Dilli Haat Food and Craft Bazaar

Dilli Haat project was conceived with the basic idea of providing encouragement and exposure to needy artisans and craftsmen all over the country who often spend their lives within the confines of their own village and town. The success of the project lied in freeing the craftsman and the artisan from the stranglehold of the middlemen and bringing them into direct contact with buyers both within the country and outside. Dilli Haat offers the visiting tourist not only the arts and handicrafts of the country at one place, but also the cuisine and performing arts from different parts of the country.

While developing the concept, it was kept in mind that when a 'Haat' comes to the city, it has to adjust to urban contemporary needs while retaining the cultural ambience familiar to rural crafts people.

The Dilli Haat Food and Craft Bazaar is a joint project of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) and New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). The project has received technical and financial support from the Ministry of Textiles.

An idea was initially mooted in late 1990 by the DTTDC to set up a Crafts Bazaar that would provide a basic infrastructure to rural and urban artisans to promote and market the arts and handicrafts of India and at the same time provide an opportunity for the tourists to sample the cuisine and performing arts of different regions. The complex, built on six acres of land is located in one of the most important commercial centers of South Delhi on Sri Aurobindo Marg facing the INA market. The concept of Dilli Haat is taken from the traditional village fair with one basic difference. Whereas in the village fair the venue keeps shifting, in Dilli Haat the craftsmen are mobile and ever changing, thereby offering a panoramic view of the richness and diversity of Indian handicrafts and artefacts at one place.

There are sixty-two stalls selling handicrafts of varied kinds from all over the country. The stalls are allotted for two weeks each on a rotational basis, thus aiming at giving opportunity to the maximum number of craftsmen to exhibit their ware and also ensures that visitors buy authentic pieces at prices that are not exorbitant due to high maintenance. The exhibition hall facing the shops holds shows promoting handicrafts and handlooms, in line with the government policy of promoting and preserving the traditional heritage.

The Haat presents a synthesis of craft, food and cultural activities. Items range from kantha saris to intricate rose wood and sandalwood carvings. One may also find beautiful footwear made of camel hide and also handloom fabrics and drapery. A touch of opulence is added with the vast treasure house of gems and bead ornaments. Live demonstration by potters and artisans is also given.

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