A stupefying bonanza of vivid art & craft, music and dance, colorful ambiance, ethnic cuisines, and an immersive cultural ethos – Yes, we are talking about the Surajkund Mela 2018 that is waiting to blow your mind yet again! Occupying a place of pride on the international tourist calendar since 1987, the fair observes more than a million visitors every year, thousands of which are foreign tourists.
Getting more and more attractive, fun, and consumer-friendly each year, the Surajkund Mela is not just the best platform for the skilled craftsmen and artisans of India and other SAARC nations to show their talent, but also a wonderful opportunity for the public to learn about their vibrant culture and get to respect the age-old craft that is better than any machine produce.
From the mela dates, timings, budget, history, to the best places to stay and dine around the premises, this Surajkund Mela Guide has all the information you need to make the most of your time at the fest. This February, join the celebration of India’s diverse heritage and be part of the biggest cultural fiesta the world has ever seen!
Surajkund Mela 2018 General Information
Location: Surajkund, Faridabad
Area: 40 acres with about 1010 work huts
Organised By: Surajkund Mela Authority in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture, External Affairs, Department of Tourism, Government of Haryana and Haryana Tourism Corporation
First Hosted In: 1987
Last Year’s Footfall: More than 1.2 million (including foreign visitors)
Surajkund Mela 2018 Dates
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2nd to 18th February, 2018 are the dates for the 32nd Surajkund Mela 2018. Each day of this half-month long fiesta will be marked by different activities and programmes.
Surajkund Mela Timings
10:30 AM to 8:30 PM are the standard timings of the Surajkund Mela every year.
Surajkund Mela Entry Ticket
The admission cost of the Surajkund Mela usually stays between INR 50/- to INR 200/- every year. The ticket prices for the upcoming mela is as follows:
Weekdays: INR 120/- per person
Weekends: INR 180/- per person
The Surajkund Mela 2018 organising authority provides 50% rebate on the entry tickets of differently-abled people, senior citizens, serving soldiers, and war widows and their dependents.
Other than this, college and school students can enjoy a discount of 50% on their entry tickets on weekdays provided they produce valid ID cards at the time of purchasing the Surajkund Mela tickets.
Surajkund Mela Theme
The prime highlight of the Surajkund fair is that one Indian state gets the special honour of being the Theme State of the year. The concept of the Theme State was brought upon with a view to promote and focus on the art, craft, culture, and cuisine of one state per year. This way, the Mela provides the Theme State a rare opportunity to showcase its handicrafts, handlooms, architecture, performing arts, cuisine, and its tourist potential to an enormous cross-section of the population in an impressive manner. So much so that the entire look of the entrance and the grounds, and the whole setting of the furniture, colours, decor, and architecture of the fair is based entirely on that particular state.
This is how they manage to make the Surajkund Mela a unique affair each year! While Jharkhand was the Theme State of the 31st Surajkund Mela 2017, Telangana wore that crown in the 30th Surajkund Mela 2016.
The Theme State for the 32nd Surajkund Mela 2018 is Uttar Pradesh. A treat for visitors, people will get to see another set of rich culture, traditions, and exclusive artefacts made by the artisans of that state in the most vivid craft festivals of India.
Map Of Surajkund Mela 2018 Venue
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What Happens At The Surajkund Crafts Mela
The brainchild of Haryana Tourism, this mela was established to promote the pool of skilled artisans from the well known as well as remote regions of the country and save our cultural heritage from extinction due to the cheaper machine-made imitations. An earnest collaborative effort of the Surajkund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism, this mela provides a platform to various craftspersons across the country to directly market their goods and sell it to the public by eliminating the middlemen.
Each year, an Indian state is chosen to the Theme State of the mela, and a participating country as the Partner Nation. The purpose of this is simple – to mark the focus of the fair on the crafts of a particular theme that will showcase the best of its art, culture, traditions, and heritage during the entire duration of the mela. The craftspersons, artisans, cultural troupes, musicians, and master chefs from this state and nation present their talent and skills and enthrall the visitors at the premises.
