Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sauntering around Surajkund

The Surajkund Mela is an annual handicrafts and arts fair, organized by Haryana Tourism at the town of Surajkund, a short distance from South Delhi. It spans the first fortnight of February and showcases work of artists from all over India and some overseas.

Taking advantage of a beautiful wintry Sunday afternoon, I landed up at the place. Seemed well organized and with lots of parking space - enough considering there were so many people around to make it look as if all of Delhi had checked in.

The fair presents an impressive collection of crafts and arts from all over India - ranging from Rajasthani paintings to Manipoori bamboo art and from Tanjore paintings to Kashimri Pashima shawls. The whole place wore a carnival atmosphere with performances of ethnic dances at every corner. What added to the fun was that visitors seemed so eager to participate in doing a jig along with the traditional folk.

There was also a food court that doled out culinary mish-mash from all over the country - perfect for a chilly Sunday afternoon meal. Surprisingly, it was so neat that I did not find a single piece of garbage around.

In sum, its a worthy visit. Perfect if you want to pickup assorted handicraft from all over the country at a decent price (it certainly wasn't as pricy as some of those handicraft emporiums at CP). More than anything else, the carnival atmosphere and ethnic dances performances make it worthy of a wintry weekend afternoon.

To get there: Surajkund is located at a short distance, south of the Tughlakhabad fort. One needs to turn off the Mehrauli-Badarpur road, immediately at the fort or at the next and head for a few kilometres along a meandering hilly road to hit the town. There are signboards everywhere leading to the fair. Badapur, which is usually a crowded and dusty industrial area, was surprisingly clear this Sunday - the weekend seems a good time to visit.
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