Taste of India at crafts fair - Handloom section attracts most number of visitors

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By NAMITA PANDA
  • Published 28.12.10
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Bhubaneswar, Dec. 27: Handloom fabrics by artisans from different parts of the country enticed buyers at the Toshali National Crafts Mela here that concluded on Monday.

A number of handicrafts items topped the sale charts at the craft fair organised by the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC).

The 13-day exhibition, which began on December 15 at the Janata Maidan, offered many options for people interested in the handloom section. Almost all the famous creations from different states of India were available at the fair.

Banarasi sarees, khadi and Lucknowi handloom from Uttar Pardesh, kantha from Bengal and Gujarat, Sambalpuri dress material from Orissa, Chanderi brocade from Madhya Pradesh, woollen knitwear from Andhra Pradesh and Pashmina stoles and dress materials of Jammu and Kashmir were some of the popular handlooms at the fair.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the sale of the fabrics. Young girls and women visited our kiosks frequently and that led to high sales,” said a craftswoman from Uttar Pradesh.

“Business is always good in Orissa for us. We thus keep participating in all the major fairs here,” said Sheikh Sarfaraz, a Kashmiri artisan.

Apart from the handloom weavers, the fair also saw huge participation of painters, wooden craftsmen, sculptors and artisans of cane-work, oxidised jewellery, artificial flowers and others.

All varieties of jewellery and footwear had a great following among customers.

“I loved the wide range of finger rings and ear rings that were put up on display. The different metal, wooden and lac bangles were also wonderful,” said Pritisha Das, a college student.

“The filigree work from Cuttack was impressive. I could not resist buying a couple of earrings,” said Subarna Mohanty, a homemaker.

The fifth edition of the Toshali fair also presented a plethora of cuisines.

Many hotels and restaurants of the city had opened up kiosks offering mouth-watering dishes in Mughlai, Oriya, Chinese and other platters.

Cultural programmes during the evening added colour to the event.

Folk artistes from Ganjam, Sambalpur, Balangir, Mayurbhanj, Bargarh and Jagatsinghpur regaled visitors at the fair. Ghazals, Odissi music and contemporary dance shows were the other major attractions.

“The Talat Aziz show was mesmerising. He sang some wonderful ghazals,” said Naresh Agarwal, a corporate employee.

“The overall sales for handloom and handicrafts reached close to Rs 2 crore by Sunday while that for food kiosks touched Rs 10 lakh,” said M.R. Patnaik, general manager, OTDC.

The sales figures show a rise of 10 per cent as compared to last year, said Patnaik.