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So, in order to help preserve the languishing arts & crafts of India, the Surajkund Mela offers its craftsmen and visitors alike a lifetime experience to indulge in the biggest market of cultural exchange. This exchange happens here in many forms:
- Handcrafted goods that showcase the expert craftsmanship and creativity of the people belonging to different regions, states, and countries
- Delicious delicacies of different places that are sure to take you on a gastronomical joyride
- Vibrant folk performances at the Chaupals and the open-air theatre ‘Natyashala’ inside that display the place’s cultural distinctiveness
- Skits or plays performed by the youth at various different venues of the mela, mostly addressing the social issues affecting our society using the mela as a platform for bringing these to light owing to the enormous turnover of people here
- The colours and crafty look of the mela that displays the heritage of theme region and changes each year
- A great platform for the traditional skills of India’s great artisans that are fading slowly due to cheap machine made imitations
- Musical evenings at the ‘Natyashala’ where the best of musicians from various states come together to treat your ears to soothing traditional music of different areas of the country, something you can’t experience anywhere else
- Designated places for amusement, adventure sports, and joyrides at the venue
Unveiling The Surajkund Mela History
An ancient reservoir of the 10th century, Surajkund is the site of popular Surajkund Mela located 8 kilometers away from South Delhi in Faridabad. It’s name comes from the ancient amphitheatre or ‘Sun Pool’ that was constructed here in the 10th century AD by Raja SurajPal. Located in the Aravalli mountain range, Surajkund derives its popularity from this famous crafts mela launched in 1981.
Operating on a relatively smaller scale in the beginning years, the fair was upgraded to an international level In 2013. By 2015, the number of countries participating in this annual affair had shot up to 20, where Lebanon was the Partner Nation and Chhattisgarh was the Theme State. Other previous partner nations (usually a SAARC country) include Egypt, Thailand, Africa, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, China, and Japan. This number is expected to rise in the coming years with more countries being added to the list.
How To Reach The Surajkund Mela 2018
Surajkund in Faridabad lies a mere 8 km from South Delhi and is well connected other major states and cities via a good network of roadways, railways, and airways.
The location of the Surajkund fair is about 27 km from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, a mere 35 minute drive.
The nearest railway station to Surajkund is the New Delhi Railway Station as this junction is well connected to both Faridabad and Gurgaon. One can also easily reach from the Delhi Sarai Rohilla Railway Station.
Apart from Delhi and Faridabad, Surajkund is connected to cities like Gurgaon, Chandigarh, and Jaipur. One can travel to Surajkund by their own conveyance, or take a taxi upon getting down at the railway station or airport. Regular buses from Delhi to Faridabad also ply from various places in the two cities.
The most economical means to reach Surajkund from Delhi, Faridabad, Noida, and Gurgaon is by the metro. This interconnected metro network provided scope for effortless traveling to and fro the fair. Golf Carts and e-rickshaws are readily available from this metro station and can take you to and fro the fair premises in a matter of minutes and at economical rates.
- Nearest metro station to Surajkund Mela: Badarpur
- Nearest metro station to IGI Airport: IGI Airport Station Terminal 3 and Delhi AeroCity
- Nearest metro station to New Delhi Railway Station: New Delhi Station
- Nearest metro station to Sarai Rohilla Railway Station: Pratap Nagar
Let’s look at the distances between Surajkund and the many cities near it so that you can conveniently plan your trip to Surajkund Mela in February 2018.
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Distance from Central Delhi to Surajkund Mela: 46 km
Time taken: 1 hour 30 minutes
Distance from Central Gurgaon to Surajkund Mela: 45 km
Time taken: 1 hour
Distance from Chandigarh to Surajkund Mela: 275 km
Time taken: 5 hours 15 minutes
Distance from Jaipur to Surajkund Mela: 284 km
Time taken: 5 hours 30 minutes
Average Per Person Budget For A Visit To The Surajkund Mela 2018
Here’s a breakdown of the estimated average per person cost for visiting the Surajkund Mela 2018 which includes essential aspects like transfers, accommodation, food, shopping, and more.
