Monday, December 2, 2013

Toshali National Crafts Mela, the Event of Colors and Fascinating Craftsmanship

Odisha is a land of diverse cultures and traditions, so it automatically holds innumerable events and festivals throughout the year. There are different religions and their respective sacred places for the religious seekers, ethnic culture and architecture for the travelers, traditional dance forms for entertainment and a wide range of local delicious foods for the ones who are interested in trying different delicacies. Odisha has everything to offer from art to historic places and various attractive destinations for the visiting tourists. In fact almost every month of the year is involved with celebrations, festivals and events in Odisha which provides a unique opportunity for the local as well as international tourists to explore every time they visit this place. The Toshali National Crafts Mela is one of the main attractions of this place. It one of its kind which is meant to encourage and preserve the craftsmanship of the creative artists belonging to the region as well as the other parts of the country along with artists from SAARC countries.

The Toshali National Crafts Mela is a unique exhibition of the colorful and vivacious spirit of rural India. It is held in the beautiful setting of the temple of Bhubaneswar (Janta Maidan), in Odisha. The crafts mela was first organized in the year 2007 on the lines of Surajkund Craft Mela at Pushkar in Rajasthan with a motive to assist a direct link between the craftsmen and the buyers. It is a 13-day long event, which provides opportunity to the visitors to interact with the nationally and internationally renowned craftsmen and even purchase their fascinating creations. Since then the event is organized annually, offering a huge platform for numerous gifted artists, painters, weavers, sculptors and craftsmen from across the country as well as other SAARC nations like Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka to exhibit their inventiveness. The event executes a colorful environment resembling to the typical setting of ‘Indian rural Haat’, which gives it a unique flavor.
The chief objectives of this event are to introduce crafts and their craftsmen directly to the purchasers, to identify, cultivate and preserve languishing crafts of the country and to educate and introduce customers about the captivating technique and skills involved in creation of the crafts.

The fair is jointly organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism, the State Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts department, the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC), the Odisha Sangeet Academy and the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre.

The event displays some of the finest handicrafts and handlooms of India such as cane craft from North East, woodcraft from Kashmir, wood and cane inlay work from South India, oxidized jewellery, sea-shell decorations from Rajasthan, patola and bandhni from Gujarat and Rajasthan, fashion accessories such as Punjabi shoes, tribal ornaments of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, chikan from Lucknow, kantha from Tripura & West Bengal, kanjeevaram from the South. In addition to these, several colorful cultural events and food stalls providing a huge range of scrumptious delicacies make a major draw of the Toshali National Crafts Mela. Other than this, famous music and vocal artists also perform during this event.