The vivid art & craft, music and dance, colorful ambiance, ethnic cuisines were on display at the annual Suraj Kund Mela which was inaugurated on 1st February 2019. This International Mela showcased different cultural ethos of the rich regional and international crafts and traditions from 01st – 17th February 2019. The Mela was inaugurated by Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra and Shri Manohar Lal, Chief Minister, Haryana in the august presence of Shri Ram Bilas Sharma, Tourism Minister, Haryana, Shri Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism & Employment Guarantee Scheme, Government of Maharahtra, H.E. Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand in India, and HE Austin Fernando High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in India among the other Ambassadors from Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Georgia.
This year Sri Lanka National Craft Council participated at the Mela showcasing their exquisite pieces of handicrafts. The Sri Lankan pavilion included the display of handicrafts by 10 Sri Lankan artisans and craftsmen ranging from batiks, coconut shelf and silver and semi-precious jewellery, traditional masks and batik wall hangings bringing kaleidoscope of creativity from Sri Lanka to this Mela.
To enliven the visitors’ mood, 20 member troupe from Sri Lanka Navy dance troupe performed with their scintillating performances at the Suraj Kund Mela, together with International dance troupes from Japan, Nepal, Afghanistan, New Zealand, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Senegal, Comoros, Turkey, and Egypt.
On 6th February, Sri Lanka Day was entertained with the enchanting talent and showmanship by the Sri Lanka Navy troupe by performing Sri Lankan traditional dances and drums from various parts of Sri Lanka. On the side lines, a Sri Lanka tea kiosk was held the whole day to the visiting guests to taste a sip of Ceylon tea to ease their thirst while they walk around the Mela.
The annual Suraj Kund displays handicrafts skills merging all participating countries across the board and is a rich showcase of regional and international crafts and traditions, making this the largest handicraft mela in the world. This year, the State of Maharashtra was the theme state, while Thailand was the partner nation.
Annually, millions of visitors throng the Mela which is organized by the Suraj Kund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs this unique showcase of the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and cultural fabric of India, & is the largest crafts fair in the world.
The Suraj Kund Crafts Mela was hosted for the first time in 1987 to showcase richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and the cultural heritage of India helping thousands of craftsperson from across India and the world to showcase their art and products to a wider audience. Thus, the Mela has also helped in reviving the heritage crafts of India. A benchmark was set in the history of Suraj Kund Crafts Mela as it was upgraded to an international level in 2013.