Avg Flight Rate (round trip): INR 4,400/-
Avg Accommodation: INR 2,600/-
Transfers: INR 1,500/-
Meals: INR 800/-
Average Shopping: INR 6,000/-
Miscellaneous: INR 200/-
- Flight rates are not included in the budget given above as they may vary on the traveler’s destination and time of booking
- Flight rates given above are average current round trip airfares from prominent Indian cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai to Delhi
- ’Meals’ here signify the food inside the Surajkund Mela at the many stalls and Food Court
- ‘Transfers’ here indicate transportation from the respective cities as well as that of reaching Surajkund (either by train, metro, or road)
What To Buy At The Surajkund Mela 2018
The mela unfolds to the world India’s enormous pool of skills and creativity wrapped up in a wonderful range of handmade products. The world’s largest fair let’s you buy things like:
- Items made from wood, ivory, stonework, lacquerware, cane, grass, and more
- Food items
- Home decor
- Organic and Ayurvedic goods
- Naturally made cosmetics and body care products
Some of the most popular Indian crafts you can buy in the Surajkund Mela 2018 are at relatively lower prices are:
- Sandalwood and rosewood carving from South India
- Banarasi Sarees from Varanasi
- Madhubani painting from Bihar
- Puppetry and spices from Rajasthan
- Tibetan bells and clothes from North East
- The famous ‘Chikri’ woodcraft of Kashmir
- Unique cane craft and ‘Kantha’ traditions of West Bengal
- ‘Phulkari’ embroidery from Punjab
- Terracotta items from Delhi
- ‘Banjara’, ‘Bandhani’, and ‘Bunni’ embroidery of Gujarat
- Lace and crochet from Goa
- Chikan work of Lucknow
Some of the best international crafts you can buy in the mela include:
- Brass ornaments, mulberry paper stationery, and celadon ware from Thailand
- Carpets, pottery, mosaic, and glass lanterns from Egypt
- Traditional folding fans, porcelain, and Lacquerware from Japan
- Jade figurines and Chinese silk from China
- Tea, Batik fabric, and gems from Sri Lanka
Highlights Of Surajkund Mela 2018: What Has Changed In The Past Two Years
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The Surajkund Mela has incorporated some major changes to eliminate certain visitor inconveniences, obey the recent guidelines and laws set down by the Government, and to make better the overall experience of visiting this festival. Here’s what you can expect from Surajkund Mela 2018:
1. Digital Payments: In light of the Digital India movement, priority is now being given to digital payments and internet banking for every transaction inside the Surajkund Mela premises, be it purchasing handicrafts or buying fair entry tickets. Adequate amount of POS (point of sale) machines will be made available at the mela to licensed users, just like last year.
2. Participation: More than 22 foreign countries are expected to participate in the coming fest, with more than 230 foreign participants
3. Availability of Entry tickets: The tickets for the mela are now available at eminent online portals like ‘bookmyshow’, along with several metro stations.
4. Entry Ticket Rebate: Concessions in the ticket prices are being given to people belonging to various categories like senior citizens, differently abled, soldiers, war widows, female students of Government aided schools, and more.
5. E-surveillance: More than 200 CCTV Cameras with night vision capability have been installed.
6. Transfers: Golf carts and e-rickshaws (battery operated) will be made available on request to facilitate the movement of senior citizens and differently-abled persons.
7. Eco-Friendliness: Mobile toilet vans and eco-friendly public toilets have been installed. Also, the fair will observe a complete ban on the use of plastic/polythene bags within the premises.
8. Lake Access: The entry to the monument ‘Sunpool’ will be open for visitors during the mela timings (until further notice from the mela authorities)
Things To Do At The Surajkund Mela 2018
The fair is a great platform to take a peek into our heritage as well as gain an insight into the cultural diversity of our nation to know what each part of it offers. See what all you can do there.
