Surajkund - The Destination
8 km. from South Delhi, Surajkund is the place to be in
February. Named after the Sun God, this place has a huge
kund (water tank) which was constructed by the
Rajput king Surajpal in the 11th century.
by trees which shelter the exotic Peacock Lake,
landscaping has greatly enhanced the charm of Surajkund.
There are grassy slopes rolling away from the roadside
and undulations where you least expect them. Kuchha
paths, pebbled paths and dense shrubbery with bougainvilleas
tumbling over trees, bridges that arch across rivulets
that suddenly end in pools, and in season, flowers
rising to a peak in beds scattered all over the place—some
of this came into being when Surajkund was first turned
into a tourist complex. Much more was added
when Surajkund became the chosen
location of the annual
Crafts Mela, a mega
event that churns up wave after wave of visitors from
the four corners of the country.
The open surroundings and the gardens
come alive with the multi-hues of the Surajkund Crafts
Mela. The Mela ground itself gives a distinct
insight into the rural environment. It looks like
a complete village with a chaupal, a well
and a huge replica of a charpai adding to
the ambience. Mud huts, thatched platforms, wooden
lampposts, grinding stones, string cots, little streams
and the uneven terrain complete the rural environment.
Huge welcome gates dot the various entrances. The
Danteshwari Devi Gate with its grey idols
signifies tribal lands of Bihar. The Vishnupur
Temple Gate is reminiscent of the Vishnupur
traditions of West Bengal and closer to the Mela
lies the Shekhawati Haveli
Within the fairground, hosts of craftspeople set up
their shops. There are Kalamkari
from Andhra Pradesh, miniature paintings from Rajasthan,
black pottery and stone carvings from Gujarat, exquisite
silk work from Assam… and the
list goes on! Everything which the rural Indian handicraft
industry manufactures, is displayed in the Surajkund
Mela. Add to this the thrill of actually watching
how these elaborate pieces of art are created, and
your day's made!
Meanwhile, songs and dances take place throughout
the day at the Natyashala - a cultural
platform that exhibits both classical and folk music
and dances of India. Little open-air stages around
the ground also exhibit performances from banjaras
(gypsies), rural magicians, jugglers and trapeze
If this riot of colors and music makes you hungry,
you'll be hard pressed to choose something from
the amazing array of conventional cuisine that's
laid out. The mela (fair) is a gourmet's
delight. Gorge away to glory, for there are enough
chemists around to take care of after-effects!
Finally, Surajkund is a sanctuary for nature lovers.
Located in the Aravalli ranges, the lush greenery
makes Surajkund an attractive destination for a
day out by yourself to write some poetry and take
some pictures. In fact, devoid of the turmoil of
a fair, Surajkund comes across as an unassuming
little area, dotted with peacocks and squirrels
- a place to unwind, a place of peace.
|Surajkund - Facts
at a Glance
- 49°C (Summers)
6°C - 21°C (Winters)
best time to visit Surajkund is in February
during the Crafts Mela. Otherwise, it is an
uneventful place. You can also visit it in April
when the famous Bougainvillea Show is held and
bask in the colours and varieties of this otherwise
History of Surajkund
Surajkund has a rich past behind it. In fact, it is
Delhi's earliest existing record of past glories.
Situated against the backdrop of the Aravallis, it
has a kund or pool with an amphitheatre around
it. The pool originally had a sun temple by its side.
The temple is now in ruins but the kund still
stands. All of these are said to have been built in
the 11th century A.D. by the Tomar chieftain Suraj
Legends surround the pool. One such legend would have
us believe that it was built for the daughter of Suraj
Pal. Another legend says that it had miraculous healing
powers but these claims have never been authenticated.
For a long time Surajkund was just another picnic
option around Delhi. You drove down with a packed
lunch or else carried a number of pots and pans and
cooked on site, had your meal and wandered around
the place, frozen in time and serene beyond measure
but sans amenities. Things have changed considerably
since. Now Surajkund is as comfortable a weekend getaway
as you could wish for, with opportunities to relax,
designed to suit a whole range of pockets.