Surajkund Mela : A man-made festival
As per history verses, Surajkund derives its name from Suraj- sun and Kund- lake. Surajkund lake is an artificial lake in Haryana (India) which was made by a Gurjar King Surajpal of Tomar dynasty, surrounded by an amphitheatre kind of embankment in 10th Century A.D. He was an ardent worshipper and believer of Sun-God.
Ages later, 7. Feb.2016, happened to be my suddenly planned excursion to this man made festival in Haryana, about 10 kms away from the borders of South Delhi. Thankfully my cousin sister had time and her car free for the visit. Surajkund mela is an annually organized arts and crafts fair from 1st to 15th of each February since 1981 by the Govt. of Haryana to promote tourism and to stage folk tradition and cultural heritage. It portrays a varied and wide range of some of the finest works of craftsmen and artisans from all parts of India. Cheers to these flicks by me for capturing the festive spirit:
Fair for 2016 is the 30th in that series, the featured state being “Telangana”. I am personally attending this fair from last 5 yrs or so. Though the crux/ theme of the mela is same and stalls are most of the time in the same places as before, one is sure to find new unique craft pieces if plenty of time is at hand to explore. Apart form this, there are cultural dances and regional delicacies to savor.
I would advice to plan in advance and go earlier in the daytime. Weekends and the last 3 days are more crowded than weekdays and one may find it even difficult to breathe past 3pm. This time though, weekend tickets are double the price to those of weekdays (maybe for decongestion purposes). Tickets are also available at 22 Metro stations all over Delhi apart from mela ground itself. One can even buy e- tickets online through http://haryanatourism.gov.in/showpage.aspx. Nearest Metro Station is N.H.P.C situated on the Purple line.
It is situated in a place which is a bit difficult to commute if you do not own a vehicle. Auto-rickshaws are available in limited numbers and can’t be relied upon as the influx of visitors is too big to handle and they fill fast. 2015 mela had an average of 1.2 million footfalls including 160000 foreigners and a participation from 20 countries. Though Govt. has arranged some shuttle buses from various Metro Stations to the fair ground, their number is few.
So Everyone out there! It is a great arts and crafts treasure-hunt out there but beware; you can burn a hole in your pocket. I did get a big one 🙁 !!!!
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