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What's there in Surajkund Mela-2015: Ancient Sunpool, Moble App for visitors, Chhattisgarh, and Lebanon
For the upcoming Surajkund International Crafts Mela to be held from 1st to 15th February, 2015, at Faridabad, Haryana Tourism & Surajkund Mela Authority has taken the initiative to showcase the glorious heritage and beautiful architecture of the ancient Sunpool from whom the place derives its name, to over a million visitors, including foreigners who come to see the Mela.

Also Mela's main objective is to display the richness and diversity of the folk traditions and cultural heritage of India.

According to a statement by Haryana Tourism, to highlight the splendid heritage of the ancient Sunpool 'Surajkund', Sumita Misra, Managing Director, Haryana Tourism Corporation has written to the Director General, Archaeological Survey of India to keep the entry to the monument open for visitors during the Mela timings from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm and also a suitable ambience, lighting and illumination should be created for the monument.

The endeavour would help in keeping the monument clean and promote its legacy under Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Misra added that the matter of selling entry tickets of the monument from the four Surajkund Mela ticket booths for the convenience of the visitors is also being pursued with the Archaeological Survey of India.

For the uninitiated, the Sunpool was constructed in the 10th century AD by Raja Suraj Pal, one of the Tomar chieftains. It is a unique monument built to worship "Surya", the sun god, and it resembles a Greek amphitheater.

During the reign of Firoz Shah Tughlaq (1351-88), this reservoir was refurbished by rebuilding its steps and terraces with stones in lime mortar.

Surajkund 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.

Uniqueness of the Mela is that one of the Indian states gets the honour to occupy the position of the Theme State each year. The Theme State was conceptualized broadly with a view to promote and focus the art, craft and cuisine of each state of India every year. Chhattisgarh has been chosen as the Theme State for the fair.

Chhattisgarh will showcase its tribal heritage and culture, which is still found well-preserved in the forests of Bastar. The skilled craftspersons, talented artistes and master chefs from the state will participate in the Mela. Also, an ethnic ambience representing the state's rural ethos will be created on the Mela grounds.

Every year, a country is also chosen to be the Partner Nation that showcases the best of its art, culture, traditions and heritage during the Mela fortnight. This year Lebanon will be the Partner Nation for the Surajkund International Crafts Mela.

The craftspersons, cultural troupes and master chefs from the Mediterranean nation will present their talent and skills to enthrall the visitors at the forthcoming Mela. About 20 countries have already been confirmed for participation in the Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2015.

The Theme State and Partner Nation indeed lend a special appeal to the Mela complimenting the Indian culture and leads to the confluence of various nations.

Haryana Tourism is also updating the Mela technologically to make it more visitor-friendly. New initiatives like introduction of a mobile app, tie-ups with more payment gateways to ensure smooth online transactions and convenient entry to the Mela for online ticket customers is surely going to take the mega event to another level.

The mobile app is being launched for the public, which can be downloaded on smartphones iOS (Apple) and Android operating systems with which the public can get every kind of information about the Fair, Events Schedule, Artiste/Craftsperson/Performer's Profile (details including Category, Title, Thumbnail, Description, etc.), Location Map, E-Ticketing, Media coverage of the fair, Photo Gallery, Video Gallery, Information Screen, Contact Us.

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