Shop till you drop
Dear shopaholics, the Surajkund Mela 2018 is officially your playground and you can run amok buying whatever you want without guilt or worries of budget. Since craftsmen and artisans at the mela sell their goods at relatively fair prices in comparison to their home states, shopping at the Surajkund fair will definitely go easy on your pocket. But make sure you have company to help you carry those twenty thousand bags home! From handicrafts to textiles, carpets to wall hangings, fragrant soaps to organically grown spices, there’s nothing you can’t buy at the Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2018.
Taste the cuisines of different states
Not just shopaholics, but the Surajkund international crafts mela is the go-to-place for all foodies as well. If you’re into trying something new plate after plate and are totally in love with the flavours and spicy cuisines of India right down to its street food, then this fair is your heaven. Offering travelers the chance to indulge in varied delicious delicacies of different states and regions, the various food stalls and the enormous Food Court of Surajkund Mela are sure to take you on a gastronomical joyride. From the Begun Bhajas of Kolkata, Sarso Da Saag of Punjab, Litti Chokha of Bihar, Sambhar Vada of South India, Dum Aloo of Kashmir, to Momos and Thukpa of Nagaland, Surajkund Mela has something to satisfy everyone’s tummy!
Watch engaging cultural performances
Folk performances of the Theme State can be seen throughout the festival. Just follow the crowds and lively music, and you might catch a glimpse of a vivid dance performance here and there. Or better, you can head to ‘Natyashala’, an amphitheatre kind of area designated for such performances inside the mela. Holding continuous cultural gigs like folk dance performances, skits and street plays, musical evenings, ‘Kavi Sammelans’, and stunt shows, the various activities of this stage will surely be a treat to your eyes and ears throughout the day
Have an adrenaline pumping helicopter ride
Tame the skies with a joyous helicopter ride over Surajkund. The Surajkund authorities are letting visitors indulge in this rare opportunity at the mela so that they can enjoy the aerial views of the fair and the surrounding areas at a relatively nominal price. Previously operated by Pawan Hans, this service is now being offered by Heritage Aviations Private Limited.
Helicopter ride ticket cost: INR 2,500/- per person (free for children aged 2 and below)
Where to buy tickets: Ticket Counter #1, Helipad, and the official mela website
Altitude: 100 to 500 feet above the ground
Duration of flight: 6 to 10 minutes
Relive your childhood at the mela’s Amusement Zone
Let your kids have fun with the many rides and swings at the Amusement Zone inside the park while you hop around on your shopping spree. From Ferris Wheel, Bungee Jumping, to video games, there are a plethora of options for kids and youngsters to indulge in at this fun section so that you can explore the mela peacefully while your little ones have the time of their lives!
Places To Visit Near Surajkund Mela
The mela is undoubtedly the highlight of your trip. But for those who wish to explore places beyond the happening Surajkund Handicraft Mela, they can head to these intriguing places near Delhi and Surajkund, most of which still lie in their pristine, untouched state!
The Surajkund Lake
Built in the 10th century AD by Raja SurajPal, this Sun Pool near the fair venue is a reservoir-cum-lake-cum-amphitheatre that the mela visitors have recently started taking note of. The reservoir is shaped like a rising sun with an eastward arc, and is enclosed within a steep embankment in semi-circular shape with stone steps leading down. Though it’s usually dry during the days of the mela, the unique layout of this place and its historical significance still manages to attract tourists who see it as a great spectacle, if not a lake! It fills up during monsoons and on a good day, one might even be able to spot many dancing peacocks here.
Timings: Entry is closed right before sunset and it is open on all days of the week
- Indians and visitors of SAARC nations: INR 15/- per person
- Foreigners: INR 200/- per person
Surajkund Hot Spring
Lying 600 m south of Surajkund, there is a small natural hot spring called the Siddha Kund. At an elevation of 1,969 ft above sea level, this pool of fresh hot water oozing from the crevices in the rocks is frequented by pilgrims and its water is considered a great remedy for aching joints and many skin diseases.
