AMAZING PLACES TO SEE IN INDIA - SURAJKUND INTERNATIONAL CRAFTS FAIR 2019

Surajkund International Crafts Fair, Faridabad
SURAJKUND CRAFTS MELA


Surajkund International Crafts Fair is held in the first fortnight of February every year in Surajkund, Faridabad, near Delhi, the capital of India.

Hi friends! Hope you all are doing very fine. Welcome back to my blog, bringing to you the most amazing places to see in India. Well, I am excited to report that I have been able to tick one of the five amazing places, I listed in my bucket list for 2019, which I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts this year. I am here to share with you all, my trip to Surajkund International Crafts Fair 2019. 

Surajkund International Crafts Fair boasts of being the largest crafts fair in the world. This fair is held to celebrate and bring out the best works from craftsmen from India and the rest of the world. This is the 33rd edition of the fair and this year the duration of the fair has been increased by two days and is being held from 1st February to 17th February. 


SURAJKUND INTERNATIONAL CRAFTS FAIR, Faridabad
SURAJKUND INTERNATIONAL CRAFTS FAIR

33rd Surajkund mela, Faridabad
A VIEW OF SURAJKUND CRAFTS FAIR

HISTORY OF SURAJKUND - The name Surajkund means reservoir or pond of sun. King Surajpal of Tomar dynasty, who was the devotee of sun God, built the reservoir in 10th century. This explains the name. The embankment of the reservoir has an amphitheater type shape with steps. People can sit there and enjoy the view. It is built in an arc which is as per the direction of movement of sun i.e. east to west.

THE FAIR - Surajkund International Crafts Fair was started in the year 1986 by the government of Haryana state, adjacent to Delhi. The fair complex is spread over an area of more than 40 acres. Every edition of the fair has a theme state from India and a partner country. This year Maharashtra from western India is the theme state and Thailand is the partner country. More than 1100 craftsmen from India and 20 other countries are participating in the Surajkund International Crafts fair this year.


Thailand pavilion in Surajkund mela
THAILAND PAVILION

Thailand pavilion view at Surajkund mela
ANOTHER VIEW OF THAILAND PAVILION


Maharashtra at Surajkund mela
IN FRONT OF RAIGADH FORT REPLICA


Raigadh fort, Maharashtra
REPLICA OF RAIGADH FORT, MAHARASHTRA
Chattrapati Shivaji was crowned here and ran his kingdom from here

The fair is organized in a rural ambiance. Stalls are designed in hut style with mud platforms to display wares and thatched roofs to cover them. This gives a distinct identity to the fair and brings to the fore, rich Indian cultural traditions.


UTTARAKHAND DWAR AT SURAJKUND MELA
UTTARAKHAND DWAR

Entrance door of Surajkund mela
ONE OF THE ENTRANCES TO THE FAIR

Haryanvi pagdi at Surajkund crafts mela
APNA GHAR
Surajkund International Crafts Fair is a confluence of crafts and diverse cultures of different Indian states as well as the participating countries. The local and ethnic craftsmen get a platform to showcase their skills and enhance their businesses. The fair or mela(in Hindi), is visited by more than one million people during the period in which it is held, from India as well as abroad.


Egypt stall at Surajkund mela
EGYPT STALL

Art from Egypt
EGYPTIAN ART
Netherland stall at Surajkund mela
NETHERLANDS STALL

Netherlands art at Surajkund Crafts Fair
ART FROM NETHERLANDS

When I went to visit Surajkund International Crafts Fair, the venue was jam packed. People from all sections of society could be seen there, mingling and enjoying the colorful extravaganza. Students, families, businessmen, villagers, foreign tourists, all could be seen basking in the winter sun in the open and excitedly walking through the celebration of crafts and cultures, that is Surajkund Mela. I could see people of all ages getting amazed by the crafts displayed at the fair.People were dancing to the beats of local bands. It was a riot of colors all around.


