Haryana govt inaugurates Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2022

Jammu & Kashmir is the ‘Theme State’ of the 35th Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2022, which is showcasing its unique culture and rich heritage through various art forms and handicrafts from the state
Haryana govt inaugurates Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2022
Haryana govt inaugurates Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2022

The Government of Haryana inaugurated the 35th Surajkund International Crafts Mela in Faridabad on Saturday. The mela provides a stage for artisans from across India, particularly the heritage of arts and crafts from rural India. It gives an opportunity to showcase their talent and encourages them to preserve the rich heritage and culture of the country.
The Surajkund Crafts Mela was hosted for the first time in 1987 to showcase the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms, and the cultural heritage of India. Jointly hosted by the Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs, this festival has come to occupy a place of pride and prominence on the international tourism calendar for its display of crafts, culture and cuisine of India in aesthetically created ambience. Keeping in pace with the times, online tickets are made available through portals like Paytm Insider, to help visitors easily enter mela premises without the hassles of long queues. Special buses will run from various points to carry visitors from the surrounding areas to the fair site.
Jammu & Kashmir is the ‘Theme State’ of the 35th Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2022, which is showcasing its unique culture and rich heritage through various art forms and handicrafts from the state. Hundreds of artists from Jammu & Kashmir will be performing different folk arts and dances. From traditional dances art forms to exquisite crafts. There is a bouquet of heritage and culture from Jammu & Kashmir to enthrall the audience. Replicas of Vaishno Devi temple, Amarnath temple, Apna Ghar representing architecture from Kashmir, live demonstration of houseboat and commemorative gate ‘Mubarak  Mandi – Jammu’ promises to be the main attractions of this year’s Mela.
A benchmark was set in the history of Surajkund Crafts Mela as it was upgraded to an international level in 2013. In 2020, more than 30 countries from Europe, Africa and Asia participated in the Mela. This year more than 30 countries will be a part of the Mela, which includes the Partner Nation – Uzbekistan. There will be enthusiastic participation from Latin American countries, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Namibia, Sudan,  Nigeria, Equitorial Guinea, Senegal, Angola, Ghana, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Iran, Maldives and many more.
To enliven the visitors’ mood, scintillating performances will be presented by international folk artists from the participating foreign countries including artists from across the states of India.
 A variety of day performers will enthral the visitors like at the Bhangra from Punjab, Bihu from Assam, Barsana ki Holi, Lok Niritya from Haryana, Jamakda from Himachal Pradesh,  Lavni from Maharashtra, live demonstration of Hath Ki Chakki and the ever famous Behrupiyas, who will keep the crowds entertained with their enchanting talent and showmanship within the Mela ground.
Enthralling evening cultural performances during the Mela fortnight will entertain the visitors to the hilt. Eclectic performances from bands like Rehmat-e-Nusrat, resonating Ghazals by Rinku Kalia, enthralling dance performances, soulful sufi performances, Rythms of India by Maati Baani, besides foot-tapping dance and song shows of Jammu & Kashmir, Uzbekistan and other international artists will be the attraction of the mela. One can catch all the action and excitement at the Chaupal from 7.00 pm onwards.
A family from Haryana is going to live in specially-created ‘Apna Ghar’ to showcase the authentic lifestyle of the state. ‘Apna Ghar’ gives a chance to the visitors to experience the lifestyle of the people of the state and provides them with a chance to interact and learn about their culture. Apna Ghar will showcase traditional earthenware and utensils while craftsmen will give live demonstrations of these traditional crafts. 
Both Chaupals (amphitheatres) have been given a new look inspired by the elements of the participating state and partner nation to make the performances come alive for the audience along with the use of traditional props.
The Mela is open from March 19  to April 4, 2022, daily from 12.30 pm-9.30 pm.

Key Attractions of Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2022

  • Uzbekistan participates as the partner nation for this year’s Mela.
  • Keeping pace with the Information Technology (IT) advancements, the Mela entry tickets can be booked online through Paytm Insider
  • Hassle-free parking through technological innovations
  • Virtual tour and craftsperson information is available on the website
  • As a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, the Surajkund Mela Authority provides 50 per cent rebate on entry tickets to the differently-abled persons, senior citizens and serving defence personnel and ex-servicemen.
  • Renovated ‘Apna Ghar’ of Haryana will enthrall visitors in a new avatar.  
  • A number of competitions to be organised for school students.
  • Exporters and buyers meet is being organised during the Mela fortnight that offers a ready support system for craftspersons to access and tap the export market.

During the inauguration session, Bandaru Dattatraya, Governor of Haryana in his address pointed out the importance of art and crafts in the development of civilization and culture. He also praised the ministries of the Central government and government of Haryana for organising the crafts mela as this gives an opportunity to the artisan from across India and as well as participating countries to present the rich legacy of arts and crafts of their respective countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal stated that the Surajkund Crafts Mela helps thousands of craftsperson from across India to showcase their arts and products to a wider audience. Thus, the mela has also helped in reviving the heritage crafts in rural India.

Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Arvind Singh while addressing at the Surajkund Crafts Mela, said, “The 35th  Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2022 is being held after a long gap due to the Covid-19 pandemic which did not allow us to organise this much-awaited crafts event in the year 2021. However, this year the Surajkund Mela comes with a promise of a bigger event with renewed energy. The organisation of the Crafts Mela this year will help boost the tourism in India.”
MD Sinha, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Government of Haryana said “The mela ground is spread over 43.5 acres of land and houses 1,183 work huts for craftspersons and a multi-cuisine food court, which is immensely popular with visitors. The ambience of the mela will carry ethnic vibes with motifs and decorations such as Mahua, Nargis, Panchjanya and along with it the 75 years of independence theme with motifs and replicas of independence medals, Tri-coloured buntings and commemorative stamps.” He further added that ‘the Surajkund Mela is now a tourist event with immense popularity overseas and we hope to make this event even grander with new innovations in the coming editions. 

History of Surajkund

Surajkund, the site of popular Surajkund International Crafts Mela is located at a distance of 8 km from South Delhi in Faridabad. Surajkund derives its name from the ancient amphitheatre, meaning ‘lake of the sun’ constructed here in the 10th century by Raja SurajPal, one of the Tomar chieftains. ‘Suraj’ means ‘Sun’ and ‘Kund’ means ‘pool/lake or reservoir’.  The place is built against the backdrop of the Aravalli mountain range.                                  

According to historians, this area fell under the domain of the Tomar clan. Raja Suraj Pal, one of the chieftains of the clan of sun worshipers, had a sun pool built in this area. It is believed that a temple also stood in its periphery. Archaeological excavations have revealed the existence of a Sun temple here based on ruins that can be seen even now. During the Tughlaq dynasty rule of Feroz Shah Tughlaq (1351–88), the reservoir was refurbished by rebuilding the steps and terraces with stones in lime mortar.

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