If you live near Kolkata or travel to the city between November to February, make sure to visit the Handicraft Fair, also known as Hasta Shilpa Mela locally. For handmade craftwork collectors and souvenirs, nothing can be matched up to the collection of handmade apparel, jewellery, decorative fixtures, paintings, vases, and statues. So, if you are a passionate traveller who takes pleasure in collecting crafts items from fairs at reasonable rates, think no beyond the handicraft fair of Kolkata.
Who organizes the handicraft fair?
The Directorate of MSME organizes the handicraft fair at Kolkata. The authority routinely organizes handicraft competitions in each district and Kolkata during the celebration of Handicraft Week to encourage handicraft workers to create more high-quality craftwork.
Who participates in the fair?
Around 5000 artisans from many districts of West Bengal participate in the fair. At times, people from Bangladesh and Bihar also arrange stalls at the handicraft fair with their own artistry and talents. Artists from Burdwan come with jute, dokra, and woodcarving, while those from Darjeeling come with white metal jewellery, woollen items, cane and bamboo, brass works, etc.
Craftspeople benefit from the government’s support and are encouraged to develop skills for creative craftwork in the industry. The Directorate aids and promotes the growth of the handicraft industry as a facility provider.
Venue and how to reach?
MSME arranges the fair in different parts of the city like Milan Mela and Gate No. 1 and Eco Park, New Town which is close to Ekante Cottage. You can get convenient buses from the railway station to reach such locations, and also, you can take private cabs from the airport to arrive here. If you want to get familiar with the city, you can even take metro trains, trams, and autos to reach such fair locations. Entry to the fair is free to all visitors.
Handicraft fair, Kolkata date and time
The fair is usually held between the months of November to April. The exact dates vary every year. Here is a list of past events with dates and timing. For the year 2022, the 1st handicraft fair started on 16.07.2022 and continued till 31.07.2022 at Purbanchal Sanskriti Kendra, Aikatan, I. A. 290, Sector 3, Saltlake, Kolkata- 700097. The timing was from 2 PM to 8:30 PM with no entry fee.
Kolkata Handicraft Fair 2023 is back again and scheduled from 24.11.23 to 17.12.23 at Gate No. 1, Eco Park, New Town. The timing and entry fee remain the same as the previous years.
|Handicraft Fair 2016||17th Nov to 11th Dec||1 PM to 8:30 PM|
|Handicraft Fair 2017||18th Nov to 10th Dec||1 PM to 8 PM|
|Handicraft Fair 2018||11th Dec’18 to 9th Jan’19||1 PM to 8:30 PM|
|Handicraft Fair 2019||23rd Nov to 16th Dec||1:30 PM to 8:30 PM|
|Handicraft Fair 2021||27th Nov to 20th Dec||1 PM to 8:30 PM|
|Handicraft Fair 2022 (1)||16th Jul to 31st Jul||2 PM to 8.30 PM|
|Handicraft Fair 2022 (2)||25th Nov to 18th Dec||1 PM to 8:30 PM|
|Handicraft Fair 2023||24th Nov to 17th Dec||1 PM to 8:30 PM|
Attractions at Handicraft Fair, Kolkata
1. Handloom, baluchari, khadi, taant saree, and other apparels
Handlooms in Bengal, known as “taant”, are used to weave sarees, dhotis, and other apparel. Handloom saree weaving may be dated back to the 15th century in Shantipur, Bengal (in the Nadia district of West Bengal).
A shuttle-pit loom is often used to weave a handloom saree, constructed of ropes, wooden beams, and poles. The weaver uses Tarsbhullar to toss the shuttle in a circular motion. However, fly-shuttle weaving may generate an array of diverse designs for those who utilize it. Silk or cotton threads are used to weave the handloom sarees.
So, when you are at Hasta Shilpa Mela in Kolkata, make sure to buy gorgeous taant saree, khadi dresses, baluchari saree, and other embroidered apparel for your near and dear ones. Travellers like you should arrive in this city to try out some fabulous, premium-quality garments and sarees known worldwide.
2. Handmade jewellery
With a wide range of styles and designs to choose from, handmade jewellery makers in Hasta Shilpa Mela may create one-of-a-kind items that can be a discussion starter in any outfit. So, if you are a handmade jewellery lover, think no beyond the handicraft fair.
Many different materials, like paddy rice, bamboo, wood, and terracotta, are used by jewellery manufacturers who produce their creative works. You will be amazed to see the variety of handmade jewellery available at Handicraft fairs in Kolkata.
Buying one such piece of handcrafted jewellery ensures that there is no other piece of jewellery just like it in existence. If you want to develop your style or pick colours that perfectly complement an outfit, many jewellery artisans are happy to work with you to make custom items like pendants, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, and hair clips.
3. Decorative light fixtures and clocks
Think again if you believe that chandeliers are only suitable for a high-end house because of their flashy appearance. Since they initially debuted, these works of art have undergone significant changes. So, if you’ve been thinking about getting an impressive light fixture or clock but was worried about sky-high price, you can put your fears to rest.
Consider visiting the Kolkata handicraft fair to find unique decorative lighting for your house. Adding a decorative clock from Hasta Shilpa Mela to your living room will provide you with positive vibes and life. Exquisite and attractive light fixtures of different types are aesthetically pleasing and elegant options to beautify your interiors.
4. Paintings and posters
Art may arouse strong emotions by evoking memories or feelings in the viewers’ minds. Art has the power to lift our spirits, remind us of the past, or motivate us to do better in the future. It’s reassuring to know we’re not alone in our emotions. You can get unique handmade posters and beautiful paintings from the most skilful artists in Hasto Shilpo mela.
