Surajkund International Crafts Mela, held every February in Faridabad is an eye catcher
The Crowd is not just limited to art lovers, kids and people looking for decors for their home. A less known side of the Surajkund mela is that it houses Food stalls that serve a huge variety of cuisines. Immensely Huge is the Right word.
Arts & Crafts
Starting off with the Arts, You get to see Clothes, Woodworks, Pottery, Painting, Toys, Idols, Blings, Shoes. If it can be made by hand, you can find it here. You can even get custom crafts made, but what makes this mela interesting is that you get to see these magnificent pieces of art arising from the sand or block of wood by the skilled yet magical hands of the craftsman. I so wish I had come in during the early times to see the action in person.
Although the Official brochure says participation of over 20 Countries exist, the ratio of Indian to Foreign stalls are too huge that you may never realize that you are looking at a South African Idols.
With the Arts behind , came the waft of the delicacies waiting to be enjoyed by the taste buds. Again, the variety was staggering, From the usual Rajasthani, Punjabi to the rare Chattisgadi, Lebanese and Soya based cuisines. But don’t let the names of usual cuisines fool you because the food variety in the cuisine itself is huge. I was surprised to see more than 8 varieties of Kachories where as I could not see more than a couple in the local markets. Me and my brother did have fun trying them out.
Again, let the photo’s of seemingly similar food do not fool you, because the ingredients that make up the food differs and therefore the taste.
As an advice, The best way to have taste of maximum possible cuisines is to go with a friend, armed with a few bottles of water. Buy least possible quantity of the dish, share with your friends and before eating, take a moment to enjoy the smell as it compliments the taste. After you are done with the dish, wash your mouth well, because you don’t want the after taste to affect the experience of the next dish. Alternatively, Go for a dish that is opposite in Taste, that will magnify the taste experience. I will soon come up with an article for food tasting. till then this primer should be enough.
Surajkund Mela spared no visual delights, there was also Regional Dances and stunts shows. But the constant pushing and getting crushed was too much for me to enjoy it properly.
How much will you spend at the Surajkund mela?
Now to some boring stuffs, The expense involved. The entry to the festival is 100Rs per person and there is no separate charge for cameras. Foods are slightly above the market price but for the variety you get, I say it’s quite a good deal. But I can’t say the same for the arts and crafts because the shopkeepers quote a high initial price they expect most to bargain it down so, be wary of the market price before buying.
Summing up, Surajkund mela is definitely a Must go unless you are looking for thrills or Adventure. Go during a Weekday and if you plan on buying, make sure you visit multiple stalls before buying anything.