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Dilli Haat - Food & Craft Bazaar

The Dilli Haat Food & Craft Bazaar is a joint project of Delhi Tourism & Transportation Development Corporation and New Delhi Municipal Committee. The project has received technical and financial support from the Ministry of Textiles through the offices of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and Development Commissioner (Handlooms). The objective of the project is to provide marketing facilities to rural artisans and craft persons in the Capital city, without the intervention of middle men. It also attempts to offer to 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.

An idea was initially mooted in late 1990 by the DTTDC to set up a Crafts Bazaar which would provide a basic infrastructure to rural and urban artisans to promote and market the arts and handicrafts of India—at the same time, providing an opportunity to the tourist to sample the cuisine and performing arts from different regions. A piece of land measuring six acres belonging to NDMC on Sri Aurobindo Marg opposite INA Market, New Delhi, which was initially an open drain, was identified by Delhi Tourism and NDMC for setting up of a Food & Craft Bazaar right in the heart of South Delhi. The Bazaar is a temporary structure with a number of specially designed stalls and other facilities for the benefit of rural, skilled craftsmen. These craftsmen sell handicrafts from various States directly to the customer at reasonable rates. Another feature of the Bazaar is that there are a number of stalls where authentic Indian cuisine of various regions in the country is available. This Food & Craft Bazaar is the first ever attempt to provide leisure and recreational facilities for both the domestic and international tourists broadly in line with Newton Circus of Singapore.

The complex has been set up in an area of 27,000 sq-m. The area has been developed as a park where the constructed area has been limited to around 10% of the total plot area i.e., 2700 sq-m. The shop/stalls have been set up on platforms which act as a link in the Bazaar design. The country-yards in between these shops have been paved in stone and spaced with grass to retain visual softness. The entire area has been extensively landscaped to provide a conducive environment for recreation and leisure.

The crafts section of the Bazaar has a total number of 62 stalls. These stalls are allotted to notional/state level craftsmen and other artisans from all over the country, for a maximum period of 15 days. Ministry of Textiles, Government of India from the offices of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and Development Commissioner (Handlooms) identify these craftsmen and invite them on rotation basis to participate in Dilli Haat for a maximum period of 15 day. In the Bazaar, there is one exhibition hall and two pavilions where crafts societies and other government sponsored agencies can put up exhibitions in consultation with Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and Development Commissioner (Handlooms). These agencies/societies should be engaged in the promotion of handicrafts and handlooms.

The food section of the Bazaar consists of 16 big and nine small food stalls. All the State Tourism Corporations have been approached to take these stalls in order to make available ethnic food from different parts of India at one place.

The Food & Craft Bazaar also has an International Food Plaza where it is proposed to make available international food from different parts of the world by rotation. Various embassies are being invited to organize the food festival of their respective countries.

There is an open air cultural complex where cultural programmes are being organized during the weekends. An effort has also been made to show the cultural aspects of different States of India by organizing festivals in consultation with State Tourism Corporations. In this regard, in the month of August, Teej Festival was organized in collaboration with Rajasthan Tourism. In the month of September, Onam Festival was organized in collaboration with Kerala Tourism and a Punjabi Festival was organized in the month of October. In the month of November, from 6 to 13, West Bengal Food Festival is being organized in Dilli Haat.

The Craft section of this Bazaar has been developed from financial assistance received from the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India through the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and Development commissioner (Handlooms) offices. Department of Tourism, Govt. of India has also granted financial assistance to this project.