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Believed to have been built in the 8th century AD, the ancient Anagpur Dam lies approximately 2 km southwest of Surajkund. The dam was constructed by Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1351-88) who had a quartzite stone placed over the mouth of a narrow ravine here to catch rainwater. When here, you’ll also be able to see the ruins of ancient fortifications in the neighboring Aravalli hills which lend credence to the belief that there existed a town or some sort of settlement in the Anangpal region once.
Location: Delhi-Badkhal-Surajpur road
Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary
Sprinkle some adventure in your shopping expedition by visiting this wildlife sanctuary nearby. Located on the southern ridge of the northern terminal of the Aravalli Ranges, the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary is a fun place to be at near the Surajkund Mela. Home to a wide variety of birds and animals including reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, the sanctuary offers a tryst with Nature to those who wish to get away from the choking city life. Often called the ‘Green Lung & Carbon Sink’ of Delhi, this 2 km long exhibit of the floral & faunal diversity of NCR laid across the Aravalli mountains is a treat to all nature and wildlife lovers as well as trekking enthusiasts. The myriad birds that flock to this place in the migratory season make it one of the best places to visit near Delhi in winters for bird watchers and photographers.
Location: Shooting Range Rd, Asola Wildlife Sanctuary, Asola, New Delhi, Delhi 110044
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5 PM
Ticket price: INR 100/- per person
Asola Bhatti TripAdvisor Reviews
Places To Stay Near Surajkund Mela
There are quite a few hotels and inns in Surajkund where you can stay during your trip to Delhi for the Surajkund Mela. Let us provide you a good budget and luxury option so that you can take your pick according to your budget.
1. Hotel Diamond Inn: For A Budget Stay
With spick and span rooms and a courteous staff who is ready to attend to your needs 24X7, Hotel Diamond Inn is one of the most decent and budget Surajkund hotels. Other than being clean and tidy to the delight of all guests, the hotel is also conveniently located near a thriving market area and various chic restaurants. A stay here with your friends, family, or spouse will offer you all the comforts of home with good food, all at the most economical rates possible. Some of the most commendable amenities provided here include complimentary breakfast, speedy room service, free parking, and free WiFi.
Location: 1D-5B B.P N.I.T., Near Hardware Chowk, Faridabad, Haryana 121001
Prices starting from: INR 1,300/- per night
Google Rating: 3.6/5 | TripAdvisor Rating: 4/5
2. Vivanta by Taj: For A Luxurious Affair
Needless to say, this gem of the Taj group of hotels provides its guests utmost luxury and comfort wrapped up in its ultra lavish suites. Apart from an ideal environment and tranquil ambience for complete relaxation and repose, this is among the best luxury hotels and resorts near Gurgaon for its aesthetically designed rooms and suites. Other than the standard amenities like free parking, quick room service, free WiFi, lavish restaurant, and complimentary breakfast, the hotel provides its visitors access to a marvelous pool, fitness centre with gym, bar and lounge, Spa therapies, business centre, children activities, concierge, banquet rooms, and the Folk Studio.
Location: Shooting Range Road, Surajkund, Faridabad, Haryana 121009
Prices starting from: INR 5,437/- per night
Google Rating: 4.4/5 | TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5/5
Website | TripAdvisor Reviews
Restaurants Near Surajkund Mela
Not interested in the amazing cuisines of the Food Court at the Surajkund Mela? Along with hotels, Surajkund also has many options great options for fine dining. Let us again give you one budget and one luxury option for an unforgettable dining experience during your visit to the Surajkund Mela.
1. Pind Balluchi
The king of North Indian and Punjabi cuisine in India, Pind Balluchi delights its customers with a wide range of culinary marvels ranging from vegetarian options like Dal Makhani and Dahi Ke Kebab to non-vegetarian knick-knacks like Butter Chicken and Chicken Biryani, all at reasonable rates. An unparalleled variety of delicious cuisines and a rustic rural ambiance of this place are what attract foodies from near and far.
