The Surajkund Crafts Mela is organized each year by the Tourism Department in Haryana in February. This is a very colorful and exotic handicrafts and handloom fair that is planned each year to popularize the traditional handicrafts in India made by the rural folks in Surajkund. This was first organized in the year 1981 and it continues to be a major platform for Indian artisans to showcase the skills in the art work and crafts. This is a weeklong fair, which is celebrated annually. Scores of skilled artisans from all over India come here to participate and promote their crafts.
Some of the work that is displayed here is age old and has been passed down since ages. Surajkund mela provides its visitors the skilful and exquisite textiles, paintings, ivory work, wood stock, terracotta, pottery, lac work, grass work and stone work. The visitors can also shop here extensively for some of the world’s treasured wares. This fair is not just limited to artworks and exhibitions but also showcases a visual delight to the visitors in the form of performances from the special Natyashala folk dances and music filled evenings at an open air theatre present in the venue.
A diverse range of delicious savories, which is prepared by exponents, is also offered to the visitors. The cuisine is generally rural, which is kept so to match the theme of the festival. Each year the Surajkund crafts festival has a theme, inspired by the artworks from a particular Indian state and the entire ambience of the fair is designed accordingly. Many states showcase their finest handlooms, delicious rural cuisines and handicrafts in this fair. Some of the most deligtful crafts collections of the Mela arrive from practically all over the country.
In wood and cane come inlay work, rose wood carving, sandal wood from Punjab and South India. Chiki wood craft of Kashmir and some very fine cane craft come from West Bengal and North Eastern States. Delcate sholapith and shital patti work come from Assam and West Bengal. The phulkari of Punjab, the Banjara and Banni embroidery of Gujarat and Rajasthan, the Kantha traditions from West Bengal and Tripura, lace and crochet from Goa, the Suzni of Kashmir and Mirror encasing work along with the traditional chikan work of Lucknow delight.
Oxidized jewellery, sea shell decorations and agate stone work delight as also do delicate gold work and chunky silver jewellery. Toys in wood and cane, ply and mud make the young thrill with joy. Some of the fine phad paintings of Rajasthan, the kalamkari of Andhra and Karnataka, temple paintings of Orissa, madhubani of Bihar, fascinate. In the metal section tribal dhora work, classical south Indian metal work, glittering brass ware, bell metal and iron craft delight collectors.
In the field of woven textiles some of the finest silk work of Orissa, Patola, Bandhini of Gujarat and Rajasthan, Ikat, Kanjeevaram, Dharmavaram and temple silks of South India vie for attention with the most simple cottons of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and tribal textiles of North East India as also do the handloom of Haryana. The Various Crafts participated in the Mela every year. Themes for the fair in some of the fairs were Madhya Pradesh in 2009, Paschim Banga in 2008, Andhra Pradesh in 2001, Maharashtra in 2006 and the state of Chattisgarh in the year 2005.
Surajkund is a major place located at a distance or 8 km of South Delhi in the city of Faridabad. This place is very easily accessible by road from Delhi. The Haryana Tourist Bureau arranges special tours from 36 Janpath Road in New Delhi. The nearest airport is located in Delhi. The site where this fair is organized is at a distance of 25 km from Palam Airport. Thus, visiting this fair atleast once is highly recommended as the rich culture and true colours and creativity of our country can be observed giving one of the most beautiful experiences.