Toshali: One destination for Handicraft, Handloom, Food and Entertainment

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has a rich heritage of art and craft like many other states of our country. Bringing all these handicraft and handloom artisans of India together the state government has been organising Toshali National Craft Mela for last 12 years in Bhubaneswar.

Like every year, many artists, sculptors, painters and weavers have gathered at Janata Maidan, Bhubaneswar for the 12th Toshali National Craft Mela to exhibit their items.

From Bomkai sarees of Odisha to special designer dresses and jewelry from Gujarat, one can find handicraft and handloom items from various parts of the country in this fair.

The special pavilion themed ‘Prakruti’ and demonstration galleries by State Institute for Development of Arts and Crafts (SIDAC) are making people aware about the rich history of handloom and heritage in Odisha. Visitors can experience the live demonstration by artisans creating sculptures, applique, patta chitra and weaving on the looms.

“It’s a very nice place. The management is really good and we are getting good response from the buyers here,” said Chandrakanth, a trader from Karnataka.

“People are very happy with the variety as well with the reasonable price of the items available here,” said Subha Sharma, Secretary, Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Dept, Government of Odisha.

Besides the handicraft and handloom galleries, the food court with cuisines from all around the country has been a crowd puller in this event. 30 stalls providing authentic tastes of various states including some special mouth watering local food are attracting visitors in large numbers.

“Toshali food court has grown from year to year and is the main crowd puller. This time we have ethnic stalls from many states,” informed Surjya Pattnaik, Deputy Director, Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Dept.

“This place is a cluster of emotions, people and traditions coming together. There are lots of options for buyers to choose from,” said another visitor Deepa.

The department also organises a cultural show every evening. Bollywood singer Javed Ali was the major attraction of the cultural show as he enthralled the gathering with his popular numbers like ‘Jashne-bahara’ and ‘Hai Guzarish’ on the Christmas eve.

Not only the weekends, visitors are thronging Janata Maidan on other days of the week as well. This national craft fair has around 350 handicraft and handloom stalls and will conclude tomorrow.