Haryanvi girls in Surajkund mela
LITTLE GIRLS DRESSED IN HARYANVI ATTIRE

FOOD - There is a separate food court in the fair. This food court has stalls offering delicacies of different Indian states. You can relish Chole Bhature of Delhi, or a Rajasthani Thali, Jeleba and Tandoori tea, Vada Pao and Pao Bhaji from Maharashtra or Dosa, Vada from south India or a Punjabi thali and much more.


Surajkund International Crafts Fair food court
FOOD COURT

Food court in Surajkund Mela
ANOTHER VIEW OF FOOD COURT

ENTERTAINMENT - There is a Chaupal (an open air theater) to enthrall you with cultural presentations by troupes from India as well as foreign nations. There are programs during the day and special presentations every evening. Many renowned artistes give performances at the chaupal every evening from 6 pm onward.


Chaupal at Surajkund Mela
CHAUPAL - THE OPEN AIR THEATRE

Badi Chaupal at Surajkund International Crafts Fair
PEOPLE WAITING FOR PERFORMANCE AT CHAUPAL


Maharashtra folk dance at Surajkund
FOLK ARTISTS FROM MAHARASHTRA PERFORMING AT CHAUPAL

A separate and special area is available for amusement and adventure activities.


Amusement at Surajkund Mela
CAMEL RIDE AT SURAJKUND

Surajkund International Crafts Fair holds it's own place in the international events calendar and brings together, the crafts and cultures of different and diverse places. 

Do not miss this fair or you would be missing viewing the largest amalgamation of different cultures as well as the richness of India's craftsmanship.

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HAPPY TRAVELING!!

AMAZING PLACES TO SEE IN INDIA - ADVENTURE AND RELIGION - KUDREMUKH

Kudremukh, Karnataka
KUDREMUKH

Hello friends! There are so many amazing places to see in India. What kind of places to travel do you like? I know, most of you will raise your hands if I asked about your love for traveling to hills. Kudremukh in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka in south India is a small hill station which is also an amazing trekking site and is a place to travel for those seeking natural beauty and adventure at the same time. Meaning 'horse face' in local Kannada language, it is the second highest peak of Karnataka. Kudremukh is called so because of a peak here that looks like face of a horse.

Kudremukh is a part of the western Ghats and has a wealth of bio diversity and minerals. One of the most amazing places to see in India, it is a perfect location for trekkers and nature lovers alike. The charisma of the place lies in the lush green meadows all around. Surrounded by dense forests, Kudremukh is blessed with rare varieties of orchids and rivers.


KUDREMUKH, Karnataka
KUDREMUKH
Pic - conservationindia.org
There are so many amazing places to see in and around Kudremukh that it is difficult to write about each one of them. However, I have tried to bring to you, some of the most important and sought after places to visit in Kudremukh.


Kudremukh image
BREATHTAKING VIEW OF KUDREMUKH
Pic - karnataka.com

1. KUDREMUKH NATIONAL PARK - Spread over an area of 600 square km, this is the secong largest protected wildlife park. Kudremukh national park is set in the midst of mountains and has a mesmerizing scenic beauty. Granted the status of national park in the year 1987, this is one of the most well maintained national parks. Adorned with natural beauty, it has a variety of flora and fauna. It is also home to various endangered species of plants and animals. Kudremukh national park is a natural habitat of many animals like Sambhar, Giant squirrel, spotted deer, common langur etc. Endangered species like tigers, leopards and wild dogs can also be found in Kudremukh National Park.


KUDREMUKH NATIONAL PARK, Karnataka
KUDREMUKH NATIONAL PARK
Pic - sunsetvalleyhomestay.in

Rope bridge at Kudremukh national park
WALKING THROUGH THE ROPE BRIDGE
Pic - traveltriangle.com

Kudremukh national park, Karnataka
ANOTHER VIEW OF KUDREMUKH NATIONAL PARK
Pic - hillstationboss.com

2. GANGAMOOLA - Considered to be the source of three rivers namely Tunga, Bhadra and Nethravati, Situated at an altitude of 1460 m, this is also known as Varaha Parvatha. Gangamoola is a UNESCO world heritage site. Temple of Goddess Bhagawathi is a major attraction here. A Lord Varaha temple is located in a cave, from where one of the river originates, with a 6 feet tall idol. Gangamoola is located within the limits of Kudremukh National Park. You will have to trek for about 2 km from the road between Sringeri and Kudremukh to reach Gangamoola.


