Surajkund Mela – a day full of fun and color

So I have been writing about traveling to India with a toddler and today was one of our most fun filled days. Quite early, before the crowds came we made our way over to the Surajkund Mela. Its an annual Mela or fair for award winning craftsmen to display their wares and its held just on the Delhi Faridabad border. Every year there is a theme state and artists and craftsmen from that state come to sell their wares at bargain prices. I used to go every year when in Delhi – its fun to see all the hardcraft work, take in the street dancers and the decorations and tuck in to regional fare at the food court.  Usually weekends fill up fast, and this year was no exception. However we did get some good parking and set off on our expedition.

Now before I came to India, I had kind of promised the babe a camel ride and an elephant ride. And lo and behold, just outside the mela were two decked up horses and four camels all ready for a ride. The babe was thrilled. First he climbed on a white horse called ‘Basanti’ – not a malnourished pony, but a big white horse with a red zari saddle. I could see from his face he loved it. A young boy was handling the reins, puling the horse. My dad held on to the babe from the side and I ran beside them for pictures. Sheer delight on his face. He had been on horses before at fairs in the US but those ponies were tied to a wheel that went round and round and I had vowed to never let him ride those. But I felt much better about these ones. And as he came back from his horse ride, he was all ready for the camel.

Now I had no intentions on loading my ample proportions onto a poor camel and my Dad would probably crush him, so my mom, spurred by grandmothering urges, agreed. The red bedecked camel (also called Basanti :)) could hold two. So the babe sat in the front seat holding on for dear life and then my mom got on the back. Have you ridden a camel? Thr trickiest part is when the camel gets up from sitting. He lifts his front legs first and the riders swing back alarminly. Then he straigtens his rear legs which throws riders into instability before ambling along evenly. The babe was happy, and my moms face was worth seeing too. I ran beside them taking pics.

We had got tickets while all this was going on, and in we went. We didnt do much shopping as we had the babe with us – but even then I managed to pick up some beautiful had made earrings, some terracotta figurines and baskets. Man, baskets are such a deal here compared to the US. I will have to come back for more bargains, but it may not be possible. We walked along, and this time they had some rickshaws decorated elaborately with crepe paper and cardboard. The babe chose a fish one and we took a short ride. Then we walked past a traditional west bengal cottage into the ‘chaupal’ where the air was charged with lively music and colorful dancers wearing peacock feathers were doing a high energy dance, complete with peacock calls. The babe sat on my dads shoulders and played ‘tabla’ (drums) on his head with abandon 🙂 Since he has been back, he has been dancing away.

We did not eat at the food court, as I was not sure if the babe was up for it, so we stopped at Haldirams on our way back to tuck into chaat, dosas and choley baturey. All in all a great day!

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8 Comments

  1. Dora

    Hey, that sounds fun. I am glad you are enjoying yourself.

  2. Smitha

    I have never taken elephant ride or a camel ride.. neither have my kids..We would love to take it.

  3. Priya

    wow…That will be fun…Have a great time

  4. winfried

    Khushi, Im glad ur having fun! Dont forget to bring something for us from there :0)

    Take care!

  5. Khushi Mommy

    Thanks all of you for your comments. Winfried, I will bring back something 🙂

  6. Yatin garg

    This day I have a lot of fun in Surajkund Mela. Thanks of all.

  7. ainey

    wow …… owsum it is ……. have a lovely time

  8. ainey

    i really enjoy that yourself

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