Surajkund: The number of visitors to the internationally-acclaimed Surajkund Crafts Mela (fair) have gone up by nearly 20 percent this year, a Haryana government spokesman said here Thursday.
"In the year when the ongoing Surajkund Crafts Mela is celebrating its 25th edition, it has already recorded 20 percent increase in number of visitors," he said.
He added that even though the fair, which is held Feb 1-15 every year, has five more days to go, the visitors have already surpassed last year`s figure of over 754,000.
Originally conceptualised in 1981, the fair, which became a regular annual feature in 1987, had a footfall of only about 175,000 people till 1989.
"The Mela has pioneered in identifying, introducing, preserving and nurturing the art and crafts from across the nation and successfully created a assortment of culture. Exuberant, exotic and exclusive display of handlooms and handicrafts amidst various cultural performances has proved to be a delight for art lovers over the years."
"Besides, it also provided a platform to various languishing crafts of the country and works as a custodian of the traditions, heritage and history," the spokesman added.
To mark the 25th edition of the fair, a commemorative cover of Surajkund Crafts Mela was released by the department of posts Feb 1 this year.
The theme state this time is Andhra Pradesh while the partner country is Uzbekistan. All South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are also participating in the fair.