WAY TO GANGAMOOLA, Chikamagalur
WAY TO GANGAMOOLA
Pic - holidayiq.com

GANGAMOOLA WATERFALLS, Kudremukh
GANGAMOOLA WATERFALLS
Pic - holidayplanet.com

GANGAMOOLA CAVE, Gangamoola
GANGAMOOLA CAVE
Pic - maintrawell.in

3. KALASA - Just 8 km from Kudremukh is beautiful Kalasa town, situated on the banks of river Bhadra. Kalasa means pot. This beautiful town in Chikamagaluru district is known for Sri Kalasheswara temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Kalasa is believed to have come into existence during Lord Shiva's marriage to Parvati. The temple showcases the architectural heritage of south India and has different designs. It is visited by a large number of pilgrims. Kalasa is surrounded by rainforest and is any nature lover's delight. Kalasa town boasts of sprawling coffee and ayurveda gardens. Do not miss to see this beautiful place.


KALASA, Karnataka
KALASA
Pic - fiveprime.com

Pilgrimage at Kalasheswara temple
PILGRIMS VISITING KALASHESWARA TEMPLE
Pic - davishunter.com

KALASHESHWARA TEMPLE, Karnataka
KALASHESHWARA TEMPLE
Pic - raveeshkumar.com

4. HORANADU - A small quiet village about 17 km from Kudremukh, Horanadu has pristine natural beauty. It has temple of Adi Shaktyamaka Annapoorneshwaridevi. The statue of the deity is made of pure gold. It is believed that devotees, who visit this temple, never face shortage of food. The area is full of tea, coffee and spices plantations. You can buy these items in bulk from here. The prices are much lower than those in the cities. The scenic beauty of Hornadu is itself a reason to pay a visit.


ANNAAPOORNESHWARIDEVI TEMPLE, Kudremukh
ANNAAPOORNESHWARIDEVI TEMPLE
Pic - holidayiq.com
5. TREKKING - First thing first. You will need permission from the forest department for trekking in Kudremukh. At an altitude of 1900 m, Kudremukh offers variety of trekking trails according to level of difficulty. Of all the treks here, Kudremukh trek is most exciting due to it's flora and fauna. The excitement lies in the myriad landscapes on the route. The bamboo shrubs, rolling hills, water streams and rolling hills, all make this trek a memorable one. The trek is nearly 20 km long and covers tropical green forests and coffee farms. The view from the top of Kudremukh peak is breathtaking. You get an amazing view of the Arabian sea and varied landscapes from the top.


Kudremukh peak image
KUDREMUKH PEAK
Pic - bmcadventures.com

Kudremukh view
VIEW OF KUDREMUKH PEAK
Pic - getbeyondlimits.com

Trekking on Kudremukh peak
PEOPLE TREKKING KUDREMUKH PEAK
Pic - incrediblemalnad.com

Route for Kudremukh trek
KUDREMUKH TREK ROUTE
Pic - tripadvisor.com

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HOW TO REACH - 

AIR - The nearest airport is Mangalore which is about 130 km away. You can take a taxi or bus from here to reach Kudremukh.

TRAIN - The nearest rail station is again Mangalore.

ROAD - Kudremukh is well connected by road with major cities of Karnataka. You can get state run buses including AC and non AC buses to reach Kudremukh.

Kudremukh is one of the most amazing places to see in India. Do not miss a chance to visit this place full of natural beauty.

HAPPY TRAVELING!!



AMAZING PLACES TO SEE IN INDIA - MYTHOLOGY MEETS HISTORY IN DWARKA

Hello friends! Dwarka is one of the most important places for Hindu. It is an amazing place to see in India. It is one of the places to travel for pilgrimage. India has so much of intriguing ancient history. And then it has it's mythological stories and beliefs of many eras ago. There are so many places in India, which are believed to be from mythological eras and people see them as parts of their cultural and religious beliefs. Have you been to any such place? Apart from being religiously important, these places have many architectural masterpieces also depicting ancient history and arts of the bygone eras. Places like Mathura, Varanasi, Rameshwaram, Mata Vaishno Devi Mandir etc. have huge devotional value for a large number of people in India. And then there are places, which are living proof of what happened centuries ago. Dwarka is one such place whose history dates back to the era of Lord Krishna.