Location: 63/2, Pyali Chowk, Hardware Road, NIT, Faridabad
Cost for two: INR 800/- per night
Timings: 12 Noon – 11 PM
Cuisine: North Indian, Mughlai
Google Rating: 3.7/5 | Zomato Rating: 3/5
Website | Zomato Reviews
Located inside the luxurious avenues of Vivanta By Taj in Surajkund, Paranda lets you sample and savour the flavour of food from the land of the five rivers – Punjab. The themes of soil, water, fire, charcoal and the forest stake can be clearly seen in the ambiance and the menu. Relish the fine art of robust Punjabi cooking and savour finger-licking North Indian cuisine including dishes like balti meat, butter chicken, tandoori kebabs, tawa paranthas, and more. Treat your taste buds to tantalising Indian desserts such as firni, gud ki kulfi, ghia ka paan, chocolate sandesh, and gulab jamun.
Location: Vivanta by Taj, Shooting Range Road, Suraj Kund, Faridabad
Cost for two: INR 2,500/- per night
Timings: 12 Noon to 3 PM | 7 PM to 11:30 PM
Cuisine: North Indian, Mughlai
Google Rating: 4.4/5 | Zomato Rating: 3.8/5
Website | Zomato Reviews
Traveler Reviews For Surajkund Mela
No information about the Surajkund International Crafts Mela is complete without a mention of what it’s past visitors have said about it. Let’s take a look at the traveler reviews from TripAdvisor where people have expressed their opinions and experiences of their visit to the Surajkund Mela.
1. Varun says: “This is must visit place in Faridabad. Happens every year starting 1st February till 15th February. This handicrafts mela is attended by thousands of visitors every year. The organizers are doing a great job year after year to improve the experience of visitors and artists alike. Must attend event.”
2. Geetsy says: “Surajkund is a perfect place to pick up pretty earthenwares. You name it and they have it–any type of clay pottery, cloth, woodwork, decoratives, mirror work. It has all this and more. Of late it is very crowded and commercialised. Buy only after a hard bargain.”
3. Prakhar says: “A place where handicraft lovers can revel to the max. One can find a perfect mix of handicraft and great workmanship in clothe, crockery, bamboo work, and lots more. It’s a paradise for photographers too as the items on display offer a great scene in terms of colors and depth. A must visit if you are a handicrafts or a photography lover. The only flip side is that the items on display are overpriced and you need to bargain to get the right price for the item.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Surajkund Mela 2018
Still got queries? Let’s see if any of the following commonly asked questions about the Surajkund Handicraft Mela help solve them for you.
Which is the Theme State of the Surajkund Mela 2018?
A. The Theme State of the 32nd Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2018 is yet to be announced. Keep watching this space for updates on the same!
How to get to the Surajkund Mela from Delhi by bus?
A. In order to facilitate smooth travel to and fro the Surajkund Crafts Fair, the Haryana State Roadways Department had initiated a dedicated bus service between Gurgaon, Delhi and Faridabad that used to ply from designated bus stops. Running in specific time slots from Gurgaon to Faridabad via Delhi and then back from Faridabad to Gurgaon via Delhi, the buses are supposed to make six trips throughout the day.
The route has been planned in such a way that it makes the entire Surajkund Mela distance from Delhi easy to cover as the bus plies on all days of the fair. Stopping at two destinations midway – Mehrauli and Khanpur, these bus services provide a great relief to travelers who wish to commute to and fro the mela venue at economical rates and in utter comfort. It’s easy to spot these non-AC low floor buses as each of them bear signages/markings so that people can distinguish them from regular buses.
- Gurgaon to Faridabad via Delhi: 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM
- Faridabad to Gurgaon via Delhi: 11 AM to 8 PM
Average bus fare: INR 30/- per person (subject to change)
Excited already? Hold your horses and start planning your ultimate trip to Delhi. It’s time to gear up for the biggest cultural extravaganza anyone has ever witnessed – the Surajkund Mela 2018. Share this with all your shopaholic buddies and keep watching this space for updates on Theme State and other information that is yet to be announced.
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