Surajkund: The 29th edition of the Surajkund International Crafts Mela (fair) began Sunday at Surajkund in Haryana's Faridabad district, adjoining New Delhi.
The Mela will be held till Feb 15.
Known for showcasing richness and diversity of handicrafts, handlooms and the cultural heritage of the country, the fair has Lebanon as the partner country and Chhattisgarh as the theme state this time.
The fair was inaugurated Sunday by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in the presence of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.
Theme state Chhattisgarh will showcase its tribal heritage and culture, which is still found well-preserved in the forests of Bastar region.
This year, 18 countries are part of the Mela, which include, besides Lebanon, SAARC nations Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Eurasian nations Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Tajikistan. Other participating countries include Kuwait, Qatar, Thailand, Uganda and Syria.
The Mela is jointly hosted by Haryana Tourism Corporation and Surajkund Mela Authority, in collaboration with the union ministries of tourism, textiles, culture and external affairs.
The popular Mela witnessed over a million visitors in the last two editions, including thousands of foreigners.
Surajkund derives its name from the ancient amphitheatre Sun Pool constructed here in the 10th century AD by Raja Suraj Pal, one of the Tomar chieftains. The place is located in the Aravalli mountain range.