Dwarka, situated in Gujarat in western India, is an ancient city and is believed to be the one where Lord Krishna set up his kingdom after leaving Mathura. It is also said to be the first capital of Gujarat. Further, it is one of the four most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites also known as Chardham. Dwarka is also one of the Saptpuris(or seven most ancient cities) of India. If you are looking to see most amazing places in India, you can't miss Dwarka.


Dwarka, Gujarat
DWARKA
Image - indianholidays.com
The ancient Dwarka of Lord Krishna was a gold city. There is a myth that after Krishna left earth, a big flood gulped whole city of gold and it submerged in the sea. However, of late this myth has got some credence with the efforts from Archaeological Survey of India, who have, during fresh excavations, found new evidence of the existence of Dwarka during the era of Lord Krishna.


VIEW OF DWARKA CITY, Gujarat
VIEW OF DWARKA CITY
Image - airtheworld.com
The word Dwarka means door to heaven. So once you enter the city, the pure and pious air of the city will enchant you. The spiritual atmosphere all around coupled with chants by devotees make it a holy city. Apart from that, Dwarka has some of the most grand temples, which are architectural marvels in themselves. And in addition, there are beautiful beaches around town to relax and rejuvenate.

WHAT TO SEE IN DWARKA:

1. DWARKADHISH TEMPLE - The first thing you do on arrival at Dwarka is head stright to Dwarkadhish temple. This temple has a history of more than 5000 years and is believed to have been built by Vajranabh who was the great grandson of Shri Krishna. The temple stands proudly at the place where river Gomti meets Arabian sea. It is a towering structure with a Chalukya style architecture. The main shrine is five storied tall and is made of sand and limestone.


DWARKADHISH TEMPLE, Dwarka
DWARKADHISH TEMPLE
Image - gujarattourism.com

Dwarkadhish temple, Dwarka, Gujarat
ARCHITECTURE OF DWARKADHISH TEMPLE
Image - gujarattourism.com

The idol of Lord Krishna is in black color but is extremely attractive. The Bhavya(or huge) temple is situated at a height of 250 ft adorned by a 25 ft flag staff at the top. The towering Shikhara, built like a mountain peak, stands atop the Garbh Griha. Within the temple, there are other shrines dedicated to Balaram, Rukamani, Subhadra, Revathy and many others. The festival of Janamashtami(birthday of Lord Krishna) is the most important festival in Dwarkadhish temple and is celebrated with much gusto. A large number of devotees throng the temple to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. Hues of colors adorn the town during this time. As a custom, devotees take a dip in the river Gomti before proceeding to Dwarkadhish temple.


Beautiful Dwarkadhish temple, Gujarat
BEAUTY OF DWARKADHISH TEMPLE
Image - astrolika.com
The flag changing ceremony in the temple is a treat to watch. Five times a day(thrice in the morning and twice in the evening), the flag at the top of the temple is changed. People in Dwarka come singing and dancing while bringing the flag to the temple and there is a huge cheer when the flag is changed.

2. SWAMI NARAYAN MANDIR - Just close to Dwarkadhish temple is the Swami Narayan temple, situated near to the beautiful beach. This temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. The best part of the temple is the spiritual vibes that you get ere. A very neat and clean temple, Swaminarayan temple is a very peaceful place. 


SWAMI NARAYAN MANDIR, Gujarat
SWAMI NARAYAN MANDIR
Image - tripadvisor.com
The beautiful architecture along with life like idols of Gods and Goddesses are truly eye catching. And the tranquil ambiance of the place gives a sense of true peace. When you visit the temple, it is sure to lift your spirits. The temple committee has a Dharamshala also, where you can stay.


