India is a melting pot of several festivals and celebrations. The word “Mela” means a fair or Hindu festival in Hindi. You will hear the word often especially around the cooler months and through the holiday season of Diwali to Christmas. There are annual Melas held by International schools and Embassies which support organizations and artisans across India selling a wide range of arts & crafts, candles, jewllery, home decor and delicious foods.
Unfortunately we won’t be seeing many Melas happening in Delhi this year due to Covid-19 but let us hope they’ll come back next year in full swing.
For the more cultured Melas, amongst the most prominent are the Kumbh Mela, Chardham Yatra, and the Surajkund Mela that glorify the cultural significance of India.
Surajkund Mela is one of the grandest Melas that is celebrated every year on the Feb 1st to Feb 16th in the district of Faridabad, Haryana. A 16-day long affair is a total extravaganza and one of the must-do things in Haryana.
This is one of the largest art Melas or exhibitions where you can get to see the gorgeous craftsmanship of artisans. The Surajkund Mela opens up its space for the exhibition of both local and international handcrafted items.
The streets filled with colors and merry-making people from different parts of the world are what you can get to see in this Mela. The traditional artisans and the rich folklore culture of India come to life and the handmade products takes you through the rich heritage and culture of India. To name a few: Banarasi Sarees from Varanasi, ‘Phulkari” embroidery from Panjab, lace and crochet from Goa, puppetry and spices from Rajasthan. It’s a great place to pick out an intricate woven carpet at a fantastic price or lovely lanterns handcrafted from Jaipur. For Indian cotton and handloom lovers, textiles, paintings and items made from wood, stonework, lacquerware, unique pottery and organic and Ayurvedic good can be found here.
Take note that most of the stalls take cash only payments. Though there is a push for digital payments and internet banking for every transaction inside the Surajkund Mela premises, if you want to avoid hassle, best to deal in cash.
Beautiful folklore performances from the local and the international artists are held at the open theaters and chaupals every evening through the duration of the Mela.
When you are here, it becomes essential to also experience the culinary skills of the locals and go on a gastronomical tour at the designated food joints. One can also satiate their taste buds from the multi-cuisine food-joints too.
The Surajkund Mela is a grand initiative under the Surajkund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism along with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs.
It is the melting point of the national and the international artwork; hence, the name has been changed to Surajkund International Crafts Mela. The Mela has a track record of having more than 20 countries taking part in the grand exhibition year on year.
* Due to covid dates have been tentatively set please keep updated via their official website for directions, timings and entrance fees. http://www.haryanatourism.gov.in/Events/surajkund-international-crafts-mela-faridabad