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Assamese dances,copter rides mark Surajkund Crafts Mela

Rich colours reflecting the heritage and culture of India marked the beginning of the 26th Surajkund Crafts Mela on Tuesday.

Rich colours reflecting the heritage and culture of India marked the beginning of the 26th Surajkund Crafts Mela on Tuesday. With 11 international stalls and Thailand participating as a partner nation,as many as 11 countries — including ones from SAARC — will showcase their culture for the first time.

Apart from craftsmen displaying their region’s handlooms,customs and decor in more than 600 huts,Haryana Tourism has come up with a host of new things to attract tourists and visitors to the mela this year. “This year,the fair received international recognition as there are 11 nations participating in the mela,including artists from Afghanistan,Uzbekistan,Sri Lanka and Congo. The mela will display not only traditional fashions of the tribes,states and regions but also of nations to give it an international flavour,” said R H Khwaja,Secretary Tourism,Government of India.

With Assam as the theme state of the mela,it will highlight the Northeastern state’s culture and way of life through dance forms and cuisine. It will also witness a special Assamese fireworks display.

The authorities of the mela have also decided to place extra emphasis on social hygiene during the fair. Speakers will blare information on the ban on plastic and polythene inside the premises. Authorities said special arrangements have been made for the sale of non-plastic carry bags.

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With the intention of promoting hygiene,two electronic toilets have been set up at the mela this year. The doors of the toilet — with automatic flush — will open when a coin is inserted in a slot positioned at the entrance. “It is eco-friendly as the usage of water will be automatically regulated. Also,it is completely hygienic,and senior citizens will find it very convenient,” Khwaja said.

Besides this,Haryana Tourism has tied up with Virat Aviation Pvt Ltd to organise helicopter joyrides for visitors. A special helipad will be set up near the venue for the purpose. “We thought it will be a good idea to provide people with an opportunity to take helicopter rides. It will be a five-minute ride that will take the visitors over the mela,” Khwaja said. The ride is priced at Rs 2,000 per trip.

Senior citizens and differently-abled people will get a 50 per cent rebate on their tickets.

First published on: 01-02-2012 at 03:31:26 am
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