Swami Narayan Mandir, Dwarka, Gujarat
INSIDE SWAMI NARAYAN MANDIR
Image - tripadvisor.com
3. GOMTI GHAT - Just behind Dwarkadhish temple, there is a beautiful view of river Gomti meeting Arabian sea. The devotees are tempted to take a dip in the river as it is believed that Gomti is none other than Ganges, the most sacred river in India. It is a thrilling sight to see a river bank and a beach at the same place. There is a bridge on river Gomti. You just cross the bridge and walk across to Dwarka beach. There is camel ride available here for children. Devotees offer prayers at the Gomti Ghat. This a place which is not only significant from religious point of view, but it is a great attraction for nature lovers too.


GOMTI GHAT, Dwarka
GOMTI GHAT
Image - depositphotos.com

Gomti Ghat, Dwarka, Gujarat
ANOTHER VIEW OF GOMTI GHAT
I
mage - dwarka.sacredyatra.com

BATHING AT GOMTI GHAT Dwarka
PEOPLE BATHING AT GOMTI GHAT
Image - ftd.travel

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4. LIGHTHOUSE - The lighthouse at the beach is another treat to watch. The 43 m high structure is more than 50 years old(it was built in the year 1962) and gives a panoramic view. At sunset and sunrise, the lighthouse adds a mysticism to the surroundings. It's a great place to click pictures.


Lighthouse, Dwarka
LIGHT HOUSE AT DWARKA BEACH
Source - holidayiq.com

Lighthouse, Dwarka, Gujarat
LIGHTHOUSE ON A CLOUDY DAY
Image - gujaratorbit.com

5. NAGESHWARA JYOTIRLINGA TEMPLE - This is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas or self existent temples. The huge statue of Lord Shiva is sure to mesmerize you. The statue is giant and artistically built. A nice and calm place, it is about 30 minutes drive from Dwarka. The experience of aarti in the temple is simply divine. The energy it releases is just amazing. The jyotirlinga is about 8-9 ft below ground level. You can have darshan from a distance and if you want to perform pooja, you have to go down 6-7 steps. On normal days, there is not much crowd so you can have easy darshan. Shivaratri is celebrated with great devotion here since the temple is one of the jyotirlingas.


NAGESHWARA JYOTIRLINGA TEMPLE, Dwarka
NAGESHWARA JYOTIRLINGA TEMPLE
Image - jyotirlingatemples.com

NAGESHWARA JYOTIRLINGA TEMPLE, Gujarat
CLOSER VIEW OF NAGESHWARA JYOTIRLINGA TEMPLE
Image - tripadvisor.in



LORD SHIVA STATUE at Nageshwara Jyotirlinga temple
LORD SHIVA STATUE AT THE TEMPLE
Image - commons.wikimedia.org

You can visit the Sudama Setu on Gomti river early morning to see beautiful sunrise at the confluence of the river and the sea. You have to buy a ticket to visit the bridge but the view of sunrise from here is sure to enthrall you. And then you can watch the sunset from the beach to get a stunning view. Probably, this is the only place, where you can see sunrise and sunset at the same point.


SUDAMA SETU, Dwarka
SUDAMA SETU
Source-flicker.com

Sudama setu, Dwarka, Gujarat
ANOTHER VIEW OF SUDAMA SETU
Source - tripoto.com

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HOW TO REACH - 

AIR - The nearest airport is Jamnagar, which is about 130 km(81 mi) away. You can hire a taxi or get on to a state run bus from here to reach Dwarka.

RAIL - Dwarka has it's own railway station and is well connected to all the major cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai etc.

ROAD - Dwarka is well connected to all the major cities by godd road network and you can get state run buses from there to reach Dwarka.


DWARKA BEACH, Gujarat
DWARKA BEACH
Image - holidaysplan.co.in

Camel ride at Dwarka beach
CAMEL RIDE AT DWARKA BEACH
Image - mouthshut.com

WHERE TO STAY - Dwarka has many hotels suiting all budgets.

So whether you are a religious person or a lover of the art, a believer in mythology or a nature lover, Dwarka must be in your list of amazing places to see in India.

When are you visiting Dwarka?

HAPPY TRAVELING!!