Travel to the fair to pick one to adorn your walls. You may request the painters to sketch a painting of your choice at the fair.
5. Colorful floral decoration
Because it’s where we relax and gather with loved ones, a person’s house is one of the most significant places in their life. We owe it to ourselves and our families to treat our houses with the care and respect they deserve. So, how can you create your house a place that’s both cosy and energizing?
While you travel to the handicraft fair, pick vibrant-coloured flowers made of sola, cotton and wood at Indian handicrafts fairs to decorate your house. Nothing can spread such vibrancy and radiance in your home more than multiple-hued flowers.
6. Terracotta and Wooden vases, statues, idols, artefacts
When it comes to the health of your plants, clay pots are an obvious choice. Artistic terracotta items are popular choices for visitors in Hasta Shilpa Mela. The porous nature of clay and terracotta pots allows moisture and air to pass through to the roots at the pot’s outer borders. Additionally, the thick walls of these pots keep off rots, making them ideal for home use.
Terracotta and wooden pots have a natural aspect because of their brown tint, which fits well with almost any kind of plant. To make a chevron design on the pot, you may ask the artisan to colour it and then use a spray can. While you tour this city, consider buying colour-blocked pots for a clean and contemporary effect.
Here are some photographs of beautiful decorative statues and idols we have taken in the fair.
Apart from the above handicrafts made of clay and woods, you can also find some impressive jute-made crafts like in the following image.
7. Designer clay pots, cups, and glasses
Because oil and moisture are retained in earthen pots, you may reduce the amount of fat you use to enhance the flavour of your dish. In addition to calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and sulfur, it is stated that clay pots enhance the nutritional value of our meals. Firing transforms water and clay into finished pottery.
Indian handicrafts fair, especially in Kolkata, can offer you fascinating designer clay pots, glasses, and cups. These can bring in enough décor and warmth to your house as you pick a few such items while returning from your travel to the Kolkata handicraft fair.
8. Folk Musical instruments
According to Vaastu specialists, musical instruments transmit positive vibes into the home and are thoughtful present. Do you know they are revered for their ability to maintain harmony in all areas of one’s life?
If you want to bring good vibes into your home or are an enthusiastic music lover, consider arriving in Kolkata and buying handmade folk musical instruments from the Handicrafts fair in Kolkata like ektara, flute, dhol, and drums. West Bengal is the epitome of music, and no other place can be your best choice to bring home excellent musical instruments.
9. Attractive bamboo and scrap metal works
Reducing waste is an excellent motivation to use scrap metal in mixed media art. Scrap metal is an inexpensive source of supplies and ideas for future artworks. You can collect attractive designer bamboo and scrap metal works from hasta silpa Mela in Kolkata to decorate your house.
If you have been looking ardently for such decorative pieces, then Kolkata is your destination. Bamboo items of different shapes and sizes crafted by artisans of West Bengal evoke a classy and elegant feel.
10. Food in handicraft fair
In Bengal, a filled kachori with peas is considered a delicacy, especially in winter. Also, you can try “khasta kachori”, “peas-filled kachori”, “Dal-kachori”, “Radhaballavi,” or “luchi cholar daal” available in different food stalls in fairs.
Be in Kolkata and not try Rasogolla?
This is definitely not possible, especially if you are a traveller or a sweet lover. Also, try Rassomalai, Rosso Madhuri, Jolbhora Sandesh, and Kesar Rajbhog. Handicrafts fairs in Kolkata, especially in winter, come with the added advantage of offering you several variations on “pithe” (type of rice cake), each with its own unique set of ingredients and preparation methods.
While some are steamed (bhapa pithe), others are cooked in syrup (Rosh bora) and kheer (kheer puli). You will also find pithe that are deep-fried (bhaja puli) and baked (chitoi pitha) (chitoi pithe). Sounds fascinating, right?! You may either try steaming puli as is or dip it in thickened sweet milk and consume it in the form of Dudh puli.
Kalimpong or Darjeeling momo (dumplings) are not-to-be-missed snacks in the handicraft fair. When you are trying our different artisan craft items in the fair on chilled winter evenings, sneak out sometime to check out hot delicious chicken/veg/mutton momos with Darjeeling special soups.
Besides collecting memoirs for your house, do not forget to relish your stomach as well with such mouth-watering scrumptious fish fry, fish chop, egg devil, fish kabiraji, and mutton/chicken cutlet.
Kolkata Handicraft Fair – Bottom Line
Kolkata’s handicraft fair is one of the best attractions for everyone in West Bengal. We hope this article gave you some essential guide to it. You have enough reasons to travel to this city for a host of beautiful collections. You can try out handcrafted items of different materials like brass, wood, clay, bamboo, beads, leather, cotton, wool, cane, stone, ceramic, shells, and natural fibre in Kolkata.
The state’s diversity is best reflected through a myriad of items available at such handicraft fairs in Kolkata. Starting from vases, pots, and cups to jewellery, light fixtures, apparel, masks, and designer items, you can get a range of home-décor items in Hasta Silpa Mela while you visit this city.
Do not forget to try out delicious sweets and savouries at such fairs. The handicraft fair is a fabulous destination to relish such delicious items in Kolkata. Especially in winter evenings, you will find such delectable hot evening snacks luring you from different stalls in the crafts fair in Kolkata.
Added to such a fantastic collection of handcrafted items, food is an added attraction of “City of Joy”.
If you like visiting fairs, also visit Kolkata Book Fair and unleash your reading habit and Mega Trade Fair to shop unique local and international products. Check various fairs and festivals if you like hanging out often. Other attractions near Kolkata: