I am still reeling from the crowd effects at the Surajkund Mela yesterday. It looked like a mini Kumbh Mela to me, even though I have never been to the Kumbh till date, but in my imagination (of which I have very little) Surajkund feels like the youngest sibling of the famed Kumbh.
I decided to use this event for an experiment in photography. I was carrying only one lens, the 50mm prime. So, if I had to click people it was to be at a close distance which I am not really comfortable doing.
The place being massively crowded now turned to my favor. I only had to find a spot where people would let me stand. Once I positioned myself a little out of the way, I could easily click people. In the bheed no one paid any attention to me at all!
There was a sizeable presence of security people at the mela. However, in comparison to the weeknd crowd they had their task cut out. For me, more disconcerting were the continuous announcement about people losing things like mobiles, wallets, pan cards and finally each-other. I thankfully heard only one announcement related to a lost kid. I was unnerved to begin with, the announcements were doubly unnerving.
I envied this kid who was fast asleep on her mom’s shoulder as if he was at home! There was such a din all around us and yet, here was a kid oblivious to all of it. I so envy kids in general for their ability to fall asleep in most unlikely places and scenarios!
Finally I found a smiling couple too. I have clicked many more people pictures at Surajkund than I have posted here and I think I have no other frame of people smiling. And that should tell us something about crowded places!
In spite of living in NCR since 2002 I never hauled myself up to the Surajkund Mela. But that changed today. I went to Surajkund Mela 2015 because the theme state was Chhattisgarh. I visited Chhattisgarh (not at the mela but the actual state) in January and I came back quite impressed. I decided to go alone and not take Chhavi as I was not sure what to expect on a weekend.
I am glad I didn’t go with my daughter, this is a partial view of the crowd that went to the Surajkund Mela today. It is great move of Haryana Tourism Department to let people purchase the Surajkund Mela Ticket online. I would have walked back if I had to stand in the queue to get the ticket. Do carry an identity proof if you do the ticket online as they ask for it at the entry.
This was the beautiful Chhattisgarh Gate at the mela grounds. I have to say that I had panicked right at the entry, but I convinced myself to spend sometime now that I had come so far. I have to say that even though it was really crowded, people on a whole were quite well behaved. I never had to tick off anyone at the mela ground.
There were a series of red elephants right posted along the entrance. They were a popular stop for people to take a photograph. I managed to get one minus the people after a while.
There were a lot of jewellery stalls and apart from an odd boyfriend, women thronged it. I liked them a lot as well but for a slightly different reason.
I was hanging around these stalls for they make for a very pretty picture. Unfortunately neither my sister nor I wear necklaces so I didn’t buy any. But how beautiful they look!
If you are not fazed by crowd you might actually enjoy clicking pictures and walking around. I am like a stricken chicken when it comes visiting crowded places. However, I did spend close to an hour at the venue.
Surajkund reminded me a bit of Dilli Haat. But of course it was grand daddy of Dilli Haat in sheer size, variety and people visiting the place.
I have often read that sometimes we shoot take pictures with just one lens. I carried only the 50mm prime with me. All the pictures are clicked with the 50mm lens and the Lumia 1020.
Even though I am very fond of buying earrings, this time I was content by clicking pictures. I didn’t even ask for the price once. I now wish I did, for the one in the top left hand corner.
I can now say that I have been to the Surajkund Mela. If you don’t mind the crowd you will enjoy it a lot. If you are like me, I am not so sure.
Do remember that you can buy the tickets online, just check out the official website of the Haryana Tourism.
There are mela buses plying from the Badarpur Metro Station on the violet line. The mela bus stand is at walking distance from the mela gate. You can get down at Tughlakabad Metro Station as well and take a cycle rickshaw or an auto.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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