Hello friends! This is the month of spring, full of colors and excitement. So why not travel to a place full of music, dance and colorful ambiance. And all this forming a segment of a big collection of art and craft. Let me take you to cultural bonanza that is Surajkund International Crafts Fair.

Architectural entrance to Surajkund Crafts Fair
One of the Entrances to the Fair

This is an annual fair held in the first fortnight of February in Faridabad, Haryana adjoining Delhi. Spread over an area of 40 acres, Surjakund International Crafts Fair the largest crafts fair in the world. This year is the 32nd edition of the fair. It started in the year 1987 and has been gaining in size, participation and footfall since then. This year more than 20 countries, apart from all the Indian states are participating in the fair. More than 1100 artisans are displaying their crafts here.

HISTORY OF SURAJKUND - Surajkund literally means Lake or Reservoir of Sun. It was built by king Surajpal of Tomar dynasty in 10th century. Surajpal was a devotee of Sun God, hence the name. It has an embankment shaped as an amphitheater and it is built in an arc resembling movement of Sun, that is from east to west.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT SURAJKUND INTERNATIONAL CRAFTS FAIR - India is a diverse country and each of it's states has a unique culture of it's own. and it is here that you find all the cultures merging along with those of participating foreign countries. The main aim of the fair is to promote craftsmanship of different regions and to give a platform to small artisans to reach bigger markets. It is a celebration of the skills of the craftsmen and showcases to the world, the wide range and high level of creativity present in India. It is difficult to find so many different cultures and crafts at one place.

It is a riot of colors all over the fair premises. Folk artistes and dancers from Indian and foreign lands enthrall you with their performances. And cuisines from different territories are there to satisfy your appetite.

People enjoying Biscope at Surajkund Crafts Fair
People Enjoying the Good Old Bi Scope

But the best part is the different crafts displayed by artisans from different regions. You will be simply astonished to see the kind of  craftsmanship on wares on display. You can see variety of items on display and sale. From amazing handicrafts to furniture, from garments to home decor and from utensils to carpets, you will find everything here, all made by local craftsmen.
Every year, fair has a theme state and a partner country. This year Uttar Pradesh is the theme state and Kyrgyzstan is the partner country. Apart from this, all other Indian states are participating. The foreign participants include countries like South Africa, Thailand, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia etc.

Brass handicrafts from Morocco at Surajkund Crafts Fair
Moroccon Handicrafts made of Copper

Turkey Lamp Shades at Surajkund Crafts Fair
Lamp Shades made from cut glass from Turkey

Stalls are built in the shape of huts and have a floor of mud. It gives you a country side feeling and ambiance. All participants are dressed in their respective traditional attires. You can easily get intoxicated by this cultural cocktail.
The crafts displayed at the fair broadly fall under the following categories :
1. Woodden Handicrafts
2. Textiles
3. Pottery
4. Home Decor
5. Mud Craft
6. Brassware
7. Natural Cosmetics
8. Food items like locally made pickles

Tunisia stall at Surajkund Crafts Fair
Olive Wood craft from Tunisia

Handicrafts from Madagascar at Surajkund Crafts Fair
Handicrafts from Madagascar

You can shop till you drop but still you wouldn't have had enough of the stuff available in the fair.

The fair has an amusement park also where children as well as grownups can delight themselves with joyrides.

Handicrafts made of Fiber at Surajkund Crafts Fair
Handicrafts made from Fiber from India

Indian Craft at Surajkund Crafts Fair
Earthen Utensils from India 

FEEDING YOUR TASTE BUDS - Fair has a food court, where you can enjoy delicacies of different regions. While you can have Dosa, Idli or Meduvada from south India, you can have Litti Chokha from Bihar in east India. If you want more variety, go to central India's Rajasthan food stall to relish Dal Baati Churma, Missi Roti or Bajra Roti or you can have Pav Bhaji from western India. Then you have spicy food from north India by way of Rajma Chawal, Chole Bhature etc. Apart from this, there are many more options available by way of sweet dishes, ice creams and shakes. Then there is a stall put up by Institute of Hotel Management, where students of the Institute serve you delicacies prepared by them.

CULTURAL EXTRAVAGANZA -  Surajkund International Crafts Fair has two Chaupals(open air community places). A Badi(big) Chaupal and a Choti(small) Chaupal. Folk artistes and dancers from different regions and foreign countries enthrall you with their performances throughout the day. And at 6 every evening there are special performances and programs. Here you can see different cultures mixing with each other effortlessly.

Local Rajasthani boy playing drum at Surajkund Crafts Fair
A small boy in traditional Rajasthani dress playing a Drum

Holi with Radha and Krishna at Surajkund Crafts Fair
Folk Dancers from Uttar Pradesh, India performing at the Chaupal

TICKETS - Tickets for the fair are very nominally priced at INR 120/- for weekdays and INR 180/- for Saturdays and Sundays. These can be booked online from the site or can be purchased from the fair site.

HOW TO REACH - Surajkund is located in Faridabad and is around 40 kms from central Delhi as well as Gurugram(earlier Gurgaon). Haryana government runs A.C. as well as Non A.C. buses from designated spots in Delhi and Gurugram to the fair site. Otherwise you can hire private taxis to reach the venue.

WHEN - This year Surajkund International Crafts Fair is being held from 2nd February to 18th February and is open on all the weekends falling during this period. Time is 10.30 am to 8.30 pm daily.

So if you want to celebrate different cultures, enjoy the riot of colors, want to see, appreciate and buy the amazing handicrafts created by some unknown but highly skilled craftsmen don't miss a trip to the world's largest crafts fair, Surajkund International Crafts Fair at Faridabad in Haryana, India.


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