Close on the heels of Sri Lanka seeking the expertise of Haryana in organizing a fair on the lines of the popular Surajkund Crafts Mela in Faridabad district, Kerala too has sought the help of authorities in Haryana to hold a fair on similar lines.
A delegation of senior officers of the Kerala government have visited the 24th Surajkund Crafts Mela here for exploring the possibility of organizing a crafts fair at Malappuram, Haryana government officials said here Tuesday.
The Kerala government had organized the Malappuram crafts fair for the first time last year and expressed the desire to make that fair on a larger scale like the fair in Surajkund.
The Malappuram fair will be held in December this year in Malappuram, a famous tourist destination in Kerala.
"We have promised to extend all help to officials from Kerala in organizing a Surajkund type of fair there," Haryana's Tourism Minister O.P. Jain said Tuesday.
Suraj S. Nair, nodal officer of Kerala Bureau of Industrial Promotion said: "The idea of conducting the Malappuram crafts fair was incepted after witnessing the success of the Surajkund Crafts Mela. The main idea was to create a hub for crafts persons from all over India and provide them a podium to sell their products in south India."
He added that officials from Kerala were contacting Egypt to have that country as a partner state for this year's fair.
The Surajkund Crafts Mela showcases a fascinating display of the country's rich culture, ancient crafts traditions and glimpses of heritage. From weavers to folk dancers, theater troupes, jugglers and road side magicians - all are part of the fair. This time, nearly 400 craftsmen from different states are participating.
While Rajasthan is the theme state, Republic of Tajikistan is the 'partner country' for the fair this year.
All member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Thailand and Egypt are also participating in the fair that attracts thousands of visitors from the country and foreign tourists.
Artistes from participating states and countries will perform during the fair.
Making a modest beginning in 1981, the Surajkund crafts fair has become a popular event over the years. International acknowledgment has come to the event with scores of foreigners coming to see the best of traditional Indian craftsmen display their skills and art.
Surajkund (the pond of Sun god) owes its name to an ancient amphitheatre sun pool, dating to the 10th century, located there. It was built by king Suraj Pal, a follower of the Sun god. The place is located in the Aravalli mountain range, 10 km from South Delhi.