Theme Pavilion Featuring Odisha’s Tribal Artifacts a big hit at Toshali Fair

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Bhubaneswar, 21 December 2023: The 18th ‘Toshali National Crafts Mela’ at Janata Maidan, Bhubaneswar is a huge crowd puller. Organized by the Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Department, Govt of Odisha, the unique ‘Theme Pavilion’ has become a major attraction at this national level fair. The Theme Pavilion titled ‘Tribal Crafts & Weaves of the State & GI Products’ features stunning handicrafts and exquisite handlooms of Odisha which have been certified as Geographical Indication or GI tag.

The theme pavilion at the Toshali Mela has four different stalls. It features various GI tagged handicrafts of Odisha like Pattachitra, Applique and Stone Carving. It includes Sambalpuri Bandha sarees, Habaspuri sarees, Khorda districts Dhalapathara curtains, Gopalpur’s famous Tassar fabrics, Odisha Ikat sarees, Khandua Patta, Bomkai sarees and various handlooms of Kotpad.

Similarly, the cruelty free ‘Karuna Silk’ produced in Odisha with the non-violent method has become a unique attraction at the Theme Pavilion. The entire process of making unique products without killing the Eri silkworms is being demonstrated Live at the Pavilion. People are showing keen interest in knowing more on Karuna Silk.

“Many products developed in Odisha have been accorded the GI certification. A special pavilion has been set up at the Toshali Mela this year to inform people about the 9 handlooms that have been given GI tag. Here, people can see the flawless craftsmanship of Odisha weavers. Moreover, sculptors and artisans from different states including Odisha have participated in the Toshali Mela makings it’s scope wider,” said Shovan Krishna Sahu, Director of Textiles and Handlooms, Govt of Odisha.

“People visiting the Toshali Mela are enthralled by the Mela. They have shown a wider appreciation for various Odisha handloom and handicrafts as well as diverse products from other states of India available at a single destination. It has become a good platform for weavers, artisans and craftsmen to showcase & sell their products,” said Pranati Chhotray, Director of Handicrafts, Govt of Odisha.

In the 16th Toshali Mela, goods worth more than ₹16 Crore were traded, while in the 17th Toshali Mela, goods worth more than ₹ 20 Crore were traded. This time, the department has set a target of doing the business worth over more ₹ 25 Crore.

‘Toshali National Crafts Mela’ speaks volumes of Odisha’s unique art, craft, culture and heritage. This year, more than 600 stalls have been allotted at this Mela. More than 200 artisans and over 140 weavers from Odisha are participating as exhibitors in the mela.

Similarly, 250 sculptors and 57 weavers from outside Odisha have displayed their hand-made products at Toshali. Silk sarees from Bengaluru and Banaras, Pochampally sarees from Andhra Pradesh, Woolen shawls from Kashmir, Iron work from Bastar of Chhattisgarh & cane and bamboo products from Assam are in good demand.

Live demo of various arts and crafts of Odisha are being performed at Toshali Mela. Thirty trainees of the State Institute for Development of Arts & Crafts (SIDAC) under the Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts department are showcasing their talents through live demonstration in front of the visitors at this Mela.

The food court at Toshali is an added attraction. The 25 stalls at the food court feature an eclectic mix of unique food culture from various states including Odisha. Visitors can be seen enjoying various mouthwatering food here. Toshali Mela opens every day, 2:30 to 9:30 PM, till 26 December.

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