All roads lead to Bidhannagar Mela

Brinda Sarkar goes shopping to Salt Lake’s favourite homegrown fair that was delayed this year

Brinda Sarkar Published 01.03.24, 06:55 PM

Pictures by: Brinda Sarkar

The winter fair may be taking place in spring this year but residents are still thronging it. Bidhannagar Mela (Utsav) will continue at Central Park till March 12, from 3pm to 9pm. Organised by the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, the fair has saris, handicraft, food courts, children’s play areas... something for everyone. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect:



Stall: Next to food court

Don’t miss this 100ft-long glass tunnel that you can walk through and see

over 150 kinds of real fish swimming overhead. “We’ve built it with specially-bent glass,” says Dilshad Alam, who with his team had stationed this moving aquarium at Park Circus since the Pujas. They also have a selfie zone with 3D models of mermaids, octopi and whales as well as a section of fish like flowerhorn and discus in rectangular tanks. “The entire setup is spread over 10-12,000sq ft. It proved very popular in Park Circus and we’re sure Salt Lake will love it too,” said Alam.

Price: Rs 100 per head (free for children under four years)


Stall: P 16

This Saharanpur stall wows with wooden craftsmanship and their biggest attraction is perhaps the roundshaped mahogany bed. “Kings would use these back in the day and these antique designs, as well as the artisans who make them, have become rare now,” says Surajit Ghosh. The beds are have a diameter of 7ft. “They comfortably fit two people but I’ve had millionaire customers who keep them as showpiece too.”

Price: Rs 1.5 lakh


Stall: L 51

Tithi Acharya has brought a truckload of soft toys, including superhero replicas. But it’s her 2ft long crocodile that has visitors lining up for selfies. “The outer layer has been made of specially-sourced fabric that looks like crocodile-skin and soft plastic teeth have been attached to the open mouth,” says the craftswoman from Khardah. “It is washable with shampoo too.”

Price: Rs 900


Stall: D4

This stall has got fruits that are not easily available here – like cranberries, blueberries and white almonds – and they are massive in size too. Each date is about the size of a finger! Garlands are made of figs (anjeer) and hung up in the stall. They have walnuts, saffron as well as dried kiwis and oranges. “Many customers aren’t able to decide what to buy and so are going for mixed fruit packets,” says Md Shabbir.

Price: Rs 1,600/kg for mixed fruit


Stall: L45, 46

In a city living in fear of dengue most of the year, what better utility item to buy than mosquito screens? “Window nets have become common but people usually overlook doors, that let in vectors every time they’re opened,” says Nandita Dey. Their company sells sliding nets, where the net as well as the doorframe is made of aluminum. “Sliding nets are smoother than velcro ones and the door can be a substitute for collapsible gates.”

Price: Rs 800 per square feet after discount


Stall: J4

Cups and kettles you’ve seen aplenty,now this stall is offering flower vasescreated in the blue pottery style, andthat too hanging ones. “They comein conical and bowl-like shapes andhave nails at the back to be hung up,”says Ravi Kumar from Uttar Pradesh.“They come in combinations of blue,white and orange and can add character to the most dull corners.”

Price: Rs 350 for conical vases, Rs 450 for bowl-shaped ones


Stall: D6

The papyrus paintings, miniature pyramids and sphinx are back at the fair but the newbie this time is the “Aladdin lamp”. The showpiece reminds one of The Arabian Nights, where Alladin would rub such a lamp to make a genie appear. “They are made of copper and given gold finish. They also have stone work on them,” says Ali Roshan. “They come in combinations like red, gold and white or green, gold and white.”

Price: Rs 6,000


Stall: B 40

The Cristiano Ronaldo bobble heads had sold out but they still had some Lionel Messi ones left. “It’s just the start of the fair and we’re going to get top-ups of everything,” promised Rajani Singh Sarkar. Besides footballers, they also have bobble heads of figures like Harry Potter, the Hulk and Iron Man.

Price: Rs 450


Stall: L5

This stall sells sneakers, wine glasses, ice cream cones, bicycles, clowns — all in the form of earrings. “They are made of imported beads and so, despite the earrings being several inches long, are quite light,” says Niti Saha. The colours are bright like pink and yellow, and the designs contemporary and fun.

Price: Rs 100 to 350


Stall: D7

This is the most beautiful stall of the fair, hands down. Multi-coloured lamps hang from the ceiling, ceramic dishes adorn on the walls, and there are as many versions of the “evil eye” as you can think of. “This is the most famous motif of Turkey and uses the colour turquoise, that is popular in our country,” says Hakan Karpuz. “This year, we have crafted the evil eye into many different decoration pieces like fish, horse and elephant,” adds his brother Hayrulla. “We travel all over India for exhibitions. At this fair, we usually record great sales.”

Price: Rs 600 to 2,000 for evil eyes

Follow us on: