Showcasing the best of handloom and handicraft products, the annual National Toshali Crafts Mela will be kicked off at Janata Maidan here on December 15.
This time, the Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Department will be organising the 13-day fair in association with the Tourism Department and the latter will contribute `one crore for the purpose. Earlier, the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) was organising the crafts mela. Sources said as the fair deals with handloom and handicraft products, it was decided to hand it over to the department concerned.
As many as 22 States will bring their products to the City of Temples. Around 300 stalls will be put up and a tassar silk pavilion would be the special attraction this year. “Since tassar is considered a sophisticated handloom product, we decided to showcase tassar handloom and household accessories in the pavilion. Besides, there will be live demonstration and sale of tassar items,” said Tourism Director Manoranjan Patnaik, who participated in a preparatory meeting held here on Thursday. It was presided by Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra.
This apart, 10 stalls will be dedicated to demonstration of weaving techniques of handloom products. Likewise, 30 stalls serving various cuisines including authentic Odia food will be opened. The Chief Secretary has advised the department to build a replica of Mukteswar Temple arch at the entrance gate of the festival.
As many as 200 master craftspersons from across the country will be participating in the fair which will have over 150 varieties of crafts. Crafts from Odisha include wood and cane inlay work, sea shell decoration, patta painting, applique work, palm leaf etching, sculpture and silver filigree work. The fair will also have cultural programmes by eminent artistes of classical and folk music and dance.
State Government has set a target of business worth ` eight crore during the event and around five lakh tourists this year.
What to Expect
■ 22 States will bring their handicraft and handloom products
■ 200 master craftspersons from across India will be participating in the fair which will have over 150 varieties of crafts
■ Apart from 300 stalls, a tassar silk pavilion would be the special attraction this year