Surajkund Mela is an annual affair which happens usually from 1st to 15th February every year. It is a colourful event with more than 1000 artisans display there artifacts at the Mela.
I last visited in 2015. I used to work full time then so I visited on a weekend. It was so crowded that I did not dare get to go in 2016. Your best bet is to buy the ticket online, that way you can avoid the lines on the gate.
But I ventured again to Sujarkund today. It is a Monday yet it was crowded. I initially thought I made a mistake but once I moved away from the main entrance, gate number 1, the crowd became manageable. This year too I did not take my daughter along as it was a school day. Additionally I am scared of taking her in crowded places.
I could categorize the Mela in three parts, one where the rides are, two where the food is and 3 all the stalls that sell textiles, jewelry, handicrafts and much more. And then there are live shows. The two states that are prominent this time are Chattisgarh and Jahrkhand.
I was surprised to see people from Tunisia and Syria setting up stalls this year. I bought a small painting from the Syria stall. I had a small chat with the Syrian gentleman too, and he was sad, saying it was all bad at the moment at Syria.
As it takes a lone time to reach Surajkund from Gurgaon, I decided to have some food at the mela. I had a plate of my momos, a cup of tea and a sweet called Chandrakala which is from Jharkhand.
Even though I went in thinking I will not do any shopping, I did pick up a few things but the best purchase of the day was गन्ना (sugarcane). I grew up in a large railway home in a small town. We had sugarcane in our own fields. But Chhavi had never tried it. A gentleman from Yamunanagar was selling it all for 10 rupees. He cut it in smaller pieces for me so that I could carry it home. Chhavi and I a great time eating it!
It was good fun to go to Surajkund. For me the best way to go is by Metro. Badarpur and Tuglakabad Metro Station on Violet Line are the closest to the mela gorunds. This time I took an electronic rickshaw to the Mela Ground, the rickshaw charged 30 rupees per person, we were all women in the rickshaw too.
I noted the gate carefully and I exited via the same Gate 1, and took back the e-rickshaw again. Surajkund Mela is going to be there till 15th February so you still have two days to go.
For this sky watch I am presenting the travel collection of skies from my trips so far in 2015. I got a few nice shots in each trip. I hope on my next one (yes it is in the offing), I will get a bonanza of sky pictures!
Kareri Village, Himachal Pradesh
Kareri is a beautiful village tucked away in a corner in Himachal Pradesh. There is no hotel in the village, the only option is to do a homestay. I was out for a morning walk on a clear day when I stopped to click the mustard flowers. It was a clear day with blue skies, the kind you remember for months after the trip is over!
I remember Sirpur most for is scintillating music and dance festival. But it was also a quiet place, away from the bustle of life. The town moved at a slow place. There were only dhabas in the the town, I like such places. There is only one hotel which belongs to the state tourism department. There was less construction and more open spaces. I love that too.
Cities are more about concrete, but the sky is still there. The rides at the craft mela at Surajkund were immensely popular. As I had left Chhavi at home, they were of foreground and background value to me. For once I was happy to leave my daughter behind because the mela was just too crowded.
All my recent trips to Mumbai have been one night affairs. I have mostly been there to attend events and fly either to another destination or home. On my latest trip I was lucky to stay on the 28th floor of Palladium Hotel and to catch awesome views!
A Tree and Some Sky
There is something about grand old trees that just refuse to fit into my my camera frame. I found one such tree at Shivpuri. The evening sky with colors was a bonus.
Fagu, Himachal Pradesh
When I go with Chhavi to places like Fagu, when I see her walking carefree in such surroundings I wonder if she realizes how beautiful it is ? On a whole I feel she is busy with some mischief but you never know with her. I actually need to ask her about it!
Camping by the Ganges
Camping by the Ganges is a wonderful experience. Rafting is another incredible thing to do on the river. I could stay in this exact spot at least for a month before longing for civilization! And that brings me to the end of trips for 2015 till March. I hope you enjoyed my travel collection of skies.
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!