If you need a break from the surplus of monuments, historic sites, and antique finds of India, get a taste of nature at Surajkund. This natural beauty is a reservoir from the 10th century located on the Southern Delhi Range. It is placed near the Aravalli range, which is a notable mountain range to visit because of its geological uniqueness. The meaning of the name is ‘lake of the sun’, and it is a scenic spot with a backdrop that will take your breath away. If you’ve ever wanted t know how it feels to scream to acres of nothingness, the area surrounding the Surajkund reservoir is shaped like an amphitheatre- perfect for your angsty needs!
A natural hot spring and a wildlife sanctuary are some of the main attractions around this reservoir. One of the most notable ones, although, is the Surajkund international art and craft fair, or as we call it- Surajkund mela. This is an annual event that attracts attendees from all over the world in the month of February. On showcase are pieces of craft from all the Indian states on 40 acres of land (this is equivalent to 780 average sized homes!). In additional to all the states, there are even international participants, which is a big feat for an Indian festival. The number of visitors is high- with a peak of 1.2 billion visitors, of which 200,000 are foreigners. The mediums worked on in the mela vary greatly, they include wood, metal, bamboo, iron, glass, textiles and stone. This fair is a hub for all lovers of the fine arts. The fair’s theme changes yearly, and this keeps the artists participating on their toes, working to make a creation that best compliments the theme (which is usually based on Indian culture). The themes are based on a specific state of India, and the organisers create visual aesthetics to match the ambience of said state. The entrance proudly announces the theme and features several architecture, colours and materials associated with the state. In addition to being a must attend arts event, there is a food festival covering popular cuisines. Entertainment is found in the form of various dances as well!
In 2009, countries such as Thailand and Egypt also participated in the mela. The 2019 version of the mela was quite a blast. It was the 33rd version of this vibrant even, and it made sure not to disappoint. One of the most admirable things about the fair is that it encourages the public to appreciate traditional Indian handicrafts while encouraging a global spirit. The mela exclusively features handmade works as opposed to machine produce. The sights you see will blow you away! The Surajkund mela runs from 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM for 15 days, and different activities are organised for each day. The ticket prices are made to be affordable to any passerby, and makes it ideal for an impulsive day out. Now, for the grand reveal- the theme state for the year of 2019 was Maharashtra! This state is on he west of India and is known across the country for many regions, most notably Mumbai. The metropolitan city is the financial capital of India and home to several historic events. In addition to this, Maharashtra is a melting pot of its own culture and tradition, which translates into the way of life in the city.
While the festival sounds as entrancing as ever, what goes on during it? Find out below! The arts gathering was formed by the people at Haryana Tourism, and its aim is to promote skilled artists from around the country. Called the ‘market of cultural exchange’, there are many activities taking place at the mela. There are handcrafted goods, folk dance performances, open air plays, musical evenings, adventure sports, and joyrides. For the people who enjoy shopping, there are pantings, pottery, home decor, Indian medicinal goods, and so many other things on sale. There’s hardly any time to be bored!
Surajkund is locked between two villages in Haryana. The reservoir is fed by a stream originating from the Anagpur dam. Interestingly, several relics from the stone age have been found in the reservoir. The pre-historic man settled there, and this makes it a notable area to hold gatherings such as the mela. The location for the festival of handmade craft is facing some difficulty because of ecological issues. However, the Surajkund mela to celebrate the artist and craftsmen has been making efforts to be more consumer-friendly over the years. There are now digital payments, and tickets are sold online. There are metro stations at walking distance from the fait, and the festival has made a notable effort to be eco friendly by installing mobile toilet vans, eco-friendly public toilets, and banning the use of plastic bags.
As can be seen, the Surajkund mela is an event you can’t miss. From the handmade wonders from multiple countries to the delectable food, it’ll take you more than a day just to consume as much as you can. The weather is wonderful in February, and the location is scenic (to say the least). Supporting artists who put passion into their work is the best wave to ride, and here at Surajkund, there is an ocean full of people to support. Surajkund 2020 awaits you, join us as we wait for the unveiling of the new theme state!