It was in the year 1987, when an idea transformed the canvas of Surajkund and the seat of the 10th century Tomar chieftain, Surajpal, into a spectacular venue for India’s finest and popular handloom and handicrafts fair.
Finest craftspersons from across the country wind their way to participate in a celebration of India’s age old living crafts in a rhapsody christened Surajkund Crafts Mela1. The best of the crafts are unveiled under cosy thatch roofs, ethnic ambience and rural romance of Indian villages.
The purpose of the Mela was to invite master craftspersons of varied disciplines from all over the country onto a single platform to showcase their talent. Surajkund was the venue zeroed in on, which was just 45 minutes away from the National Capital, New Delhi and had the advantage of rural setting.
The stage was then set to host a unique fair which would go down in the annals of history owing to its golden success. The accomplishments of the first Mela prompted the officials to make this cultural fair an annual event on the tourist calendar. Thus began the journey of this extraordinary celebration of the art, craft and culture in the form of Surajkund Mela.
An earnest approach of Surajkund Mela Authority in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs paved a path for establishing of a conducive environment for craftspersons to directly market their crafts and present to world the richness of traditions that are the foundation of Indian culture and ethos.
Thus the Mela became a unique fair showcasing folk arts and rich craft traditions from all regions of India. It provides a very important platform for the skilful and dexterous artists to showcase their talents with their magnificent handicrafts items in the majestic rural backdrop.
The Mela ground is spread over a vast expanse of 40 acres that houses over thousand work huts to host craft persons and weavers. The entire landscape is dotted with thatched huts, performance areas, food courts and entertainment zones.
In 2013, the Mela was upgraded to an international level and the visitors were treated with colours and cultures of foreign countries. Gradually more and more countries made their presence felt in this coveted Mela. Today this event occupies a place of pride and prominence on the international tourist calendar.
The Mela has been instrumental in evoking a spirit of national integration at large by involving folk and dance traditions of various states and regions of the country. Visitors from across the length and breadth of the country come and witness India in its glory. The Mela forms the bedrock of national integration.