Chandigarh, June 7 (Agency)
The famous Surajkund Crafts Mela will be upgraded as an international event and known as Surajkund International Crafts Mela from February next year, a Haryana tourism spokesman said Thursday.
The decision follows the record participation of 12 nations and their traditional crafts in the Surajkund fair in February this year.
Uzbekistan, Thailand and other SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries participated in the fair.
The event is held in Haryana's Faridabad district, 20 km from New Delhi.
The decision to upgrade the fair as an international event was taken at a high-level meeting of the fair's governing body chaired by Union Tourism Secretary R.H. Khwaja.
The spokesman said it was also decided that an international conference on 'Tourism in Rural Areas' would be hosted during the next fair at Surajkund February next year.
Making a modest beginning in 1981, the fair has become a popular event.
International acknowledgement has come to the event with scores of foreigners coming to see the best of traditional Indian craftspeople display their skills and art.
Surajkund (pond of sun god) owes its name to an ancient amphitheatre sun pool, dating to the 10th century, located there.
It was built by king Suraj Pal, a follower of the sun god. The place is located in the Aravalli mountain range.