Ekamra Haat: Arts, Crafts, Food, and More
By- Md. Mojahid Raza
Bhubaneswar: Spread over a vast expanse of 5 acres, Ekamra Haat is a craft village adjacent to the fairgrounds in the heart of the capital. It is a popular place for tourists, shoppers, and locals, who flock here to shop for crafts, indulge in mouthwatering delicacies, and hang out with friends and family. Established in 2002 by the Odisha government in association with IDCO, the place has become immensely popular among visitors and attracts good footfall throughout the day. Ekamra Haat is famous for its loom and craft market which features exquisite handicrafts from Odisha as well as other states. At present, there are over 40 loom and craft shops in the Craft Village which offer a wide range of artistic and indigenous products.
All of Ekamra Haat’s shops resemble village huts, giving off a rural Odisha feel. The architectural designs of the stores depict a rural market setting and give the place a rustic appeal. One can buy various handicrafts and textiles from all over Odisha. These include stone carving, wood carving, wall hangings and applied lampshades (Pipili Chandua), Pattachitra paintings, cane and bamboo crafts from western Odisha and Mayurbhanj, Dhokra art, terracotta, palm leaf paintings and hand-woven fabrics Odia popular like Ikat, Bandha and Bomkai from Sambalpur, Sonepur and Ganjam.
Besides the products of Odisha, one can buy looms and handicrafts from several states of India, viz. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. There are also stores that sell exquisite decorative pieces, gems and jewelry at very affordable prices.
âI have been here for 12 years. My shop has a range of exquisite Kashmiri jewelry, shawls, crafts and hand-woven products that are not readily available here in Odisha. All products are reasonably priced and available year round unlike seasonal exhibitions, âexplains Mohammed Hussain, a Kashmiri trader.
Ekamra Haat has something for everyone. If shopping isn’t your thing, then there are other things you can enjoy here. The place has a pleasant ambience amidst manicured gardens, a small pond and flowering plants where you can just relax, forget your worries and soak up the serenity of the lush green lawns. There is also a mini open-air amphitheater where annual functions, plays, fancy dress and musical performances are held from time to time.
The place has visitors of all types – students, youth, workers, housewives, tourists, photographers, shopaholics and art collectors.
âI come here with my friends every weekend. We love the vibe of this place and all the colorful handicrafts on display in various stores here. Shopping here is a whole different experience, âsays Vaishali Mohapatra, a student.
Foodies are also a regular because in addition to crafts, there are about ten restaurants that serve authentic Odia dishes (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian), with the exception of fast food, sweets and desserts. If you want to savor the traditional cuisine of Odia, then this is the place for you.
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Ekamra Haat is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Entrance is free and parking for two-wheelers and four-wheelers is also available. If you are looking for a perfect place to spend your Sunday night, you must visit Ekamra Haat for a memorable time.
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