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Annual Indian Art and Handicrafts Exhibition at Pragati Maidan, Delhi

Chitrangada loves the richness of Indian art, culture and traditions. As a writer, she wants to spread information about Indian culture.

The display of art and handicrafts at IITF, Pragati Maida, New Delhi

The display of art and handicrafts at IITF, Pragati Maida, New Delhi

Glimpses of Art and Handicrafts at the India International Trade Fair (IITF)

Winter is the season in New Delhi when all you want is a hot cup of coffee, loads of Tandoori chicken or veggies in the warm sunshine of the wonderful IITF grounds or Pragati Maidaan, as it is popularly called.

Though IITF is an annual affair, every year one can witness even more enthusiasm than before, when going to see the wonderful exhibition.

  • India is a country full of colours along all its lengths and breadth.
  • Every state of India has something unique and special to offer.
  • Each one is as good or better than the other. There is an abundance of art and crafts, especially handicrafts.
  • There is a variety of fabrics, each unique in its own way.
  • India has rich cotton fabric in states like Gujarat and West Bengal, whereas in Southern states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala have rich silks. And the lavish silks of Kashmir are world-famous.

Each state boasts of its own unique art forms like:

  • Madhubani paintings of Bihar,
  • Tanjore paintings from the south,
  • Rajput art and paintings from Rajasthan,
  • Mughal paintings—the list is countless, and the colors and themes are beyond imagination.

What Exactly Are Handicrafts?

  • Art and crafts are made purely in the hands of skilled artisans. For this purpose, simple raw materials are used. These are normally available around us.
  • The artisans create a variety of consumer goods or decorative items using clay, beads, shells, bamboo plant, paper, wooden, metal pieces, etc. with simple tools. Usually, this creativity is passed on to the next generation.
  • The weaving and embroidery work on silk and cotton fabric is also done in many parts of the country and requires a lot of precision and fine work by the artisans. Each piece they create is a masterpiece itself.
  • A lot of creativity can be seen by cane and bamboo artisans. One can find the whole sets of sofas, tables, and beds made with these materials.
  • Then you have block printing, Batik painting, Patola, and various other fabric art.
  • A lot of variety can be seen in pottery too—colorful as well as affordable. You can buy a lot of crockery or decorative pieces.
  • Carpet weaving is another art form, especially in Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, etc.
  • Countless variety of art and craft is available at Delhi Haat, where it is displayed throughout the year.
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The colourful bags and puppets at the India International Trade Fair, New Delhi

The colourful bags and puppets at the India International Trade Fair, New Delhi

The Annual India International Trade Fair, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

Every year, an India International Trade Fair is held at New Delhi's 'Pragati Maidan,' which is also called the 'trade fair ground.’

It‘s perhaps the largest trade fair held in this part of the world, and many countries besides India also participate. In 2014 alone, 25 other countries displayed products. They ranged from African countries like Ghana and Angola to Asian countries like Afghanistan and Indonesia as well as Canada and Australia.

Purpose of IITF and What to Know

  • The whole purpose is to showcase the magnificent work of art and craft in one place and exchange and increase business in the process.
  • When attending, you have the opportunity to see the skilled artisans 'live' at work, which is oftentimes not possible because most of them reside in remote villages or foreign countries. Whoever visits the trade fair has the opportunity to experience a lifetime of cultural exposure in one venue.
  • One can see artisans weaving fabrics of silk to make into beautiful dress materials or sarees. There are potters creating beautiful pots out of clay, bangles being made with glass, and so on.
  • It‘s spread across a huge area and it is not possible to cover all the pavilions in one single day.
  • The weather at this time of the year is awesome. The arrangements are excellent.
  • The atmosphere is absolutely fit for a family outing and there is festivity and celebration in the air.
  • After you visit the fair, you are sure to return with sweet memories and loads of positive energy.
  • The organisers name a new theme every year and most of the stalls showcase their artwork and are often related to that particular theme.
  • Contests are held and prizes are distributed for the best pavilion, and the best stalls as well.
  • Live shows and cultural programs of music and dance in the open theatres are an added attraction.
Glimpses of the art exhibition at New Delhi Trade Fair grounds, Bamboo furniture and Sun paintings

Glimpses of the art exhibition at New Delhi Trade Fair grounds, Bamboo furniture and Sun paintings


  • Visit the IITF website for updates and information on the organiser's registration.
  • Check out the Wikipedia page for information on the venue and the event.
  • For more information on the history of the festival and what 2022s will look like.

© 2012 Chitrangada Sharan

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