New Delhi: Surajkund International Crafts Mela, a 15-day annual cultural extravaganza showcasing the country's rich handicrafts, cuisine and culture, started on Friday on a vibrant note. President Pranab Mukherjee will formally inaugurate the 27th edition of the spectacular event on Saturday.
He will use a helicopter to reach the venue on the outskirts of the national capital to avoid inconvenience to the general public.
Artistes and craftspersons from across the country and globe besides those from neighbouring SAARC nations and Eurasian countries like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgystan would display their craft at the annual fair, which has been upgraded to an international crafts fair now. The Surajkund crafts fair would also showcase folk dancers from various parts of the country. This year the focus state is Karnataka and more than 300 craftspersons, weavers, artisans, folk musicians and dancers from the state will bring alive the Mela with a colourful and vibrant display of their unique talent.
Displaying the cultural and archaeological heritage of Karnataka in an aesthetic manner, replicas of the magnificent gates of the Mysore Palace, architectural styles of Belur, Hampi and the world famous monument of Jain Basadis and Bijapur have been put up at the Mela grounds. Besides finest handloom and handicrafts display, authentic flavours of rich Indian cuisines are the major attraction at the Surajkund fair.
A grand stage has been set for the artistes and craftspersons. A wide variety of handlooms, painstaking designed by craftspersons with skilled strokes replicate the traditions and culture of our country. The marvels of many ancient techniques of art blended with the rustic environment of the Mela has left a profound impact on the visitors, who never miss their date with the Mela. And not to anyone's surprise, the first day of the Mela saw a good attendance and even foreigners visiting the country.
"The celebration of the simple joys of rural life and reverence of epic traditions all mingle well. All these colourful events are also presented before the audience in the open-air theatre named Natyashala," a statement from Haryana Tourism said.
The cultural programmes at Natyashala this evening saw a scintillating performance by a cultural troupe of Karnataka. The Mela will open to public from 1 PM on February 2 after its formal inauguration.