Surajkund Mela with Bengal as theme state begins tomorrow

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (UNI) With artisans all around, clay moulded huts, traditional village aroma and alpana on the door step, the Surajkund Mela, with West Bangal as its theme state, is expected to attract an increased number of tourists this year.

The 22nd Surajkund mela of Haryana, from February 1 to 15, is all set to encourage artisans from across the country to showcase their talents.

Vishnupur Gate, coconut shell work, mosaic work, mettalic work, sarees in kantha work, handloom work Chola, hand batick, baluchari and Dhakai and cotton sarees are among various other specialities of the state which would be displayed in the mela.

''This is a platform where artisans not only exhibit their own products but also interact with other artisans to exchange their ideas,'' Mr S Banerjee, Tourism Secretary, Government of India, said.

''The government is encouraging artisans from foreign countries to participate in the mela so that our artisans could learn their skills too,'' Mr Banerjee added.

Free entry to school students along with free Darjeeling tea for all is an added attraction this year.

Fashion Designers including Ritu Beri, Rakhi Sethi and Preeti Ghai would also be showcasing their products at the mela.

Unique crafts from SAARC nations, Brazil and Thailand, Kite Making and kite flying, face painting competition for children and photographic competition are among various other added attractions of the Mela this year.

Haryana tourism has arranged buses to the mela ground, which would ply from Haryana Emporium, ISBT, Sarai Kale Khan every day.

Started as an experiment in 1987 to showcase rural artisans to the world, the mela has earned International acclaim over the years.

Increased number of tourists visit the mela every year.

UNI SNG MS RN1832

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