours one of the states as the ‘theme state’ where in the state can showcase its handicrafts, handlooms, architecture, performing arts, cuisine, and its tourist potential to the millions who visit the Mela. This year Uttar Pradesh has been chosen as the theme state. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had inaugurated Surajkund Mela in Faridabad in the presence of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Kyrgyzstan is participating as the supporting nation and at least 20 countries and all the Indian states are participating in the Mela.
Year by year the Mela has been developing into a more customer friendly gathering and this year too several measures have been adopted to eliminate inconveniences to the visitors. For example pos machines have been made available to the sellers to encourage digital payments, security measures with cctv cameras have been installed, golf carts for the elderly and differently-abled and eco friendly public toilets have been installed. Also various child-friendly procedures have been adopted at the fair, including setting up children-friendly space, breastfeeding booths, lost and found centres and child tracking system. Under this, families visiting the mela with children below 14 years would have to get the minors registered at a special desk set up by the police. Each minor would be provided with a RFID tag which would be helpful in tracing them in case they get lost.
The Mela has been successful in creating an ambience where the richness of the heritage crafts and the diversity of the craftsmen, weavers, painters and such artisans can be displayed and celebrated. The Mela has organized over 1,071 work huts for the crafts person’s to display their skill and creativity. Few of the most popular items are chikan cloth work , banarasi sarees, unique cane crafts and furniture, puppetry, Madhubani paintings, Tibetan woollen clothing, wooden carvings, bandhani cloth, Ayurvedic products , ceramic pottery and glass work. It is indeed a paradise for the shopaholics.
A large number of national and international folk artistes and cultural groups present folk dance performances, skits and street plays in the open-air theatres located in the Mela premises.
The multi-cuisine food court provides ethnic cuisines from all over the world thereby giving the visitors an opportunity to try delicacies from other countries and states. . There are designated places for amusement, adventure sports and joy rides like Ferris Wheel, Bungee Jumping and video games to keep the youngsters engaged.
Suraj Kund Mela is indeed an event for everybody. For those who want to know about the diverse heritage around us, for those gastronomically inclined, for those who want to shop till they drop or for those interested in performances and plays. Perhaps that is indeed the secret of its yearly success.